By Meg Jalsevac

CHICAGO, October 16, 2006 (LifeSiteNews) – Dr. Judith Arcana is a proud member of the Chicago pre-Roe v. Wade underground abortion service known as ‘Jane’. She was invited and spoke to students of the bioethics class entitled ‘Ethics of Human Reproduction’ at Loyola University Chicago, a Jesuit institution, on October 5 of this year. Arcana is a vehement supporter of abortion on demand and believes that the abortion movement will only gain ‘lost ground’ by admitting that abortion is the killing of a living child but that that is a choice for the mother.Â

Arcana was invited by the Women’s Studies Department of Loyola, as part of their ‘Feminism and Faiths’ theme for this academic year, to recite some of her prose and poetry on the subjects of motherhood, adoption, miscarriage, abortion and pregnancy. Bioethics teachers were offered the opportunity to have Arcana guest lecture their classes.

‘Jane’, officially called the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, was an underground organization that boasts that it performed 11,000 illegal abortions before abortion was legalized in the US in 1973. In a talk in London in 1999, Arcana gave background to ‘Jane’ and its ‘services’, “Women joined the Service through periodic orientation meetings, and learned the necessary tasks from those who had come before them. Once their counseling skills had been developed in new recruits, and the group had come to trust them, they could learn more – doing everything from basic record keeping to becoming a medic, one who performed abortions.”Â

Members of ‘Jane’ were taught how to perform abortions by a man who was not a doctor.Â

Arcana argues that the pro-abortion camp in the US is losing the abortion fight because they will not admit that an unborn child is a child. She believes that it is essential to inform pregnant women that they are carrying a child but that it is a legitimate choice to kill that child. Arcana says that women must be informed that they are killing a living child within them when they have an abortion. She says, “it is morally and ethically wrong to do abortions without acknowledging what it means to do them.” Arcana is against artificial human reproduction because it is not ‘natural’.Â

Alicia Torres, a senior at Loyola and a student in the ‘Ethics of Human Reproduction’ class, said that the class assignment for the day was to read some of Arcana’s works. Arcana was introduced by two bioethics professors who did not mention her work in ‘Jane’. In answer to a question at the end of the lecture, Arcana stressed that abortion should be “compassionate, caring and graceful” and drew an analogy between an abortion and being treated for a broken leg.Â

Loyola University is, at least in name, a Catholic university but is not foreign to controversy regarding pro-abortion speakers despite the US bishops 2004 direction that “institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”Â

Dr. Margaret Farley, a pro-abortion ethicist from Yale spoke earlier this year at the invitation of the Women’s Studies Department. In 2004, abortion advocates former Vermont governor Howard Dean and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan spoke and Madigan received the ‘St. Robert Bellarmine Award’ from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.Â

Loyola University Chicago is also one of the Catholic universities that maintains a link to Planned Parenthood on its website. It also links to the Howard Brown Health Center, a support center for the ‘lesbigaytrans community’. The link is found under the title ‘Health Related Services’ in the Women’s Studies Department webpage at

A spokeswoman at Cardinal George’s office said that, in the past, the Cardinal has chosen to meet privately with any leaders involved in similar situations or to instruct them of the Church’s teaching by writing a letter.Â

Steve Christensen, Manager of Communications at Loyola University, justified Arcana’s presence by stating that Loyola is a Jesuit school and so takes on the Jesuit mission to form the whole person. He said that that mission calls for an open dialogue which allows students to hear arguments from those that hold “technically opposing views to the Catholic Church.” Christensen had no comment about the US bishops’ instruction to not give a platform to pro-abortion speakers.Â

Contact information for the president at Loyola University Chicago is:

Michael J. Garanzini, SJ
[email protected]

Contact information for the Cardinal of Chicago’s office is:

Francis Cardinal George
[email protected]

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