WASHINGTON, D.C., October 25, 2013 (Cardinal Newman Society) – A class at Georgetown University’s law school scheduled for next semester will have students working with a pro-abortion rights advocacy organization, taught by that organization’s senior counsel, Kelli Garcia. Garcia, a radical pro-abortion rights lawyer, wrote the poem titled, “Planned Parenthood, Why Do I Love Thee?” in 2011. The poem was part of a larger effort by Garcia and her group to halt the potential defunding of Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion provider.
The Georgetown law class, titled Regulatory Advocacy: Women and the Affordable Care Act, will have students working with the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) “to develop projects that will assist in the organization's regulatory advocacy efforts.” Students will also have the opportunity to participate in strategy meetings and conference calls between NWLC and partnering organizations.
Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, views this latest scandal as the unfortunate culmination of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Reilly stated, “We have long warned about Georgetown scandals that undermine the Church's strong defense of innocent life. But here students are being required to work for a pro-abortion lobby, making America's oldest Catholic university an active agent of the culture of death. If allowed to continue, this puts Georgetown in direct opposition to the Church.”
NWLC’s advocacy efforts focus on “working to ensure that women have access to abortion care by protecting and advancing this fundamental right.” And according to NWLC’s website, Garcia specifically, “oversees the Center's efforts to address religious restrictions on women's access to reproductive health services, including its work on hospital mergers and crisis pregnancy centers.”
These facts make the origin of the course’s topic matter—the Affordable Care Act and its impact on women—clear, but its apparent agenda questionable at a Catholic college. One of the most controversial aspects of Obamacare is the HHS mandate, which requires Catholic organizations to provide insurance coverage for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization procedures. NWLC’s position on religious exemptions is clearly stated on their website: “The coverage of contraception is a neutral regulation that applies to all employers; it does not single out any religious entity or practice. Accordingly, guaranteeing contraception coverage does not violate the First Amendment.”
Garcia has boldly stated her personal views on the legal battle over the HHS mandate, writing about one judge’s decision in favor of the mandate, “Score one for sanity.” She even wrote that institutions that are refusing to provide contraceptive coverage are simply using their religion to discriminate against women.
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NWLC’s support for the HHS mandate is also a matter of public record and echoes Garcia’s public sentiments closely. “The First Amendment’s religious freedom principles do not include the right to impose one’s religious views on others,” states their website. “Hospitals and pharmacies that refuse women needed reproductive care because of their religious beliefs are using their religion to discriminate against and harm others.”
Garcia’s publicly reacted to the passage of a Texas law that banned abortion after 20 weeks by calling it, “a sad day for women’s health.”
And despite espousing the need to defend fundamental rights, the NWLC earlier this year publicly supported a U.S. House of Representatives bill that would have severely limited the free speech rights of crisis pregnancy centers.
This column originally appeared on the website of the Cardinal Newman Society and is reprinted with permission.