Put aside the question of whether a distinctly Catholic institution like Notre Dame should award an honorary degree to a man who stands against any restrictions on abortion; put aside the notion of academic freedom, which liberals favor as an intellectual premise, but rarely practice when it comes to conservative speakers, whom you very rarely see standing at the lectern at commencement ceremonies anywhere in the United States this time of year.

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Obama's speech was a good beginning, but the ending is what counts and the initial actions of this president when it comes to abortion and stem cell research have not been pro-life.

Focus, instead, on President Obama's remarks and whether he is serious, or can be made so, about actually reducing the number of abortions in America, which, according to the National Right to Life Committee, has reached 50 million since its legalization in 1973. Don't put aside, however, the argument that there is only one reason to even want to reduce the number of abortions and that is that what is being killed, terminated, evacuated (choose your term) is, in fact, human life.

To read Mr. Thomas's complete column, click here.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribune.com.