President Obama gave the Notre Dame Commencement Speech on Sunday, March 17, 2009. His speech tackled the abortion debate by calling for civility in debate. Referring specifically to the divisiveness that has come from both sides, he said,
Each side will continue to make its case to the public with passion and conviction, but surely we can do so without reducing those with differing views to caricature.
Later in the speech he asked,
As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?
The speech ran about 30 minutes. It is worth the investment to watch.