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Pro-abortion speaker cancels appearance amid concerns about protest

.- U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-New Hartford) withdrew as the commencement speaker at this Saturday's St. Elizabeth College of Nursing ceremony because he learned that pro-life advocates had planned protests over his pro-abortion stance, reported the Utica Oberver-Dispatch. In 2003, he voted in favor of banning partial-birth abortion, saying he was comfortable with the bill's provision to protect the life of the mother.

The hospital's chief operating officer, Matthew Babcock, would step in as the commencement speaker.

The protest was planned by Dorothy Roback, chairwoman of Oneida County Right to Life. When she heard Boehlert was going to speak, she called her organization's 200 members as well as the Diocese of Syracuse.

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