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Loyola Marymount’s Amnesty International Chapter Urges Insurance Coverage for Abortion

The Amnesty International Chapter at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) harshly criticized the Jesuit university’s administration for its recent decision to drop abortion from its health coverage, according to a letter obtained by The Cardinal Newman Society.

“It has come to our attention that the faculty and staff of this university are being unfairly targeted through recent changes to health care coverage,” reads the letter from the University-recognized student group, sent out to the LMU community on Friday. “Despite the University’s commitment to social justice and being men and women for others, the administration has decided to turn away from the needs of a subset population of our community.”

The group calls the decision an “apparent lack of consideration of women’s rights” as well as being “against the Ignatian values which this University is founded upon.”

The student group claims to “stand in solidarity with the faculty and staff as the University has chosen to neglect the diversity of their values, beliefs and opinions.”

“The issue here is who has control over a woman’s body; the individual or an external entity comprised primarily of people who have no direct interest in the matters at hand,” it continued.“The core issue that needs to be addressed is not if ‘elective abortions’ should be coveraged but how far will women’s rights – reproductive or otherwise – be limited in the future.”

The group called on LMU to stay “true to its mission of social justice and equality through reconsidering this action and reversing this deliberate change in health care coverage for faculty and staff,” according to the letter. “It is time for the University to re-align itself with the mission of protecting social justice for all.”

The student group claims on the Student Affairs website that “it is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights.” But Amnesty International opposes all sanctions for abortion where it is illegal, including partial-birth abortion, and it supports “access to abortion for women who are victims of rape and for women whose life or health is endangered by pregnancy.” In 2007, The Cardinal Newman Society called on Catholic colleges to stop recognizing and supporting clubs affiliated with Amnesty International.

The LMU Faculty Senate hosted an open forum for faculty and staff on Friday concerning the University’s decision to drop abortion coverage in its health plan. 

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