Notre Dame Splits on Obama Speech, Protests
Students excited about visit, not pleased with activists' tactics
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2009 10:38 AM CDT
Although George W Bush was a supporter of the death penalty, which the Catholic Church opposes, his speech at Notre Dame in 2001 was met with only small, scattered protests.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
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(Newser) – As President Obama's commencement speech at Notre Dame approaches, pro-life activists have converged on the campus with banners, planes, and plans for civil disobedience. But students, who expressed pride that the president chose their school, aren't too happy with the protests. "It cheapens the argument. As someone who is pro-life, I don't respect it," one told the Washington Post.

Even as activists revel at the chance to confront Obama, their support on campus is waning. A National Right to Life executive calls the president a "radical pro-abortion extremist," even though Obama has expressed a desire to minimize abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies and promoting adoption. Of the protesting, a professor said with a sigh, "It makes the cause a circus."