Canisius College Invites Hillary Clinton, Abortion Views Upset Catholics

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 28, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canisius College Invites Hillary Clinton, Abortion Views Upset Catholics Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 28, 2005

Buffalo, NY ( — Pro-life advocates are upset that Canisius College has invited Senator Hillary Clinton, an abortion advocate, to give a policy speech. They say the Catholic College is giving a forum to Clinton’s pro-abortion views, despite an admonishment by the nation’s Catholic bishops last summer not to do that.

The Buffalo Regional Right to Life Committee (BRLC) and pro-life students at Canisius are planning to protest Clinton’s speech. The Canisius College Republicans and state College Republicans will join them.

Stasia Zoladz Vogel, of BRLC, told the Buffalo News, "The bottom line is [Canisius officials] are responsible for creating a grave scandal within the Catholic community."

Canisius officials say they are not condoning Clinton’s pro-abortion views because she doesn’t plan to address the controversial issue during her talk. The speech is part of a lecture series the Buffalo college is sponsoring on government’s role in caring for the sick.

"We don’t think that having Sen. Clinton here constitutes an endorsement of every position she holds currently, has held or will hold in the future," John J. Hurley, vice president and general counsel, told the News.

Vogel disagrees and said giving Clinton permission to speak at a Catholic college is "like taking a member of the Ku Klux Klan to address foreign trade and saying, "Well, he’s addressing foreign trade, so it doesn’t matter.’"

Vogel told the News that no politician who supports abortion should be allowed to speak at the campus.

That’s in line with a document approved by the nation’s Catholic bishops last summer that calls on Catholic colleges and universities not to give a platform to elected officials who back abortion.

The statement, called "Catholics in Political Life," was adopted by a vote of 183-6.

Hurley said Clinton would never have been invited to speak on abortion, to be given an honorary degree or to give the commencement address. That makes him believe the college is following the bishops’ statement.

Local pro-life supporters are also upset because Clinton will address the Women’s TAP Fund, a local pro-abortion political action committee, before her planned speech at Canisius.

Former Rep. John J. LaFalce, a Democrat who opposes abortion, told the Buffalo newspaper he invited Clinton because of her expertise on health care issues.

"She will not be speaking on abortion," he said. "We differ on that issue."

Clinton was first elevated to the national scene when she spearheaded former president Bill Clinton’s drive to nationalize health care. The plan would have involved taxpayer funding of abortions.

Hillary Clinton was at Canisius in August to announce the beginning of a small business program for women.

Related web sites:
Catholic Bishop’s statement on withholding communion and pro-abortion speakers –