Georgetown Honors Contraception Advocates at Commencement

News: Education
by Church Militant  •  •  May 19, 2016   

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By Justin Petrisek and Adam Cassandra

Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., plans to honor two speakers at its commencement ceremonies who have publicly advocated for contraception against Church teaching.

Gayle Smith, administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will give the commencement address for the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown on May 19 and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. And Beverly Malone, CEO of the National League for Nursing, will address graduates of the School of Nursing and Health Studies on May 21, and receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree.

Both have actively pushed for greater access to so-called family planning services, including contraception. Malone has also publicly expressed support for easing abortion restrictions.

The Cardinal Newman Society noted in its recent report on scandalous commencement honorees at Catholic colleges: "By honoring those who disregard Catholic teaching, and holding them up as role models for students, administrators at these Catholic colleges send a dangerous message to students, betray the religious mission of their institutions and disregard the guidance of the U.S. bishops."

In a co-authored article for the Center for American Progress, Smith stated, "To the detriment of all, and particularly poor women, hard-line abortion opponents in the White House, Congress, and state legislatures view not only abortion but even contraception as an evil." The Church teaches that both abortion and contraception are moral evils. Smith promoted contraception in the piece as a means to "[empower] women, and men, to make decisions about their lives and their families."

Smith has further advocated USAID's "family planning services"on numerous occasions."[U]sing a modern method of contraception"is emphasized in the family planning program. In 2007, Smith served on the United States Commission on Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People Around the Globe. The HELP Commission report advocated for "[u]niversal access to family planning and contraceptive services"as a means to help poverty stricken countries.

Last summer, her approval as USAID director was reportedly delayed when questions surfaced regarding her views on prohibiting foreign aid money for abortion-related services (the Helms amendment). Planned Parenthood later applauded Smith's nomination, noting its confidence in Smith to "continue the unprecedented momentum" in providing "modern contraceptives." Under Smith's leadership, USAID continues to push the use of contraception and encourage "family planning methods."

While with the Royal College of Nursing, the U.K.'s largest professional union of nurses, Malone advocated for greater access to the "morning after pill" and over-the-counter emergency contraception. "We need, as a society, to say goodbye to narrow outdated stereotypes of sexual health services as something furtive and shameful or as a kind of emergency service for the sexually reckless,"Malone stated. "Sexual health services should be about providing care wherever it's needed. That's why nurses are well placed to make a positive impact in modernising (sic) sexual health services. They can help provide safe and effective emergency contraception and also give young people the skills to access reliable contraception for the future."

In July 2005, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children decried Malone's support for abortion and push to have nurses more involved in committing abortions. In January 2006, Malone heralded a court decision that allowed nurses to continue giving young girls abortion advice without their parents' knowledge. Malone has overseen operations as CEO of the National League for Nursing since 2007.

Originally published by Catholic Education Daily, an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society.


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