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Catholics for Choice Condemns Catholic University’s Firing of Professor

February 2, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, February 2, 2024
Contact: Ashley Wilson, Strategic Communications Advisor
Phone: 202-294-4081

Catholics for Choice Condemns Catholic University’s Firing of Professor
Professor Melissa Goldberg was fired for bringing a doula to class to discuss abortion.

WASHINGTON — Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, issued the following statement from President Jamie L. Manson, M.Div., in response to the recent news that Catholic University of America had fired a psychology professor who brought an abortion doula to class:

“In terminating its relationship with Professor Melissa Goldberg, Catholic University of America’s president said the school was ‘committed to promoting the full truth of the human person.’ As I see it, once again a Catholic university has dismissed a faculty member for trying to educate her students.

“The initial coverage of the incident, first reported in the Heritage Foundation-backed Daily Signal, claims that Catholic identity cannot be consistent with support for abortion access. This is false. In fact, 70% of Gen Z Catholics — likely including some of the very students at Catholic University — think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And 1 in 4 abortion patients in the United States is Catholic.

“Instead of pretending that abortion doesn’t exist among Catholics, we should all aspire to minister to abortion-seekers. Rachel Carbonneau, the doula invited to speak in Professor Goldberg’s class, was educated by Catholic schools and offered students the opportunity to better understand the full scope of human experience around abortion.  School administrators should be encouraging professors to engage the moral complexities of reproductive health issues, like Professor Melissa Goldberg did, rather than firing them.

“What does it teach students when their Catholic university would rather strip a professor of their livelihood than permit her to present the full truth of Catholic lived experiences on abortion and reproductive healthcare?

“The church hierarchy claims to value truth and religious freedom. Yet, time and time again, Catholic schools force hardline religious views on their students, obstructing their access to education and failing to honor academic freedom.”


Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to a person’s well-being and respect, and affirm the capacity of all people to make moral decisions about their lives.