On September 18, in a letter to The Cardinal Newman Society and addressed to the LMU Board of Trustees, members of the LGBT Faculty and Staff Network at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), criticized the school’s “top down” decision to drop abortion coverage as damaging to its Catholic identity. The Los Angeles group cites the Jesuit institution’s Catholic identity as a reason to continue coverage for abortions in its employee health plan.
“Some of the Catholic values that many of us uphold, regardless of religious affiliation, have to do with social justice, with the promotion of faith, the advancement of knowledge and the freedom of conscience,” the group’s letter stated, urging more discussion about the matter. “These values are deeply embedded in the notion of the same hand. In this regard, the consequences of dropping ‘elective’ abortion coverage will create conditions in which these significant values are undermined.”
The group also voiced an opinion about issues from a gender and racial equity perspective.
“As is well known, women on average earn less than men, a situation that makes paying for health care services a bigger challenge for women than for men,” the letter states. “This is especially true in communities of color.”
The LGBT Faculty and Staff aren’t the only ones who have a bone to pick with the new policy.
The Amnesty International Chapter at the school has also harshly criticized the administration for its decision to drop abortion from its health coverage, stating in a letter, “Despite the University’s commitment to social justice… the administration has decided to turn away from the needs of a subset population of our community.” According to the letter, the group claims that the decision is an “apparent lack of consideration of women’s rights” as well as being “against the Ignation values which this University is founded upon.”