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Georgetown Alumni Politicians Dissent on Abortion, Marriage

Georgetown University’s student newspaper boasted recently that nine candidates for Congress, six current U.S. senators and 13 members of the House are alumni of the Jesuit university. But Cardinal Newman Society researchers have found that most of these alumni are at odds with Catholic teaching on abortion and/or same-sex “marriage.”

Some of these politicians cling to the argument that they’re personally pro-life but don’t feel they can legislate their morality. Congressional candidate and Georgetown alum John Delaney said as much on his campaign website recently.

But others like Senator Lisa Murkowski, who graduated from Georgetown with a bachelor’s degree in 1980, takes on the teachings of the Catholic Church head on. She reportedly said in one interview, “You know, I don’t adhere to all of the tenets of my faith. I’m a Republican, I don’t adhere to all of the principles that come out of my party. I’m also not hesitant to question when I think that my church, my religion, is not current.”

In response to Pope Benedict’s statement that pro-abortion rights Catholic politicians “exclude themselves from Communion,” Georgetown alumnus Senator Patrick Leahy reportedly responded, “I’ve always thought also that those bishops and archbishops who for decades hid pederasts and are now being protected by the Vatican should be indicted.”

Georgetown has welcomed some of these alumni back to campus for public events. Just last year, Georgetown hosted “An Evening with Senator Dick Durbin” for the pro-abortion rights and pro-gay “marriage” legislator to “speak about his experiences at Georgetown University and current issues in Congress.” This came after the priest of Sen. Dick Durbin’s hometown church, the future Bishop Kevin Vann, reportedly announced he would be hesitant to allow the senator to take communion.

The Georgetown alumni touted by the University’s newspaper include:

  • Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who received a J.D. from Georgetown in 1986, is seeking reelection in 2012. He reportedly voted to require pharmacies to fulfill contraceptive prescription, opposed banning federal funding of abortions, and has vowed to “fiercely protect” abortion rights. Cicilline, who is openly gay, reportedly cheeredon President Obama for publicly changing his position on gay “marriage” by saying, “The President’s move represents true progress for our country, and I salute his leadership.”
  • Congressman Hansen Clarke of Michigan, who received a J.D. from Georgetown in 1987, lost his 2012 primary against Congressman Gary Peters in a redrawn district and will soon leave the House. He earned a 100 percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America’s 2011 Congressional Record on Choice. He also voted twice to ensure that Planned Parenthood could continue to receive public funding. Hansen is also co-sponsoring a bill to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
  • John Delaney (LAW ‘88), who is running to represent Maryland’s sixth district in Congress, makes a distinction between his Catholic faith and his pro-abortion rights stance. “The government shouldn’t be involved in women’s personal health care decisions,” says Delaney on his website. “As a Catholic, the personal views my wife and I have about this issue are consistent with our Church. However, that doesn’t mean those views should be imposed on others.” Delaney also reportedly supports gay “marriage.”
  • Congressman John D. Dingell of Michigan, who received a B.A. from Georgetown in 1949 and a J.D. in 1952, supports Roe v. Wade. He earned a 100 percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America’s 2011 Congressional Record on Choice. Dingell has co-sponsored legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, who received a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown in 1966 and a J.D. in 1969, reportedly used to be pro-life but changed to being pro-abortion rights. Since then he has a 100 percent voting record from NARAL, voted against restricting UN funding for population control policies, and even voted against parental notification and a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage, according toOntheIssues.org.
  • Lois Frankel (LAW ‘73), running for Congress in Florida’s 22nd district, was called byThe Sun-Sentinel “a sharp-tongued and outspoken liberal” who “favors abortion rights” and gay “marriage.”
  • Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (LAW ‘78), who represents Hawaii’s second congressional district and is a candidate for U.S. senator, reportedly has been endorsed by the pro-abortion EMILY’s List, voted against banning federal health coverage that includes abortion, voted to expand research to more embryonic stem cell lines, and voted to require pharmacies to fulfill contraceptive prescriptions despite any violation of conscience. She also reportedly voted against a constitutional ban on same-sex “marriage.”
  • Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, who received his J.D. from Georgetown in 1966, votedagainst banning partial birth abortion, against forbidding human cloning, and against making it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. Hoyer also reportedly supports gay “marriage.”
  • Hakeem Jeffries  (MPP ‘94), running for Congress from New York’s eighth district,reportedly is a supporter of same-sex “marriage.”
  • Ann Mclane Kuster  (LAW ‘84), running for Congress from New Hampshire’s second district, has the support of Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List as an abortion-rights supporter. She also reportedly supports gay “marriage.”
  • Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont received his J.D. from Georgetown in 1964. He had a 100 percent pro-abortion rights voting record from NARAL in 2011. Leahy, after signing the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, reportedly flipped to a pro-gay “marriage” position in 2009.
  • Katherine Savers McGovern  (LAW ‘69), running for Congress from Texas’ 32nd district, is pro-abortion rights and has criticized her pro-life opponent for letting the “government decide a woman’s healthcare decisions regarding reproduction and other female health concerns.”
  • Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who received her B.A. from Georgetown University in 1980, is “pro-choice” and says on her website that she “believes that abortion is a very personal issue that must be left to a woman and her physician, and not to elected officials.” She reportedly said in one interview, “As a life-long Roman Catholic, I am personally opposed to the practice of abortion. As an elected official however, I am required by the Constitution and my oath of office to uphold the law of the land.”
  • Congressman Chris Van Hollen Jr., who received his J.D. from Georgetown in 1990,voted against banning partial birth abortion, against banning human cloning, and against making it a crime to harm the unborn in commission of a crime. He also voted against constitutionally defining marriage as one man-one woman. He also applaudedMaryland’s legalization of gay “marriage” as “a critical leap forward in the fight to ensure that all Americans have the equal rights they deserve.”
  • Congressman Peter J. Visclosky, who received an L.L.M. from Georgetown in 1982,voted against forbidding human cloning, against making it a criminal offense to harm or kill an unborn child during the commission of a violent crime, and voted to fund embryonic stem cell research. He also voted against a constitutional amendment to affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman.
  • Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who received his J.D. from Georgetown in 1975, did not seek reelection in 2012 and will be retiring from the Senate. He reportedly said in an interview with The Catholic Herald concerning the Freedom of Choice Act, “I’ve struggled with this issue (abortion) all my life” but added vaguely that there are “extreme situations.” But he reportedly supports Roe v. Wade, and his voting record reveals that he voted against restricting UN funding for population control policies, voted against prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion, and voted to expand research to more embryonic stem cell lines. He also is described as opposing a constitutional ban on gay “marriage.”

Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.

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