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PEN America, a free speech advocacy organization, is calling on Catholic University of America to reverse its decision to fire a lecturer after a guest speaker discussed abortion in her class.

Melissa Goldberg, a lecturer in psychology, invited a doula to speak in her class Lifespan Development. The doula, who also works with clients who have had abortions, spoke about that aspect of her work and her work with trans clients in response to students’ questions. A student recorded the class and released it to conservative media outlets. Goldberg was fired by the university within a week of the speaker’s visit.

“Now that we have clear evidence that the content of the class did not align with our mission and identity, we have now terminated our contract with the professor who invited the speaker,” Peter Kilpatrick, president of the university, wrote in a Jan. 30 letter to students and employees.

A statement from PEN America, released Thursday, notes that the university’s Faculty Handbook says the university “upholds academic freedom as a fundamental condition for research and dissemination of information.”

Kristen Shahverdian, senior manager in PEN America’s Free Expression and Education program, said in the statement that the firing was a “gross violation of academic freedom.”

“Religious universities are not legally required to adhere to the First Amendment, but as members of the academic community, they should uphold the tenets of academic freedom that they claim to support,” she said. “This action against a faculty member—not even in response to speech of her own—is punitive, drastic, and far exceeds standards for academic freedom.”