Yale University President Compares Pro-Lifers to Extremists After Abortion Flap
by Steven Ertelt
June 4, 2008
New Haven, CT (LifeNews.com) — Yale University is in the news again after an art student generated national controversy with her project that supposedly included video footage of multiple self-abortions. Now, the president of the Ivy League school is accused of comparing pro-life advocates to Saudi Arabia extremists.
At the American kickoff of a religious foundation former British Prime Minister Tony Blair started, Yale University president Richard Levin made a comment sure to upset the majority of Americans who are pro-life.
He said that pro-life Americans who support the current Bush administration policy of prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortions overseas are like Saudi extremists.
Michael Gerson of the Washington Post reported on the statement in a Wednesday editorial column.
"At an event designed to further mutual religious sympathy, two of the panelists — including the president of Yale University, Richard Levin — casually asserted that religious Americans who support pro-life restrictions on international family planning aid are as doctrinaire and exclusionary as Saudi extremists," he explained.
Gerson says Blair distanced himself from the comment when reporters asked him about it following the panel discussion.
"Speaking to me after the event, Blair was patient, arguing that ‘could not be what they intended,’" Gerson said.
John Smeaton, the director of the British-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, wrote about the comment on his blog and said he was dismayed to hear Levin make the remark.
He said Blair should have gone further by rejecting his own abortion advocacy.
"I would have more faith in Tony Blairs reported promise if he had repudiated his own extreme voting record on abortion, destructive research on human embryos and other such matters," he said.
This flap comes on the heels of the Aliza Shvarts controversy involving her abortion "performance art."
ACTION: Tell Yale University President Richard Levin you’re not an extremist by opposing taxpayer funding of abortions. Contact him at: President’s Office, Yale University, PO BOX 208229, New Haven, CT 06520-8229, email [email protected], phone (203) 432-2550 or send a fax to (203) 432-7105.