Obama, 'doctor honoris causa' of the Catholic University Notre Dame
In a speech at the Catholic university, President Obama called for more "open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words" in the national debate over abortion.
President Obama with Richard Notebaert, chairman of the board of trustees at Notre Dame, after delivering his commencement address on Sunday.
At Notre Dame, Obama Calls for Civil Tone in Abortion Debate By PETER BAKER and SUSAN SAULNY Published: May 17, 2009. NYT2009051717264370C.
Mr. Obama, honorary doctor of laws degree, used a commencement address at the University of Notre Dame to call for more “open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words” in a debate that has polarized the country for decades.
“Maybe we won’t agree on abortion,” Mr. Obama told graduating students, relatives and professors, “but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually. It has both moral and spiritual dimension. “So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions. Let’s reduce unintended pregnancies. Let’s make adoption more available. Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term.”
In his address, Mr. Obama did not engage on the merits of the debate on abortion; he instead made an appeal to each side of the issue. He said he supported a “sensible conscience clause” allowing health care providers to withhold abortion or other services that conflicted with religious beliefs... He said.“Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction,... But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.”
Obama's speech at the Catholic university: