Politics Daily contributor Elizabeth Lev fired a smart defense this morning of Mary Ann Glendon's refusal to accept Notre Dame's Laetare Medal and to speak alongside President Obama at the school's May 17 commencement ceremony. Glendon sent a letter Monday saying she could not accept the medal because of Notre Dame's decision to give an honorary degree to someone whose pro-choice policies sharply contradict Catholic teaching. Lev, based in Rome, summarizes Glendon's consistent life ethic nicely:

Professor Glendon was to have been honored for not only for her scholarship, but for her second career, her pro-bono work - ranging from the civil rights movement of the 1960s to the great civil rights issues of the present day - namely, the defense of human life from conception to natural death. Her concerns range from the aging and dying population to the unborn to the well-being and dignity of every life, regardless of race, religion, or economic status. Her outstanding work in this field has earned her the respect of the most brilliant minds of the international community, regardless of whether they agree with her position. So again, to see her merely as "strongly anti-abortion" instead of as a tireless defender of the dignity of life, is to reveal not only a lack of understanding of the subject's work, but also the writer's real interest in this question.

The person labeling Glendon "strongly anti-abortion" was Lev's Politics Daily colleague Kaitlynn Riely, whose Monday column criticized Glendon for not being more diplomatic and "engaging someone of an opposing view … [Glendon's] diplomatic style seems to be less suited for U.S.-Vatican relations and more for U.S.-Cuba relations," Riely quipped.

Lev helpfully explains why ...

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