Pro-life students at Georgetown University are planning events and demonstrations on campus in protest of the University’s scandalous hosting of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards next month, saying the event is in direct conflict with Georgetown’s Catholic and Jesuit identity, and is a “slap in the face” from the administration.
“Our school community is a thriving and enriching one — our Jesuit values animate our campus, inspiring us to care for the whole person and celebrate life and all its beauty. The ‘throw away culture,’ in the words of Pope Francis, that Ms. Richards endorses is neither consistent with our values nor our school character,” the student group Georgetown Right to Life said in a statement sent to The Cardinal Newman Society.
“Planned Parenthood is our nation’s largest abortion provider, performing [over 320,000] abortions in 2015 alone. This event featuring Planned Parenthood’s president, which would be unprecedented for a Catholic school of Georgetown’s stature, stands in direct contrast to our school’s mission and our Catholic and Jesuit identity,” the students continued.“This invite is a slap in the face to all that we stand for, and we hope Georgetown reconsiders.”
“This speaker’s complete lack of respect for the dignity of human life, as someone who proudly proclaims to ‘shout your abortion,’ is unbecoming of our university. We can and must do better,” the statement concluded.
During Planned Parenthood’s “shout your abortion” campaign referred to in the statement, the organization asked supporters to take to social media last fall and post positive messages about aborting their children. On Wednesday, Richards posted on Twitter that February 10 is “National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers,” and asked her supporters to, “Join me to say thank you,” to those who commit abortions.
“We plan to have a big presence on campus the day of her visit, assuming the event goes on, which we’re actively trying to stop,” Georgetown Right to Life President Michael Khan told the Newman Society.
The student group started a petition effort demanding that Georgetown rescind the invitation to Richards, and is drafting a separate letter to campus administrators about the scandal.
The Newman Society launched a petition on Wednesday: “Tell Georgetown: Say NO to Planned Parenthood President.” The petition calls on Georgetown to formally rescind the invitation to Richards, and restore its Catholic identity and fidelity, “which have been diminished and even scorned in recent decades.” Those concerned about the scandal can add their names to the petition at www.georgetownscandal.com.
The Newman Society broke the news on March 2 that Richards was invited to speak on campus by the student-run Lecture Fund at Georgetown. University administrators defended the invite, citing commitment to the “free exchange of ideas.” The event will not be open to the public. Only invited guests and media, and those with a Georgetown University identification card will be allowed to attend. And Richards is not being paid to speak, according to the University.
The exact date of Richards’ address has yet to be publicly announced, but Khan said that pro-life student son campus are planning to host a panel discussion the day before the event entitled “Life-Affirming Alternatives to Planned Parenthood” featuring at least one member of Congress along with pro-life health experts. Khan said Georgetown Right to Life is inviting a number pro-life advocates the University as well.
Students are also planning to place 3,300 flags on campus representing the total number of abortions committed in the U.S. each day.
The Newman Society has continued to point out in its coverage of this scandal that according to Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s records of “abortion services” disclosed in annual reports, Richards has overseen the deaths of over 2.8 million babies since taking charge of the organization in 2006.
EWTN News Nightly interviewed several students at Georgetown on Wednesday who defended having Richards speak on campus, taking the same “freedom of speech” stance that the administration took. But Newman Society President Patrick Reilly told EWTN News Nightly in the same segment that while there are certain freedoms that should be protected regarding speech on campus, “Cecile Richards would advocate the freedom to kill. This is somebody who should absolutely not be held up as a standard.”
“It’s a horrendous scandal,” he said.