by Steven Ertelt
September 20, 2004
Chicago, IL (LifeNews.com) — Two Catholic universities in Illinois are coming under fire — one for inviting a pro-abortion speaker and the other for giving an award to an elected official who backs abortion.
Early next month, Barack Obama, the pro-abortion Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, will speak at Benedictine University, located in Lisle, Illinois.
Obama has drawn strong criticism from pro-life advocates — not only for his views in favor of abortion, but his votes against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. The measure would ensure that babies born alive following botched abortions would be provided the same medical care given to infants born under normal circumstances.
Nurse Jill Stanek, who gained fame after exposing "live birth abortions" at a Chicago hospital, says Obama was told repeatedly about children born at 23 weeks after pregnancy who could have survived had they not been left to die by hospital staff.
Benedictine defends its decision to invite Obama, saying it has invited pro-life candidate Alan Keyes to speak at the college as well.
Meanwhile, Loyola University in Chicago is giving the St. Robert Bellarmine Award to pro-abortion Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Madigan upset pro-life advocates when she threatened to go after crisis pregnancy centers that offer women abortion alternatives. She claimed they centers should not portray themselves as medical clinics because they do not perform abortions.
As a state Senator, Madigan sponsored pro-abortion legislation and voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
The nation’s Catholic bishops have been clear in their stance that Catholic colleges and universities should not allow abortion advocates to use the institutions of higher learning as a platform to legitimatize their pro-abortion views.
In the July 2004 statement ‘Catholics in Political Life,’ the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said, "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
The award was established in 1985 by alumni of the University’s law school to honor attorneys.
Loyola University Chicago also sparked controversy earlier this month when it invited former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean to speak. Dean strongly backs abortion and, during his medical school years, participated in an internship at Planned Parenthood.