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How a Bunch of Ragtag Militant Protesters Turned the Gates of Notre Dame into the Gates of Hell

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Published in Chicago Tribune

What unfolded at the gates of Notre Dame only affirmed what Obama said in his speech at Notre Dame’s Commencement, as he urged those involved in the abortion debate to tone down their rhetoric and use “fair-minded words:”

Now, understand– understand, Class of 2009, I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. Because no matter how much we may want to fudge it _ indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory _ the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.

His message for extremists, unfortunately, will go nowhere unless a middle position begins to whittle away at the divide by working to end poverty, improve health care, and reduce situations that lead to abortion.

Obama alluded to the fact that, “maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions.”

Whatever people walk away with now that this controversy has pretty much come to an end, I hope those who took interest walk away knowing that women on both sides make a decision after moral and spiritual considerations. They don’t just constantly have sex so they can excitedly walk into the Planned Parenthood down the street and have an abortion again and again and again.

There’s church law and there’s U.S. law. If you’re church says you should be opposed to abortion, you chose to be a part of the church so follow that code. But, if you are simply American, public policy cannot dictate that abortions are unlawful. On the contrary, public policy must exist for women to support women who decide to do whatever they feel they must do for themselves and their bodies.

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For more, visit this posting on Open Salon. I am receiving many great comments there because it is an Editor's Pick.

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)

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There may have been a lot of out of towners there ... by macdon1 on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 4:12:10 PM
Wonderful picturesque writing. I Am glad I was the... by William Whitten on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 5:33:42 PM
Oh, man!  That sounds like it was a regular c... by Sister Begonia on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 7:16:45 PM
That's Fred Phelps' organization. They were there.... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 7:41:50 PM
These militants are extremely angry because t... by syed mahdi on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 4:34:17 AM
What I find disconcerting specifically regarding t... by WML on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 7:32:30 AM