Pro-Life Harvard Prof Glendon, Rejected Notre Dame Honor, Gets National Award

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 24, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Harvard Prof Glendon, Rejected Notre Dame Honor, Gets National Award

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 24
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Mary Ann Glendon, the pro-life Harvard law professor who rejected an award from the University of Notre Dame because it honored pro-abortion President Barack Obama, is set to receive her own award. The National Right to Life Committee will bestow its highest honor on Glendon at a dinner next month.

Glendon will receive an award from the pro-life group at its Proudly Pro-Life Awards Dinner on October 6 at the prestigious Waldorf hotel in New York City.

"In recognition of her inspiring courage and steadfast support for the sanctity of human life, Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon will receive the Proudly Pro-Life Award," NRLC said in an announcement sent to today.

"She is being honored for the uncommon courage displayed last April when she declined the prestigious Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame," the announcement reads. "The Laetare Medal, presented at their graduation ceremony, is given each year to an American Catholic layperson ‘whose genius has …illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.’"

In declining the Laetare Medal, Glendon cited the fact that Obama, who had subsequently been invited to give the commencement address, would also receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Referring to the president as “a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice,” Glendon indicated she was at a loss to understand why a Catholic university would honor a person with such views.

"First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree," she wrote in her letter to Notre Dame officials. "This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions ‘should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles’ and that such persons ‘should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.’"

In extending the invitation to Glendon to appear at its awards dinner, National Right to Life president Dr. Wanda Franz congratulated Glendon for her consistent pro-life stance.

"Your continued service to the Right to Life Movement over the years has made a substantial impact on this nation in the defense of life," she wrote Glendon. "By your recent public actions, you have shown again that you stand unflinchingly pro-life."

Glendon is Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University where she teaches and writes on international human rights, comparative law, and constitutional law issues. She served as ambassador to the Holy See for the Bush administration from 2007 to 2009.

The National Right to Life Proudly Pro-Life Awards Dinner returns to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City for the first time since 2003.

Over the years it has awarded elected officials and people in places such as the sports, entertainment and business industries for their pro-life leadership in the face of a pro-abortion culture.

Some of the award recipients include Rep. Henry Hyde, the family of Terri Schindler Schiavo, Richard and Helen DeVos, Pat Boone, James Dobson, Mrs. Arthur DeMoss, John Cardinal O’Connor, Gov. Robert Casey, Rep. Christopher Smith, and Rep. Charles Canady.

Others include Judge Robert Bork, Wellington Mara of the New York Giants, Thomas Monaghan of Dominos Pizza, Lawrence Garvey, Patricia Heaton, and Father Frank Pavone.

In 1997, National Right to Life honored President Reagan with a tribute at the 4th annual Proudly Pro-Life Awards Dinner.

Related web sites:
National Right to Life Committee –

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.