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Obama Addresses Abortion at University of Notre Dame

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"Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions. 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. Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women."

President Obama delivered a much-anticipated commencement speech yesterday at the University of Notre Dame. Obama said that whether Americans are pro-choice or pro-life (like the students who protested his visit), they can still find common ground on the issue. Check out some more pictures from the ceremony and the protests.


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dreejay dreejay 7 years
He did well in addressing the abortion issue. It had to be mentioned- people were not watching his speech because of it. Margokhal, I'm glad to hear that his speech didn't focus solely on abortion. He's a great president and I would love to have him speak at my graduation!
margokhal margokhal 7 years
I've heard from a person who was part of the graduating class that the speech wasn't really about abortion, but rather that was a small part of it. You have to be careful with the media reporting things - of course they wanted to hear him say SOMETHING about abortion, and when he did, briefly and in passing, that became the "sound byte" for the speech. Here's the text for the whole ENTIRE speech: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/17/obama-notre-dame-speech-f_n_204387.html Seems like the abortion bit was part of it, as it was a major controversy over him even being invited. BUT it was in the context of the overall message: starting dialogue with people who don't think like we do, and finding common ground to work towards positive solution. That's a pretty important lesson for any college graduate. After reading the speech, I think he handled the issue well and gave an important speech in addition.
margokhal margokhal 7 years
I've heard from a person who was part of the graduating class that the speech wasn't really about abortion, but rather that was a small part of it. You have to be careful with the media reporting things - of course they wanted to hear him say SOMETHING about abortion, and when he did, briefly and in passing, that became the "sound byte" for the speech. Here's the text for the whole ENTIRE speech: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/17/obama-notre-dame-speech-f_n_204387.htmlSeems like the abortion bit was part of it, as it was a major controversy over him even being invited. BUT it was in the context of the overall message: starting dialogue with people who don't think like we do, and finding common ground to work towards positive solution. That's a pretty important lesson for any college graduate. After reading the speech, I think he handled the issue well and gave an important speech in addition.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
"It seemed to be something that the people who arranged for him to speak thought that he should address. "Or they just knew the contents of his speech ahead of time and wanted to preface it with that statement. I like the speech and its message, I just think it wasn't the right time or place.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
"It seemed to be something that the people who arranged for him to speak thought that he should address. " Or they just knew the contents of his speech ahead of time and wanted to preface it with that statement. I like the speech and its message, I just think it wasn't the right time or place.
sham28 sham28 7 years
Also, remember that the gentleman who opened for him directly and explicitly stated that Obama's views on abortion differed from those of ND as a school. It seemed to be something that the people who arranged for him to speak thought that he should address.
redchick152 redchick152 7 years
stardust-amen sister! as a catholic and an obama supporter, i was appalled by the protesters. what an honor to have the president speak at your commencement ceremony (i would say the same thing about any president, not just obama). it wasn't meant to be about abortion, it was supposed to be inspirational and congradulatory. i think he handled the situation well, i mean he HAD to address it somehow since everyone's made such a big, stupid deal out of it.
redchick152 redchick152 7 years
stardust-amen sister!as a catholic and an obama supporter, i was appalled by the protesters. what an honor to have the president speak at your commencement ceremony (i would say the same thing about any president, not just obama). it wasn't meant to be about abortion, it was supposed to be inspirational and congradulatory. i think he handled the situation well, i mean he HAD to address it somehow since everyone's made such a big, stupid deal out of it.
johnsonkm20 johnsonkm20 7 years
You are right chouette. He was fanning the flames by using abortion, but it had an overall message that people of differing opinions could accomplish more respectfully working together rather than constantly bashing or dismissing the other side of the political spectrum as crazy.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
Well his speech was just fanning the flames. He's the president, and I'm sure he could have talked about a lot of other things that would probably be more pertinent to the graduates and didn't directly disagree with Catholic beliefs.
Hiding55 Hiding55 7 years
Maybe the protesters should have had more respect for the graduates and saved their demonstration for another time? You can't place all the blame on one side.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
ITA with stardust. A commencement speech shouldn't be so politicized, even with the protests going on.
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
You know, I have to say - I'd be pretty dissapointed if that was my graduation speech. It's an important issue, don't get me wrong. But if I just worked my butt off for 4 years and spent a small fortune on my degree, I want my speech to be about the students and our future, not about the abortion issue!
sham28 sham28 7 years
We can't keep calling each other murderers and bible- thumpers. At some point there has to be a conversation. We should try to respect each others' differing opinions. I feel like this was a very solid speech. There's no way he could completely win, so he was diplomatic.
prencesschris prencesschris 7 years
yes, I agree he did handle the situation well.... but then again he handles almost all situations well GO OBAMA !
prencesschris prencesschris 7 years
yes, I agree he did handle the situation well....but then again he handles almost all situations wellGO OBAMA !
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I liked his speech, too.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I liked his speech, too.
Hiding55 Hiding55 7 years
I loved his speech. He handled the protesters very well.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
I agree with him that people who see the issue differently can (and should) still work together to find healthy, safe, affordable, available alternatives
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