From the SFLA Blog

Student Perspective: An Abortion Doula Lectured to My Class  

Jordan Estabrook - 01 Feb 2024
Guest post by SFLA Student Spokesperson Felipe D. Avila

GUEST POST: Last week, something happened that I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams: an abortion doula actually came to lecture in my class. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 23, I had the unpleasant experience of listening to Rachel Carbonneau, a self-described “abortion doula,” share her experience counseling abortion and transgender patients. 

In high school, I was severely bullied for my pro-life convictions. This included death threats, stalking, and harassment from administrators. In 2021, I decided to sue my school district. I won. 

To ensure I never experience that kind of discrimination again, I made the conscious decision to attend the Catholic University of America (CUA). I chose CUA because of its pro-life identity and commitment to human dignity in all stages. 

Imagine my shock when my grade depended on attending a pro-abortion lecture. I was appalled. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Experiencing something similar to my high school experience was upsetting, to say the least. 

I’ve never been the student who sits idle, allowing radical out-of-touch speakers to spread hateful rhetoric. I surreptitiously recorded audio of the lecture. Though I was nervous, I knew it was the right thing to do.  

“I am an abortion doula, and I know I’m at Catholic University, I know that carries a lot of weight,” said Carbonneau to my class.  

These are words I never expected to hear at a Catholic institution, especially one that purports to be 100% pro-life

I recorded Carbonneau stating: “I will tell you because I work with so many people that are having what we would consider an elective abortion… I will tell you that Washington Hospital Center handles it better than any other area hospital. They have something called ‘cuddle cots…’ which is a chilled bed that you can put beside your bed so your baby can stay with you for up to two days.” 

While cuddle cots were developed with the express intent of providing grieving parents time with their stillborn children, in the audio, Carbonneau explicitly references their use in elective abortions. 

It was incredibly shocking to hear from a medical advocate who recognized the humanity of preborn children, only to then advise their termination and provide clients with the option to sleep next to their deceased children. 

Carbonneau even lectured on how she aids transgender individuals with what she referred to as seahorse births. For context, male seahorses carry their offspring until they can hatch from eggs, expelling them from sacks on their chest which can appear like birth.  

This animalistic terminology seriously confused me. The doula continued by stating, “We work with trans clients, I have some men who have given birth; it’s amazing, we call it seahorse birth. It’s lovely, especially when it’s a water birth; it’s fantastic.”  

This is emphatically against Catholic teaching. I was shocked that this was taught in a CUA classroom. 

I hope this story will lead to the creation of real, meaningful change. Change with respect to guests and faculty who embrace the ideals and values of the Catholic University of America. 

READ NEXT: How a Simple Word of Encouragement Helped Save a Life from Abortion  – Students For Life of America 

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