US President Barack Obama was booed when he called for an open mind on abortion. The incident happened at a Catholic University Sunday.
Invited to the university in Indiana to accept an honorary degree - despite his support for abortion rights - Mr Obama called for more action to reduce unintended pregnancies.
AdvertisementAs the President began to speak at the University of Notre Dame's graduation ceremony, a handful of protestors interrupted shouting "stop killing babies", yelling "abortion is murder."
He sought to ignore the hecklers and started saying, "I also want to congratulate the class of 2009 for all your accomplishments and since this is Notre Dame... I mean..."
But he was again interrupted, with full-throated slogans booing and chanting. A protestor cried, "Abortion is rape. Abortion is rape. Eventually the protestors were ejected by police.
The President said, "Maybe we won't agree on abortion but we can still agree that this heart wrenching decision for anyone is not made casually.
"I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away because no matter how much we may want to fudge it, 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..."
Nearly 40 people were arrested on trespassing charges at Notre Dame.
The youthful US president will certainly have a tough time winning over his countrymen and women. An opinion poll released last week showed that for the first time, a majority of Americans call themselves "pro-life," Kim Landers reported for ABC News.
Some students boycotted today's ceremony, others put stickers on their mortar boards showing a cross and babies feet.
Barack Obama won the Catholic vote at the presidential election. But apparently on matters like abortion, they are not going to leave him in peace.
See what Reverend Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, has to say.
"Just today there will be 37 babies at 21 weeks of gestation or more, the size of a large banana, dismembered, crushed, thrown in the garbage and the President is not raising his voice recognising their right to be protected. That's the problem," the Reverend screamed.