Special guest Speaker
Speaking on: “End the Feminization of Poverty that Drives women to abortion!”
Feminists for Life President Serrin M. Foster is the creator of the Women Deserve Better® campaign. Her landmark speech, “The Feminist Case Against Abortion,” has been recognized as one of the “great speeches in history” in an anthology called Women’s Rights. She has focused on developing on-campus resources and support for underserved pregnant and parenting students and is an outspoken opponent of pregnancy discrimination.
Serrin has led Feminists for Life since 1994. Under her leadership, FFL successfully advocated benefits for poor and pregnant women through the State Child Health Insurance Program, worked in coalition with other women’s organizations to defeat the mandatory “family cap” and other punitive child exclusion provisions in welfare reform, and helped to prevent poverty and coerced abortions due to threats to withhold child support through passage of the Enhanced Child Support Act. Serrin also served on the National Taskforce Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, which worked to pass the Violence Against Women Act, and she also testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in support of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as “Laci and Conner’s Law.”
In January 1997, Serrin moderated the first-ever FFL Pregnancy Resource Forum at Georgetown University, which became a model for the country and in 2010 became the basis for Pregnancy Assistance Fund grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Serrin’s efforts earned her an honorary doctorate from Belmont Abbey College in 2008. Today, Serrin serves as editor-in-chief of The American Feminist and FFL’s resource website, WomenDeserveBetter.com.
Sr. Mariae Agnus Dei
Speaking on: “The Sacredness of Life”
The Sisters of Life are consecrated to protect and enhance a sense of the sacredness of human life.
Immersed in contemplative Eucharistic prayer, within a vibrant community life, the Sisters act in imitation of the Blessed Mother, bringing the consoling presence of Jesus Christ, conceived beneath their hearts to every person they meet, especially those whose lives are hidden, weak, or wounded. Their missions include caring for vulnerable pregnant women and their unborn children; inviting those wounded by abortion into the healing mercy of Jesus; fostering a Culture of Life through evangelization; retreat works; and upholding the beauty of marriage and family life.
Sr. Mariae Agnus Dei graduated from the Catholic University of America with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After working in intensive care, she entered the Sisters of Life in 2007. She professed her final vows in 2015. Sister currently serves as the local superior of St. Frances de Chantal Convent in the Bronx in the work of formation as the director of postulants for the community.
Catherine Glenn Foster
Catherine Glenn Foster, M.A., J.D., is President and CEO of Americans United for Life, America's first national pro-life organization and the nation's premier pro-life legal team. AUL’s legal strategists have been involved in every pro-life case before the U.S. Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade. AUL is the pioneer of the state-based model legislative strategy, which works to save lives today and protect mothers and children from abortion industry abuses while undermining the so-called “reliance” interest adopted by the Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey: the false idea that women “rely” on abortion to succeed in American society. Foster has litigated precedent-setting § 1983 and other constitutional questions, abortion and maternal health, health and safety regulations, False Claims Act healthcare and Medicaid fraud, euthanasia and assisted suicide, denial of medical care, First Amendment rights, genetic engineering issues, Freedom of Information Act and open records issues, and healthcare and corporate conscience protections. She has testified before and advised the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Select Investigative Panel and other federal, state, and international bodies and representatives. Previously, Foster was Litigation Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, founder of a law practice focusing on respect for the sanctity of human life, and Executive Director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA. Foster serves as President of the Board of Directors of Rockville Women’s Center and on the boards of And Then There Were None, Christian Legal Society D.C. Metro Chapter, and the Family Policy Alliance, as well as on the advisory board of the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity. She earned her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center, M.A. in French from the University of South Florida, and B.A. in History and French from Berry College, and is admitted to the bar in Virginia and Washington D.C., as well as the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 1st, 5th, 8th, and 9th Circuits; and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Speaking on: “Embracing the ‘F’ Word: Learning to Love (Pro-Life) Feminism”
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 Murphy 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.
Speaking on: “Embracing the ‘F’ Word: Learning to Love (Pro-Life) Feminism”
Herb Geraghty is the Director of Communications 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. Herb is a passionate and engaging advocate for the Consistent Life Ethic with an academic background in rhetoric and politics. Through his work with Rehumanize International, he has found that his unique position as a politically independent, atheist, pro-life feminist has broken down barriers to reach demographics that are often untapped by the mainstream pro-life movement. Herb has a passion for building bridges and finding common ground with people across the political spectrum to call everyone to a greater consistency in the fight for human rights.
Lucia A. Silecchia
Speaking on: "Death, Dignity, Despair and Deceit: Fighting the Danger of Assisted Suicide"
Lucia A. Silecchia is a Professor of Law at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, where she has taught since 1991. She has also served as the law school's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as Catholic University's Vice Provost for Policy. She directs Catholic University's Summer Law Program in Rome. She is also a Faculty Fellow and Academic Advisory Group Member of Catholic University’s Institute for Human Ecology.
She received her B.A. degree summa cum laude from Queens College and her J.D. from Yale Law School where she was a Teaching Fellow, senior editor of The Yale Law Journal, and current topics editor of The Yale Law & Policy Review. She returned to Yale as a Visiting Scholar for the fall 2000 term.
Since December, 2016, she has served as an expert to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, assisting on matters concerning the elderly, people with disabilities and ecology.
Professor Silecchia writes and speaks in the areas of environmental law and ethics, elder law, Catholic social thought, legal education, and law and literature. (Her publications are available through https://www.law.edu/fac-staff/silecchial/index.cfm).
In April 2007, Prof. Silecchia was one of nine Americans to participate in a Vatican conference on Climate Change and Development, organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. She has participated in the Association of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools, and hosted the 2008-2009 Conference on Catholic Legal Thought. She has participated in projects of the USCCB; assisted the American Bar Association's CEELI Project; taught in Catholic University's cooperative programs at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland; and lectured in Portugal as part of Catholic University's U.S. - Portuguese Law Initiative at the University of Lisbon.
She provides frequent commentary to television, radio and print media outlets on matters related to religion, environmental ethics, elder law, and Catholic social thought.
Prof. Silecchia received the 2015 Distinguished Alumna Award from the Queens College Political Science Department for teaching that "prepares your own students to combine faith with a passion for justice."
Professor Silecchia is admitted to the bars of New York, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Before coming to Catholic University, she was a litigation associate at Rogers & Wells (now Clifford, Chance) in New York City.
Mary RIce hasson
Speaking on: "Sexual Consent, #MeToo, and the Throwaway Culture”
Mary Rice Hasson is the Kate O’Beirne Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where she also directs the Catholic Women’s Forum, a network of Catholic professional women and scholars seeking to amplify the voice of Catholic women in support of human dignity, authentic freedom, and Catholic social teaching. An expert on culture, faith, sexual morality, and gender ideology, Mary was the keynote speaker for the Holy See during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in both 2017 and 2018. She speaks frequently at national and regional conferences and her writing appears in a variety of scholarly publications, policy journals, and websites including First Things, Public Discourse, Our Sunday Visitor, The National Catholic Register, and The Federalist. She is co-author of a recent book on public education and the editor of Promise and Challenge: Catholic Women Reflect on Feminism, Complementarity, and the Church. Mary is also a frequent commentator in global media on issues pertaining to Catholicism and women.
Before joining EPPC, Mary worked as an attorney and writer and served the Church for over twenty years in leadership positions in Catholic marriage preparation, diocesan education efforts, and Catholic ministries to women and families. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Notre Dame Law School, Mary is married to a fellow Domer, Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson, and they have seven grown children and one grandchild.
O. Carter snead
Speaking on: "A World Without Justice Kennedy: The Future of American Abortion Jurisprudence"
Professor Carter Snead is the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture, Professor of Law in the Law School, and Concurrent Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Snead is one of the world’s leading experts on public bioethics – the governance of science, medicine, and technology in the name of ethical goods. He has published over forty journal articles, book chapters, and essays on abortion, embryo research, neuroethics, assisted reproduction, end of life decision-making, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. His articles have appeared in such publications as the New York University Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Forum, the Vanderbilt Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, and Political Science Quarterly. He is the editor of two book series with the University of Notre Dame Press, including “Catholic Ideas for a Secular World” and "Notre Dame Studies in Medical Ethics."
He has advised officials in all three branches of the federal government on matters of public bioethics. He served as General Counsel to President Bush’s Council on Bioethics (chaired by Leon R. Kass). He led the U.S. delegation to UNESCO and was its chief negotiator for bioethics-related treaties and conventions from 2003-2005. He also served as the U.S. Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics from 2006-08. From 2008-12, the Director General of UNESCO appointed him to a four-year term on the International Bioethics Committee. He regularly provides expert testimony in Congress, state legislatures, and federal courts. In 2016, Pope Francis appointed him to the Pontifical Academy for Life, which advises the Vatican on culture of life issues. In 2018, he was named a Fellow of The Hastings Center, the world's oldest and most prestigious independent bioethics institute.