Catholic University Drops Judge As Speaker Over Pro-Life Backlash


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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Newman University canceled a planned talk by a pro-abortion Kansas judge Friday, after pro-life activists launched an opposition campaign to the invite deemed “unsettling” by school officials.

Kansas Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier was scheduled to speak at the school’s Constitution Day program about topics such as how to get into law school and what role judges play in the judicial system, reports The Wichita Eagle. Pro-life activists were understandably incensed at the prospect of a pro-abortion judge speaking on the campus of a Catholic university, since the Catholic church is pro-life.

Although school officials cited no threats of violence, Newman Vice President and Provost Kimberly Long canceled the invitation to speak on the grounds of an “unsettling” social media campaign by pro-lifers and a tone she described as ominous. Long declined to provide any examples of these ominous messages she received to either the Wichita Eagle or the Associated Press, and said all of them came from people unaffiliated with the university.

The only example of any protest cited in either report is this completely rational Facebook post from a Newman student, who urged people to call Long’s office and let her know they oppose the invite.

“Absolutely disgusted that my alma mater, Newman University, is hosting pro-abortion Kansas Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier to speak this Friday on campus for Constitution Day,” the student wrote in the post cited by The Wichita Eagle.

Nevertheless, Long took up the common pro-abortion talking point that pro-life activists are extreme and pose a physical threat, and released a statement saying she is “worried” about the physical safety of her students and the way the judge might have been treated.

“I hope that our civic discourse here would be respectful to all persons in the future,” Long said in the statement reported by The Wichita Eagle. “I felt the behaviors in some of the messages to me were not respectful.”

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