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    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Guilt and shame are two of the most difficult things


    "Guilt and shame are two of the most difficult things to deal with after an abortion," the woman said. "I don't know if they have talked with any woman who has had an abortion - about what they actually need and if the statue will provide solace."

    The statue portrays Mary kneeling and huddled in a fetal position, cradling baby Jesus. It measures 3 feet high, more than 3 feet wide and nearly 2 feet deep.

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    A SCULPTURE OF the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, proposed as a "memorial for the victims of abortion" at Villanova University, has upset some students, including some who oppose abortion.

    Villanovans for Life, which spearheaded the monument effort, says the statue "will memorialize those who have died as a result of legalized abortion and all those who suffer physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually due to abortion," according to the group's Web site.

    Pro-life freshman Clint Gilliam agrees with the concept of the statue, but thinks its high-profile placement is a bad idea.

    "It's just a little in your face," he said. "It sort of makes people who don't believe in those things uncomfortable."

    "I feel that putting up a statue like that completely counters the diversity we're trying to advocate or uphold," said Costello, 19, who thinks the memorial could alienate non-Catholics.

    University spokeswoman Barbara K. Clement said that while Villanova does seek racial and economic diversity, it is a Roman Catholic, Augustinian university.

    "The statue would be within the precepts of faith," Clement said.

    The anti-abortion monument might be the first on the East Coast.

    At least two schools in the Midwest have such memorials, the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.

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