Terry Jeffrey
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When President Barack Obama appeared at Notre Dame in 2009 to accept an honorary law degree and deliver the university's commencement address, he did not dodge the fact that he favored legalized abortion and that Notre Dame -- and the Catholic Church to which it belongs -- does not.

Obama went so far as to suggest that the wholesale state-sanctioned killing of innocent human beings in their mothers' wombs was just one of those things that intelligent, well-educated people in a civilized society ought to be able to agreeably disagree about.

Indeed, he condescended so far as to say that in his health care policies he would protect the consciences of those who did not want to be complicit in other people's abortions.

"Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women." Obama said. "Those are things we can do."

This week, Notre Dame sued Obama's administration, filing a complaint in federal court that is a systematic expose of the utter contempt the administration has shown for the consciences of those associated with Notre Dame and of Catholics in general.

In its complaint, Notre Dame explains that Obama secured passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") only by convincing "pro-life" Democrats that no one in his administration would use the act to fund abortions or force people to act against their consciences.

"Congressman Stupak and other pro-life House members indicated that they would refuse to vote for the Senate version because it failed adequately to prohibit federal funding of abortion," says Notre Dame's complaint. "To appease these representatives, President Obama issued an executive order providing that no executive agency would authorize the federal funding of abortion services.

"The Act was, therefore, passed based on the central premise that all agencies would uphold and follow 'longstanding Federal laws to protect conscience' and to prohibit federal funding of abortion," says Notre Dame.

"That executive order," says Notre Dame, "was consistent with a 2009 speech that President Obama gave at Notre Dame, in which he indicated that his administration would honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft sensible conscience clauses."

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Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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