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Ave Maria Donor Golisano is Pro-Life

December 12th, 2009
Cardinal Newman Society (www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/)

'I am pro-life now and have always been pro-life. I believe a woman’s ‘right to choose’ ends when sexual activity results in pregnancy.Hence, I do not believe that a woman should have a right to an abortion.'

MANASSAS, Va. (Cardinal Newman Society) – After weeks of speculation surrounding the position of Ave Maria University benefactor Thomas Golisano on the issue of abortion, the University has released a letter from Golisano explicitly declaring his pro-life position.

In the letter dated December 3, 2009, and written to the attention of Thomas Monaghan, chancellor of Ave Maria University, Golisano states: “I am pro-life now and have always been pro-life. I believe a woman’s ‘right to choose’ ends when sexual activity results in pregnancy. From that moment, a woman has a fiduciary responsibility to the child in her womb. Hence, I do not believe that a woman should have a right to an abortion.”

Golisano also asserts in this letter that a New York Times article which quoted him as being “pro-choice” was in fact incorrect. Golisano writes: “The New York Times article of 1994 quoting me as being ‘pro-choice’ was a misinterpretation of my position. What I proclaimed as a candidate was that, if elected, I would be bound to enforce the laws of the State of New York, whether I agreed with them or not. Those laws obviously allow a woman to choose to have an abortion.”

The University plans to name a new campus athletic complex after Golisano, who recently made a $4 million gift to the south Florida campus. The Cardinal Newman Society had expressed concerns about the appearance of honoring a “pro-choice” public figure, because the only public records available at the time of the announcement indicated that Golisano held a pro-abortion-rights position as a former political candidate. Golisano later described himself as “pro-life” in private communications with the University, but had made no known public statement explaining past media reports and clearly opposing legal abortion.

Patrick J. Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, said in response to reading Golisano’s letter, “Having great hope for the future of Ave Maria University and sharing its commitment to faithful Catholic education, I am relieved and grateful that Mr. Golisano has publicly opposed legalized abortion. This is the best possible outcome of a situation that helps demonstrate the importance of Catholic institutions refusing honors for public opponents of fundamental Catholic teachings and avoiding even the appearance of compromising Catholic identity.”

In an email to Reilly, Ave Maria University President Nicholas Healy said, “We are very grateful that Mr. Golisano has put in writing what he had previously advised us verbally, and that The Cardinal Newman Society is making public his pro-life position. We commend the CNS both for their courage in holding Catholic colleges and universities to high standards, and for working with Ave Maria University to resolve this issue satisfactorily.”

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