Iowa Catholic St. Ambrose University Bashed for Awarding Abortion Advocate

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Iowa Catholic St. Ambrose University Bashed for Awarding Abortion Advocate

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 13
, 2008

Des Moines, IA ( — Iowa-based St. Ambrose University, a Catholic college, is under fire from pro-life advocates in the Midwestern state for honoring an abortion advocate. The school awarded what one pro-life group called "one of Iowa’s most notorious abortion activists" with an honorary degree.

At the St. Ambrose graduation ceremony on Sunday, school officials handed an honorary degree to Margaret (“Maggie”) Tinsman, a former state senator in Iowa from 1989-2006.

Tinsman received an “Honorary Doctor of Public Services” by the St. Ambrose Board of Directors.

That came despite a strongly pro-abortion voting record, including opposing a measure that would have given women information about abortion’s risks and alternatives.

Tinsman, who appears on Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa’s 2007 list of donors also promoted a bill allowing for a Medicaid waiver that tripled the abortion businesses’ income from tax dollars.

Kim Lehman, the president of Iowa Right to Life, told that St. Ambrose has honored someone who actively opposes the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church, with which it is affiliated.

“St. Ambrose University would have to look really hard to find someone in Iowa whose work flies in the face of the Catholic Faith more than Maggie Tinsman,” she said.

Lehman said her group would actively inform alumni, donors and prospective students about its actions.

“We plan to spread the word to high school students and families who might be considering St. Ambrose," she said.

Lehman said Tinsman hasn’t stopped advocating abortion since she ended her tenure in the state legislature and she is a member of the board of directors of Warren Buffet’s “Iowa Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies,” an organization that promotes birth control.

Tinsman also was also one of four Iowa co-chairs for pro-abortion republican Rudy Giuliani’s failed presidential bid.

This is not the first time St. Ambrose has honored a pro-abortion activist, Iowa Right to Life notes. In 2004, author Barbara Ehrenreich, gave a talk at St. Ambrose, despite controversy over her pro-abortion views.

ACTION: Express your views about the honorary degree by contacting: Sister Joan Lescinski CSJ, PhD, President, Saint Ambrose University, 518 West Locust Street Davenport, Iowa 52803, or calling 563-333-6213. Go here for a complete list of St. Ambrose University’s Board of Directors.

Related web sites:
Iowa Right to Life –