Graduate Students

Roman Catholic College Disinvites Pro-Choice Speaker

May 12, 2008

A South Dakota state senator was supposed to deliver the commencement address at Presentation College on Saturday. But, at the last minute, the Roman Catholic college withdrew its invitation because of the senator’s pro-choice views on abortion.

According to The Aberdeen News, a South Dakota newspaper, Sen. Nancy Turbak Berry was told the decision stemmed from her failure to share the Vatican’s stance that abortion should be illegal. Ms. Berry said she considers abortion a “very personal” decision.

The college replaced her with a much-safer choice: the bishop of the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese. That move was in keeping with a trend, as reported today in The Boston Globe, of Catholic colleges’ steering clear of on-campus speakers with un-Catholic views, often under pressure from outside groups. —Thomas Bartlett