Dear President Burcham and Chair Aikenhead:
As students, faculty, alumni, donors and supporters of LMU, we are disappointed in the decision of the Board of Trustees to continue facilitating abortion coverage for LMU employees.
The decision by the LMU Board of Trustees to no longer provide abortion coverage in their “standard” employee health plans, but instead provide the coverage in a “TPA-managed” plan, is a distinction without a difference. The Board has basically said, “While we can not make abortion directly available to our employees, we will arrange for another party to make it available on our behalf.” This rationale is mere rhetoric not worthy of a great university.
References in the Board’s October 7, 2013 statement to “academic freedom” and a “litmus test” for those employed by the university are simply diversions from the issue the Board was asked to decide, namely whether to facilitate abortion coverage for its employees.
Most offensive is the Board’s reliance on a statement by Pope Francis to justify its morally deficient decision. Church teaching on abortion is clear, as is the Church’s teaching on the role of a university in protecting the sanctity of human life. As Pope Francis recently stated to a group of physicians, “Every child that isn’t born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord.”
We are gravely disappointed the Board has ignored the request of hundreds of its own alumni, donors, students, faculty, and staff, and we continue to call on the university to take greater strides toward strengthening LMU’s Catholic character.