BOSTON — Boston College’s invitation to Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to speak at commencement and receive an honorary degree is drawing opposition from pro-lifers who call the invitation “unconscionable” in light of the politician’s push for legal abortion.
“After our painful experience for the past 40 years, we know what legal abortion will do to Ireland,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.
In a May 7 statement announcing a new pro-life initiative, Hawkins warned that legalized abortion in America “has led to the deaths of over 55 million preborn baby girls and boys, the victimization of millions of women and the crumbling of families.”
Students for Life has launched the project “Not at BC” to oppose Kenny’s appearance at Boston College.
The college announced on April 25 that Kenny would speak at commencement ceremonies this spring and receive an honorary doctor of laws degree for the school’s 150th anniversary.
College spokesman Jack Dunn cited the school’s Irish connections as a motive for the choice. Boston College was founded by a Jesuit from Ulster in order to serve the Irish immigrant population, and the school maintains an Irish studies program.
Although Kenny and his party, Fine Gael, had promised not to implement abortion legislation, he is now making a strong push to legalize abortion in Ireland when the mother’s life is in danger, including when she threatens suicide.
Critics say the lack of a gestational age limit in a recent proposed law means that abortion would be available on demand in Ireland to any woman who threatens suicide. The law could force Catholic hospitals to comply with abortions and also lacks individual conscience protections for physicians, nurses and other health-care workers.
Kenny has also suggested that pro-life members of parliament may be expelled from his party if they refuse to vote in favor of the abortion legislation.
The Catholic bishops of Ireland — a traditionally pro-life country — denounced the proposed abortion law in a May 3 statement, saying it would “make the direct and intentional killing of unborn children lawful.”
Students for Life of America said the Irish prime minister has bowed to the international pro-abortion movement in his recent push to legalize the procedure.
The organization said it is “simply unconscionable” for any college, particularly a Catholic one, to “honor the man who would usher in the mass death of Irish preborn children.”
“As Catholics, Christians and pro-lifers of all faiths, the time is now to stand in solidarity with the innocent preborn, oppose Prime Minister Kenny, and demand he stop promoting the grave moral evil of abortion in Ireland,” said Hawkins.
“Boston College must hold true to its Catholic mission and immediately revoke their invitation to Prime Minister Kenny to speak at their commencement ceremony.”
Students for Life is calling on supporters to contact Boston College's president, Jesuit Father William Leahy, by phone, email or Internet form.
More information about the effort is available at the website http://notatbc.com.