UPDATED WITH PROTEST PLANS . . .
Abortion remained safe and legal during his presidency, but for George W. Bush's opposition to embryonic stem cell research, executive order barring federal funds from being used for abortion related projects abroad, appointment of two pro-life Supreme Court Justices, rule protecting federally funded health employees from taking part in abortion and, enacting--in one of his last acts--National Sanctity of Human Life Day, he's getting an award at a hush-hush Catholic summit at the St. Regis in Dana Point
in February on Thursday.
Florida-based Legatus, a group for Catholic business and civic leaders, will honor Dubya
some time during on the first day of their annual meeting that runs from Feb. 4-6, according to the Orange County Register's Vik Jolly, who reports online registrations are $1,475 per person and the event is open only to members and guests.
UPDATE: And there will be a public protest. Members of the Orange County Peace Coalition, ANSWER Coalition, Progressive Democrats of America and other peace activists will line the intersection of
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"Some protesters will wear black and white prison stripes; others will be draped in orange scarves representing sympathy for the thousands of detainees who were tortured during the presidential term of G.W. Bush," states an announcement from the groups, who will also conduct a noon press conference near the St. Regis fountain featuring 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Michael Haas.
"Over one million Iraqi people have been killed, mostly women and children. Bush is responsible for over 5 million new orphans, and we just found out that Bush is receiving a pro-life award? This is outrageous!" said organizer Sharon Tipton.
The Catholic News Agency reported the event marks the first time Bush has addressed Legatus--which is Latin for "ambassador"--since leaving office. He previously appeared at the group's first-ever pro-life conference in Washington, D.C, in early 2001, shortly after being sworn in as the nation's 43rd president.
Also scheduled to speak over the three days in Dana Point are: Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago; the Rev. Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York; actress Patricia Heaton; former speaker of the House and adulterer Newt Gingrich; and U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donahue.