A majority of members of Congress who were educated at Catholic colleges and law schools are pro-abortion. That’s the finding of a new report from The Cardinal Newman Society.
In all, 52 of 92 (56 percent) elected officials in the last Congress and current Congress that attended Catholic colleges, according to their congressional websites, have voted for pro-abortion rights and/or related funding.
In the 112th session of the House of Representatives there were 65 congressmen and women who attended Catholic colleges or law schools. Out of those, 35 support abortion rights. Out of the 12 Catholic-educated congressmen in the incoming freshman class for the 113th session of the House, six of them are pro-abortion rights. In the Senate, 11 of the 15 Senators who earned degrees from Catholic institutions have previously voted for abortion rights or related bills.
Nearly every Congressman and Senator in the report has a zero percent rating by the National Right to Life Committee and a 100 percent rating by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).
The following is the list of elected officials who were educated at Catholic institutions and have voted in favor of abortion rights:
Lynn Woolsey (CA-6) - She was not only educated at the University of San Francisco but later became a teacher at the College of Marin and the Dominican University of California. Rep. Woolsey earned a 100 percent rating by NARAL in 2009. She reportedly voted against banning federal health coverage that includes abortion, voted to expand research to more embryonic stem cell lines, and even voted against making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime.
Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., in 1962. The president of NARAL referred to Pelosi as a “pro-choice champion.”
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) graduated from the University of Santa Clara School of Law in 1975. Ranked 100 percent by NARAL, Rep. Lofgren reportedly voted against the ban on partial-birth abortion.
Sam Farr (CA-20) graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and attended the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the University of Santa Clara. Rep. Farr voted against the ban on partial-birth abortion.
Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) earned a degree from Marymount College. She served as the first executive director of EMILY'S List, a pro-abortion rights PAC.
Mike Quigley (IL-5) earned a law degree from the Loyola University School of Law. He also served as an adjunct professor of political science at Loyola University Chicago lecturing on politics, the environment and local government. Quigley referred to a bill that would have limited abortion to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy in Washington, D.C., as “especially cruel.”
Pete Visclosky (IN-1) earned a Juris Doctoris from the University of Notre Dame Law School, and a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center. He also earned a 100 percent NARAL rating in 2011. He also, according to VoteSmart, voted against a bill that would have prohibited abortions based on the race or gender of the fetus and voted twice against the proposal to block Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds.
Steny Hoyer (MD-5) earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., in 1966. NARAL endorsed Rep. Hoyer in its 2012 Election Guide.
Chris Van Hollen (MD-8) is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. On the House floor, VanHollen said, “A woman’s right to choose her own healthcare is a fundamental one, and the Congress should not tell women how to manage their health or reproductive care.”
Ed Markey (MA-5) attended Boston College (B.A., 1968) and Boston College Law School (J.D., 1972). He reportedly voted against the partial-birth abortion ban.
Mike Capuano (MA-7) received a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College in 1973, and a law degree from Boston College Law School in 1977. He was endorsed in the NARAL Pro-Choice Voter Guide.
Stephen Lynch (MA-8) graduated from Boston College Law School in 1991. While Lynch states that he’s pro-life, he voted against banning federal health coverage that includes abortion, he voted for expanding embryonic stem cell research,and according to the National Right to Life Committee, Lynch voted against the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 3803) that would have restricted abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy in Washington, D.C. He received a 55 percent rating on a National Right to Life scorecard, according to On the Issues.
Bill Keating (MA-9) attended Boston College where he received his B.A. and Masters in Business Administration. Rep. Keating earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice and earned the pro-abortion rights group’s endorsement in 2012.
Gary Peters (MI-14) earned an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Detroit Mercy. Rep. Peters earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice and was endorsed by the abortion advocacy group in 2012.
Hansen Clarke (MI-13) earned his law degree from Georgetown Law School. Rep. Clarke earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice.
John Dingell (MI-12) finished his military service in the fall of 1946 to attend Georgetown University where he studied chemistry. He continued his studies at Georgetown Law School, graduating in 1952. Rep. Dingell earned a 100-percentscore in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice. Dingell was quoted saying, “I have voted to protect a woman's right to choose under Roe v. Wade and will continue to fight to uphold this constitutionally protected right.”
Betty McCollum (MN-4) is a graduate of the College of St. Catherine. Rep. McCollum earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice.
Shelley Berkley (NV-1) obtained a law degree in 1976 from the University of San Diego School of Law. According to Nevada News and Views, Berkley does not support any limitations on abortion such as parental notification and consent, conscience protections, bans on brutal partial-birth abortions, government funding bans, laws making the unborn a second victim in an attack on the mother, and laws to keep abortion out of the military.
Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ-9) earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y. Rep. Pascrell has reportedly received 100 percent ratings from NARAL Pro-Choice America since 2006.
Albio Sires (NJ-8) received a four-year basketball scholarship from St. Peter’s College. Rep. Sires earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice.
Tim Bishop (NY-1) holds a BA in History from Holy Cross College in Worcester. Rep. Bishop earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice.
Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) is a graduate of Columbia University and Fordham Law School. Rep. Nadler earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice.
Charlie Rangel (NY-13) graduated from St. John's University Law School. Rep. Rangel earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice.
Bill Owens (NY-21) is a 1974 graduate of Fordham University School of Law. Rep.Owens earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice. He reportedly voted against the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act which would ban aborting children based on their sex.
Kathy Hochul (NY-26) graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelors degree in Political Science and earned a law degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Rep. Hochul in her special election. Hochul reportedly vowed, “I will fight alongside NARAL Pro-Choice New York to ensure women have access to safe and adequate health services,without any interference from the federal government.”
David Cicilline (RI-1) earned a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. Rep. Cicilline earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice.
Charles Gonzalez (TX-20) received a Juris Doctorate degree from St. Mary's School of Law in San Antonio. Rep. Gonzalez received a 100-percent score from NARAL in 2009.
Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) studied nursing at St. Mary's College in South Bend, Ind. Rep. Johnson earned a 100 percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice. She also voted against the ban on partial-birth abortion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Peter Welch (VT) graduated magna cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross in 1969. Rep.Welch earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice. He voted against banning sex-selective abortions.
Bobby Scott (VA-3) is a graduate of Boston College Law School. Rep. Scott earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice.
Jim Moran (VA-8) attended the College of the Holy Cross and was awarded a B.A.in economics in1967. Rep. Moran earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice. Jim Moran wrote just last year on the ProChoice Virginia website, “I will continue to strongly advocate for abortion rights for women. This is an issue of great personal conscience that should be free of government interference. The Supreme Court has proclaimed its legality; the rest should be left to a woman, her family and her physician.”
Gerry Connolly (VA-11) received a B.A. in Literature from Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Rep. Connolly earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Choice. NARAL President Nancy Keenan said in 2008 of Connolly, "Voters want leaders like Gerry Connolly who will defend women's reproductive freedom.”
Adam Smith (WA-9) graduated from Fordham University in 1987 with a degree in Political Science. Rep. Smith earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice and won Planned Parenthood’s endorsement in 2012.
Gwen Moore (WI-4) earned a B.A. in Political Science from Marquette University. Rep. Moore earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice. Planned Parenthood endorsed Gwen Moore in the 2010 general election.
The incoming freshman in the 113th session of Congress:
Jared Huffman (CA-2) graduated cum laude from Boston College Law School in 1990.As a state representative, Huffman earned a 100-percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice California in 2009. According to his campaign website, “Jared is firmly pro-choice and has a long track record of fighting for women’s rights.”
Juan Vargas (CA-51) graduated magna cum laude with a BA from the University of San Diego and earned an MA in Humanities from Fordham University in New York.After college, Vargas, according to his website, joined the Jesuit Novitiate (introduction) in Santa Barbara. After leaving the Jesuits, he decided on law school and graduated in 1991 with a JD from Harvard Law School, making him a classmate of President Barack Obama. As a state senator, Vargas earned a 100-percent score from NARAL Pro-Choice California from 2003 to 2006.
Lois Frankel (Fl-22) earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1973. NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Frankel. Frankel also touted the endorsement of Planned Parenthood on her own campaign website.
John Delaney (MD-6) is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School. NARAL described Delaney as “pro-choice” on their website. According to OntheIssues.com, Delaney voted for public funding of abortion.
Ann Mclane Kuster (NH-2) graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1984. She was endorsed by EMILY's List in 2012. Kuster, according to a New Hampshire local news outlet, “strongly supports a woman's right to choose. She has been endorsed over her opponents in this campaign by every major pro-choice organization.”
Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) Jeffries holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University. NARAL describes him as “pro-choice.”
Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski graduated from Georgetown University. Sen.Murkowski has what some call a mixed record on abortion but she clearly voted for an amendment that stated, "It is the sense of the Senate that the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and such decision should not be overturned." Murkowski also voted against cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood. She has,however, voted to ban partial-birth abortion.
Hawaiian Senator Mazie Hirono attended Georgetown University Law Center. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and obtained her J.D. in 1978. As a congresswoman, Hirono earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice. She was also endorsed by NARAL in her Senate bid. Defending sex-selective abortions, Hirono reportedly said, "How can we criminalize a decision that should be up to the woman and her doctor?”
Illinois Senator Richard Durbin earned a B.S. from the School of Foreign Serviceat Georgetown University in 1966 and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1969. When Durbin was first elected he vowed to support reversing Roe v. Wade, according to the NRLC. But in recent years, Durbin has become increasingly pro-abortion rights and in fact, he sought to disqualify Justice John Roberts from the Supreme Court unless Roberts agreed with Roe v. Wade. In 2008, Durbin was even endorsed by NARAL. Here’s his quote in full:
“Two personal references to me -- one related to the fact that I had earlier been in a pro-life position in my political life, and it is true. I've stood for election more than 12 times in the House and Senate, general and primary,stating my position as pro-choice. So the voters of Illinois know that. I had asked Judge Alito whether his position had changed from 1985. I don't consider that to be a shortcoming, if you would concede it changed. Although, at this point, you have not made that concession. Abraham Lincoln was once accused of changing his position on an issue, and he said, "I'd rather be right some of the time than wrong all the time." And so I don't think changing your mind is necessarily a condemnation. The second point I'd like to make specifically is my reference to settled law. Roe v. Wade is settled law.”
Illinois Senator Mark Kirk graduated from Georgetown University Law Center. “I strongly support a woman’s right to choose, and also support family planning programs, so that a woman never has to make that difficult choice,” said Kirk,according to OnTheIssues.com.
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin graduated The Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law. He received a 100 percent rating from NARAL in 2011. He publicly supports the HHS contraceptive mandate and reportedly compared it to Quakers having to pay taxes to cover the expenses of war.
Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Mount Saint Agnes College (now a part of Loyola University Maryland) in 1958. She also worked as a social worker for Catholic charities. In 2011, Mikulski received a 100 percent rating from NARAL. Last year, Mikulski vowed to “punchback” efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.
Former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry received a J.D. from Boston College Law School. Carol Tobias, the then National Right to Life political director,described Kerry’s career in the Senate as an “unrelenting anti-life record.”
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez earned a B.A. in political science from Saint Peter's College in Jersey City. NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Sen. Menendez in his last race. In a press release on their website, he said. “I will not let down the women of New Jersey and the United States in the fight to protect women's reproductive rights and freedoms. I am grateful to be recognized by NARAL Pro-Choice America for my pro-choice efforts, and will continue to work to protect these very basic rights."
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1982,and received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in 1988. Between both college and law school, Casey served as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and spent a year teaching 5th grade and coaching basketball at the Gesu School in inner city Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Casey’s record on abortion, according to the Pro-Life Union of Southeastern Pennsylvania, is “a mixed record.” The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List even ran radio ads against Casey. Casey earned a 100-percent score in NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2011 Congressional Record on Choice with one of the key votes being against legislation to block Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds. In that same year, the NRLC gave Casey a 25 percent rating. The NRLC called Casey’s legislative amendment concerning abortion in the Obamacare bill as “political camouflage.”
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy graduated from Saint Michael's College in 1961 and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1964. He received a 100 percent rating from NARAL in 2011. Leahy reportedly voted against parental notification bills and voted against making it a criminal penalty for harming an unborn fetus during other crime.
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