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AMU Asserts Pro-Life Views of Tom Golisano

Ave Maria University says that the Cardinal Newman Society is mistaken, "despite their noble motives," about the views on abortion held by Tom Golisano, who has donated $4 million for an athletic facility on the AMU campus.

A statement issued Wednesday by the university (reproduced below in full) quotes Mr. Golisano as saying, "I am pro-life.  I have never been pro-choice, although the NY media has misrepresented me as pro-choice."

The university was responding to a statement issued Tuesday by the Cardinal Newman Society, which publishes The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. The society said that it was "of concern" to name a building after Mr. Golisano because of questions about his position on abortion.

AMU says in its statement that Mr. Golisano "cannot fairly be said to be 'publicly pro-choice.'  He is publicly pro-life, and maintains that he has always been pro-life."

Click here for previous Ave Herald story
Click here for the statement by the Cardinal Newman Society

Following is the text of the university's statement that was provided to The Ave Herald:

Statement to Cardinal Newman Society

We appreciate the splendid efforts of the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) to foster Catholic identity amongst Catholic colleges and universities. It is therefore appropriate that the CNS question our acceptance of a gift from Tom Golisano and the naming of the new field house after him. However, despite their noble motives the CNS is mistaken.

The foundation of the CNS concern over the Golisano gift is that Mr. Golisano is a "publicly pro-choice individual."  What is the evidence for this?  The principal evidence cited is an article in the N.Y. Times from 1994 that purports to quote Mr. Golisano as saying, "I am pro-choice."  As we have told the CNS, Mr. Golisano disputes this and says he was misquoted. We accept him at his word.

It is interesting that subsequent N.Y. Times articles note that Mr. Golisano is not pro-choice after all, e.g. a 2002 N.Y. Times article noted that Mr. Golisano sent out fliers in a political campaign noting that he was the candidate most opposed to abortion (N.Y. Times 11/20/02).

Significantly, when Mr. Golisano ran for governor of New York on his own Independence Party the platform did not contain a pro-choice plank.  So Mr. Golisano has never run as a pro-choice politician.

As we told the CNS, Mr. Golisano has personally assured both Chancellor Monaghan and President Healy that he is pro-life, and authorized us to publicize this. Just last week the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Michael Timmis, had lunch with Mr. Golisano.  In the course of their discussion Mr. Golisano stated:

"I am pro-life.  I have never been pro-choice, although the NY media has misrepresented me as pro-choice."

He has authorized us to publish these comments verbatim.

In view of the foregoing we believe that Mr. Golisano cannot fairly be said to be "publicly pro-choice."  He is publicly pro-life, and maintains that he has always been pro-life.

Mr. Golisano has also shared with us that he has a mentally impaired son. He is a passionate advocate and philanthropist for those with mental disabilities, who are among the main victims of abortion. For this alone he deserves our honor and respect.

                                                                                    ~ Ave Maria University



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