NEW YORK, NY, October 2, 2008 (CNSweb) – Less than two weeks after The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) broke the story that pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is the intended recipient of the Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize, Fordham University students are working feverishly to collect signatures petitioning President Rev. Joseph McShane, S.J. to rescind the honor. The Fordham Respect for Life club penned an open letter to Father McShane, and is now asking the general public to join them in their petition.

At the request of Respect for Life, an electronic petition ( has been added to The Cardinal Newman Society website. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to add their support. All names and emails submitted will be presented to Fordham President, Rev. Joseph McShane, S.J. by Respect for Life.

A month from today, on October 29, The Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize is scheduled to be bestowed upon Justice Breyer at a dinner in New York City.

Justice Breyer infamously wrote the majority opinion in 2000 for Stenberg v. Carhart, which struck down state laws banning the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. The Cardinal Newman Society wrote to Father McShane five weeks ago informing him of Justice Breyer’s record. No response was given. Since then many have expressed outrage at Fordham’s silence.

Patrick J. Reilly, President of the Cardinal Newman Society, highlighted the deep contradiction implicit in Fordham’s offer of the award to Justice Breyer. Reilly cited the U.S. Bishops’ consistent opposition to pro-abortion public figures being given awards and platforms.

“If Fordham truly aspires to follow its own mission statement and be ‘Guided by its Catholic and Jesuit traditions,’ then it must rescind the offer of this award to Justice Breyer,” said Reilly.

Student leaders from Fordham’s Respect for Life club attempted several times to meet with University administrators, but their requests were met with more silence. The students needed official permission to set up tables to collect signatures for their petition. Without this green light their options have been limited.

Fordham Respect for Life and CNS are therefore appealing to everyone who shares the conviction that Fordham University must rescind the offer of the Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize to Justice Breyer to add their names to the electronic petition (