Clinton's speech at St. Mary's University stirs debate over abortion

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY)

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's trip to San Antonio, Texas renewed an intense debate about the abortion issue.

The Democratic Senator held a rally at the Roman Catholic St. Mary's University after receiving an invitation from the school. San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez criticized the school for not consulting with him before offering the invitation. He stated that the candidate's pro-choice position on abortion contradicts the religion's rejection of the practice and added that her "positions against the teachings of the church and life issues" should deem her ineligible for a campaign visit. The University is privately owned and separate from the Catholic Church on decision-making authority. It stated in an official press release that the University does not endorse candidates and that it understood the ideological differences between Senator Clinton and the Catholic Church. Despite this, Archbishop Gomez believed the event involved him since it occurred in his archdiocese, and wondered why Senator Clinton decided to hold a rally at a Catholic University.

Clinton's main strength in past primaries and caucuses have been among Latino voters who have propelled her to victories in California, Nevada and Florida. Most Latinos are Roman Catholic, which might explain Clinton's visit to the University in conjunction with the upcoming March 4 Texas Primary.