Catholic Pro-Life Group Presents President Bush Award for Opposing Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
February 4, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A national Catholic business group is slated to present an award to former President George W. Bush tonight honoring him for his lengthy record combating abortions during his administration. The event will also see Legatus honoring Cardinal Francis George and hearing from Newt Gingrich.
Bush will receive the prestigious Cardinal John J. OConnor Pro-Life Award because Legatus says Bush was consistent in his promotion of the pro-life ethic as president.
"You could argue that he was the most pro-life president in our lifetime," the group’s executive director, John Hunt, told Zenit today.
"He is very deserving, and since he is coming to us, we wanted to use this as an opportunity to tell him in a very specific and tangible way how appreciative we are," Hunt added.
Hunt also told Zenit that Bush was very statesmanlike in hosting Pope Benedict XVI in Washington in April 2008. President Bush’s respectful time with the Catholic Church leader "was something for all Catholics to be so proud of, proud of their country for having honored His Holiness in the way President Bush did."
The organization said Bush’s presidency saw "pro-life policies that included opposition to embryonic stem-cell research, the appointment of two pro-life Supreme Court Justices, an executive order barring federal funds to be used for abortion-related projects abroad, and a rule protecting federally funded health employees from taking part in abortion or practices that conflict with their faith."
The event will also see a speech from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is a Catholic convert and described by some as a potential 2012 presidential candidate.
And Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, will also be honored.
In announcing the award for Bush last month, Legatus noted that, in one of his last acts as president, before pro-abortion Barack Obama took over the White House, Bush declared Jan. 18, 2009, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day."
In that proclamation, Bush said the most basic duty of government is to protect the life of the innocent.
Kathleen Eaton, the chair of the Legatus summit, where Bush will receive the award, said the proclamation "was the culmination of eight years of pro-life policies."
She hailed Bush for "opposition to embryonic stem-cell research, the appointment of two pro-life Supreme Court Justices, an executive order barring federal funds to be used for abortion-related projects abroad, and a rule protecting federally funded health employees from taking part in abortion or practices that conflict with their faith."
Bush will accept the award and address Legatus members for the first time since leaving office one year ago.
The former president previously spoke at Legatus’ first annual pro-life conference in Washington, D.C, in early 2001 shortly after taking office as the nations 43rd president.
Last October, a Canadian pro-life group gave Bush the first pro-life award he has received since leaving office. The Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association presented the president with the award while he was in town to give an address.
During his presidency, Bush is credited with signing the Mexico City Policy to stop the use of taxpayer dollars in foreign nations from promoting and performing abortions.
He also promoted adoption and parental notification laws, encouraged teen abstinence, signed into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, and signed legislation in 2003 to ban the cruel practice of partial birth abortion.
Bush also signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 to protect pregnant women and their unborn children.
Previous recipients of the Legatus pro-life award include Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer of Human Life International, Judie Brown of American Life League, Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. Sam Brownback, and Rep. Henry Hyde.
Related web sites:
Legatus – https://www.legatus.org
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