Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life

The largest collegiate pro-life conference in the nation

Saturday, January 20, 2018


The breakout sessions at the Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life are meant to educate attendees on the great variety of life issues and to encourage discussion. Each breakout typically focuses on a specific life issue, such as the death penalty, euthanasia, or abortion.

Breakout session speakers will be posted here once they are confirmed to speak. 


Aimee Murphy

Aimee Murphy is the Executive Director and founder of Rehumanize International, a non-partisan, secular organization dedicated to bringing an end to all aggressive violence against human beings through education, discourse, and action. After a personal conversion to the cause against abortion as a teen due to a pregnancy scare and pursuant death threats from her then-partner who insisted that she get an abortion, she was able to name and defend a holistic ethic of non-violence during her time in university: the Consistent Life Ethic. During the time of her undergraduate studies, she successfully helped the pro-life organization on campus to facilitate fruitful dialogue surrounding abortion by addressing the ethical foundation of pro-life belief and holistic care for all human beings. Through her work with Rehumanize International, Aimee is reaching people all over the globe with the consistent message of human rights and is creating and engaging in effective dialogue to change hearts and minds. 

Aimee was the recipient of the Susan B. Anthony List Young Leader Award in 2014, for her trailblazing pro-life leadership. She currently resides in Pittsburgh with her profoundly supportive husband, their two dogs, and whichever friends wander into the Murphy household.



Dr. Donovan is the Director of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical School, and a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics.  He i a clinician ethicist with over 30 years experience in the field. Dr. Donovan received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame, his M.D. from the University of Oklahoma, as well as his Masters in Bioethics. He trained in pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, completed fellowships in pediatric gastroenterology at the Children's Hospital of Oklahoma and the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, and is board certified In Pediatric Gastroenterology.

Dr. Donovan completed a three-year term as Chair of the Bioethics Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics and was appointed as the first person to serve as liaison from the bioethics section to the Committee on Bioethics of the AAP. He also served on the bioethics committee for the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, the ethics committee of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, and was Medical Ethics Consultant to the Roman Catholic diocese of Tulsa.  H served on the local board of directors for the organ sharing network, the Genetics Advisory Council, and was a founding member and first vice president of the Oklahoma Association for Healthcare Ethics. He alserved as chair of the Institutional Review Board at St. Francis Hospital for 17 years.

Dr. Donovan has published articles on both pediatrics and bioethics, and has spoken extensively on both subjects at the local, national and international level on four continent.  He was awarded the Humanism in Medicine award from the Gold Foundation, which recognizes physicians to have successfully integrated humanism into the delivery of care to their patients and families.  Dr. Donovan also received the Founder's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research and Medicine from the University of Tulsa, an award sponsored by the Oklahoma chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.  He has been listed in Who's Who in the World, as well as Best Doctors in America, and Top Doctors in America.

Dr. Keown picture

John Keown, MA, DPhil, Phd, DCL

John Keown MA (Cantab) DPhil (Oxon) PhD (Cantab) DCL (Oxon) holds the Rose Kennedy Chair in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.

Formerly, he taught the law and ethics of medicine in the Law Faculty in the University of Cambridge. His books comprise: Abortion, Doctors and the Law (CUP, 1988); Euthanasia Examined (CUP, 1995); Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy (CUP, 2002; 2nd edition forthcoming 2018); Debating Euthanasia (with Emily Jackson; Hart, 2012); The Law and Ethics of Medicine (OUP, 2012); Reason, Morality and Law: The Philosophy of John Finnis (with Robert George, OUP, 2013) and Bioethics and the Human Goods (with Alfonso Gómez-Lobo; GUP, 2015).  His research on law and ethics at the end of life has been cited by the Law Lords and by the US Supreme Court.

Dr. Keown will speak on "Back to the Future of Abortion Law: Roe's Rejection of America's History and Traditions."  You can find his paper on this topic here.


Father Charles P. Connor

Father Charles P. Connor is an Assistant Professor of History, as well as Systematic Theology, Pastoral Theology, and Spirituality, at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Scranton, where he also received his Master's Degree in United States History. In 1979, he received his PhD in United States History from Fordham University. He received an S.T.L., Magna Cum Laude, from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Scranton in 1990, he served for ten years as Assistant Pastor of Saint Patrick's Parish in Scranton. He serves as Censor Librorum and Historian for the Diocese of Scranton. 

He has served as an Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Scranton, and his articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and Catholic publications. He is also a published author; his book on Cardinal O'Connor is entitled A Transformative Element: The Contributions of John Cardinal O'Connor to the Culture of Life in the United States. 

Father Connor has co-produced several series for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). He had also been a frequent guest of Mother Angelica on her syndicated program. He has addressed several national Catholic conventions, and presented papers at meetings of the American Catholic Historical Association. His latest book is entitled Itenerant Missionaries and Makeshift Altars: The Catholic Church in the Thirteen Colonies.