President Obama Notre Dame Commencement Speech (Video)

Here is the video of President Barack Obama delivering the commencement address at Notre Dame Univeristy on May 17, 2009. See the video, transcript and photos here of the President’s speech to the 2,900 members of the graduating class of 2009. Additionally, Obama received an honorary degree from the university, which is located in South Bend, Indiana.

Watch the full video below.

For the last several weeks, the President’s appearance at the Catholic university has sparked debate and protest due to his pro-choice stance. His commencement speech was interrupted at times by protesters. He confronted the issue directly in his speech:

“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.

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.”

Understand – I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away. No matter how much we may want to fudge it – indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory – the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable. Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction. But surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.”

When being heckled during the speech, the President departed from prepared remarks and said, “We are not going to shy away from things that are uncomfortable sometimes.”

Here are several photos from the May 17, 2009 Obama Notre Dame Speech: Obama Makes Contentious Appearance At Notre Dame Graduation Ceremony

See also:

Photo credit: White House

For more coverage of the Obama Notre Dame Speech see:

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Obama Notre Dame Speech (Video 5-17-09

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