Obama Calls for 'Open Minds, Fair-Minded Words'

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2009 1:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – Speaking amid the swirl of controversy as his pro-choice views and the pro-life values of a Catholic university collided, President Obama today called for "open minds" and "fair-minded words" in Notre Dame's debate surrounding abortion, reports the AP. Amid heckles and students booing hecklers, Obama faced the treacherous issue head-on, conceding that while the two sides are "irreconcilable," open discourse could bring "at least the possibility of common ground."

"That's when we begin to say, 'Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions,'" Obama said. "So let's work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. 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 in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)