Among the many morally objectionable presentations made at a recent abortion advocacy symposium that took place at Georgetown University was the final address of the day, which was dedicated to rallying support for a bill forcing taxpayers to fund abortions.
The Cardinal Newman Society reported last week that Georgetown University played host to a November 11 event entitled “Dismantling Reproductive Injustices: The Hyde Amendment and Criminalization of Self-Induced Abortion.” The purpose of the event was to discuss the “injustices” of legal barriers to abortion and how they can be overcome. The Newman Society’s article noted:
Every featured speaker at the symposium is in some way involved in trying to legalize, normalize or support abortion either through their personal activism or through their employers and affiliated organizations. And the event was co-sponsored by the abortion advocacy organization If/When/How along with a Georgetown institute that publicly supports abortion on its website, the O’Neill Institute.
Information on every guest speaker’s ties to abortion advocacy was documented. But the final speaker of the day, who was omitted from the published agenda, wasn’t included in the Newman Society’s report. That guest speaker was Kelsey Ryland, senior policy and legislative affairs manager for the pro-abortion All* Above All campaign. She is also a former co-president of the Seattle University School of Law chapter of the abortion-supporting group Law Students for Reproductive Justice, now known as If/When/How. Ryland describes herself as “a queer woman” who “believes that all people should have access to the resources they need to create a family, when and how they want.”
The full video of the “Dismantling Reproductive Injustices” event is available on the Georgetown Law website, and Ryland’s presentation begins at about the 5:21:30 timestamp.
All* Above All “unites organizations and individuals to build support for lifting the bans that deny abortion coverage” and works to “restore public insurance coverage” for abortion. The campaign has brought together more than 100 abortion advocacy organizations, many of which were represented at the Georgetown event.
“We are really working to move the needle on Hyde,” said Ryland. “So we have a model bill, the EACH Woman Act … and in addition to the EACH Woman Act, we also fight all the fights around what we call ‘Hyde creep’ … all of these places where we see Hyde show up where it just further restricts access to abortion care.”
The Hyde Amendment, one of the “injustices” targeted during the Georgetown event, restricts taxpayer funding for abortion at the federal level and is believed to have saved the lives of more than 2 million innocent babies in the last 40 years.
The EACH Woman Act, or the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act, would essentially undo the restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortions under Hyde and related provisions. The bill requires the federal government:
(1) to ensure coverage for abortion care in public health insurance programs including Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program;
(2) as an employer or health plan sponsor, to ensure coverage for abortion care for participants and beneficiaries; and
(3) as a provider of health services, to ensure that abortion care is made available to individuals who are eligible to receive services in its own facilities or in facilities with which it contracts to provide medical care.
Further: “The federal government may not prohibit, restrict, or otherwise inhibit insurance coverage of abortion care by state or local governments or by private health plans. State and local governments may not prohibit, restrict, or otherwise inhibit insurance coverage of abortion care by private health plans.”
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A Knights of Columbus-Marist poll released last July found that 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion. That number includes 45 percent of respondents who say they are “pro-choice.”
“We can’t discount how important it is to even shift the conversation,” said Ryland. “Not many years ago, the thought of introducing a bill like this seemed like political suicide for folks, and that has changed.”
“We’re not saying Hyde is the law is the land anymore,” she continued. “We’re saying, ‘Yes, currently the Hyde Amendment restricts federal funding for abortion care. That should change because it is unequal and unjust.’”
Ryland invited the event attendees to “get involved” with her campaign and pledge to:
—speak out and show up to defeat new restrictions on abortion
—engage our elected officials
—educate our loved ones and communities about the harms of abortion coverage bans and restrictions
“We’re going to have a lot of work to do to support our [pro-abortion] champions to make sure that they hold the line, and that in [a political] environment that seems really threatening that the first thing they compromise isn’t low income women’s access to abortion care,” she said. “We’ve seen it happen before and we know it could easily happen again. But we have done really important work, and we all have to stay committed to that to make sure that our champions know that’s what we expect of them.”
The “really important work” of trying to further legalize abortion is what the entire symposium hosted by Georgetown was all about, so in a way it makes sense that Ryland’s presentation capped off the event. But it’s still unclear why America’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university allowed this strategy session dedicated to further legalizing the destruction of innocent unborn life to take place.
Requests made by the Newman Society to explain how and why the symposium was approved — and if more abortion advocacy events would take place on campus in the future — went unanswered by Georgetown officials. What is clear is that this was a scandalous event that completely undermines Georgetown’s commitment to its Catholic identity and seriously brings into question whether that commitment even exists at all.
LifeNews Note: Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society, where this originally appeared. Reprinted with permission. Letter reprinted with permission. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of LifeNews.com.