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Full President Reagan speech www.youtube.com President Barack Obama confronted the issue of abortion head on Sunday at Notre Dame, acknowledging that differences over the issue are largely irreconcilable but issuing a plea to those on both sides to tone down harsh rhetoric and search for common ground he believes is possible. I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away, Obama said. No matter how much we may want to fudge it indeed, while we know that the views of most Americans on the subject are complex and even contradictory the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable, he told graduates. 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. He called for a respectful debate marked by open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words. Obamas commencement address marked his most direct remarks on abortion as president and he delivered them at the nations flagship Catholic university, where his appearance sparked protests. But while he often drew on his personal experiences to make his points and highlight his respect for Catholicism, Obama never substantively addressed why he believes a woman has the right to abortion.