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Bristol Palin disinvited from paid discussion appearance at university

UPI News Service, 01/29/2011 

Bristol Palin, teen pregnancy prevention advocate, will not participate in a panel discussion at Washington University in St Louis as planned, the school says.

Palin, 20, is the single mother of a 2-year-old son and the daughter of former Alaska Gov. and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Bristol Palin had been in talks with the university's Student Health Advisory Committee to discuss abstinence during a Feb. 7 panel for Sexual Responsibility Week but had not yet signed a written contract to speak.

"Because of the growing controversy among undergraduates over the decision to pay for her talk with student-generated funds, the Student Health Advisory Committee and Palin decided that the message that they intended on sharing would be overshadowed by controversy," the university said in a statement Friday.

The committee's sponsorship of Bristol Palin was being supported by funds from Student Union, Washington University's undergraduate student government, which receives its funds from a small mandatory activities fee from each undergraduate, the university said.

Dr. Katie Plax, head of adolescent medicine and associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine, has been invited to participate in the panel. Plax, who is also medical director of The SPOT, a drop-in teen health center at Washington University Medical Center, will join a representative from WUSTL's Student Health Services, the Catholic Student Center at Washington University, and Planned Parenthood for the panel discussion next month.

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