Student stopped from handing out fliers for pro-abortion protest


Ava Acharya

Elena Voisin wears a sign they made, which advertises an abortion rights rally. Voisin wore this sign because they were told that they could not distribute flyers with the same information on campus.

Ava Acharya, News Editor

On Sept. 6, Elena Voisin, a Loyola pre-health senior, was handing out flyers to fellow students for a march in favor of reproductive rights in front of the Danna Center.

The march itself was organized by the Louisiana Abortion Rights Action Committee, according to the flyer. Voisin said that many students were interested in finding out more about the cause and joining the movement, which they said, is especially relevant due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade this past summer.

But Voisin was told to stop handing out these fliers by Ken Weber, Loyola’s associate director of student life and ministry because the fliers were not in line with the school’s Jesuit values by featuring the word “abortion,” Voison said.

They obliged and stopped handing out these flyers but continued to talk to other students about the upcoming march and encouraged them to attend, Voisin said.

Voisin said that they were then approached by two members of the Loyola University Campus Police who also told them to stop. Voisin said that the police didn’t file an incident report about this.

“I guess it was an intimidation tactic,” Voisin said.

According to Patricia Murret, Loyola’s associate director of public affairs, LUPD was called in response to Voisin raising their voice and causing a disturbance on campus.

Voisin said that they were not doing anything that could be considered disruptive.

They further said that they feel that recent issues surrounding bodily autonomy are incredibly important and align well with Jesuit values.

“One of (the Jesuit values) is pursuit of justice and equality, and that’s fundamental to reproductive rights,” Voisin said.

They further said that many of the laws which limit abortion access pose serious health risks, not all pregnancies can be be safely caried to term.

“A doctor shouldn’t have to consult with a lawyer before giving potentially life-saving treatment,” Voisin said. “People will die. Pregnancy is dangerous.”

University Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Rachel Hoormann, said that Voisin could not pass out the fliers because they were not given approval by Student Life and Ministry.

The Student Organization Handbook defines passing out fliers on campus from an outside organization as solicitation, which is restricted to only pre-approved content.
Murret responded similarly and said that Loyola has a long-standing policy which prevents anyone from distributing materials without pre-approval.

Ken Weber declined comment beyond the school’s initial statement.

Voison has continued to advocate for the protest by wearing an enlarged flier on the front and back of their body.

“I can’t hand out stuff, but I can be the flier. It’s essentially a large necklace,” they said.

Devin Cruice contributed to this story