Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio banned Students for Life leaders from an on-campus event that was described as open to the public.
On Sunday, October 14th, PPAO hosted an event at the publicly-funded Ohio State University called “Stand Up, Speak Out” training, billed as training women for advocacy and running for office, featuring abortion queen Cecile Richards as one of the keynote speakers. Reading the event description one would think this was just about women who wanted to learn about how to run for office. Nay.
Furthermore, Planned Parenthood harassed Megan Ryser, OSU Students for Life president, who wanted to attend the event to ask Cecile questions and hear from another speaker.
Here’s how Ryser described what happened:
“I registered for the event on the morning of the event, about 4 hours before the event was slated to begin. When I showed up I did not have my ID because I gave it and my keys to my Vice President to put some stuff in our storage locker. I went to the registration desk and I stated my name and that I registered this morning. The women there said because it was the morning of, it wasn’t a huge deal and they asked me to step to the “un-registered” table. The girl there asked for my name and ID. I said I didn’t have it but would happily go and get it if she needed it. She said it was okay and the ID thing was just a formality. Another woman walked by and asked how I found out about the event. I said I saw Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio’s Facebook event the night before and really wanted to go. I also said I was a student. They made me a name tag, gave me a schedule and let me into the event.”
All is good right? Megan is approved to go in and there’s no way they’d kick her out, right?
“I took a seat at a table and was just making casual conversation with the other people there. About 15 minutes in a woman in all black (presumably the head of the event) came over and asked if I presented my ID. I said the girl at the table said it was okay that I didn’t have it, but I would be happy to go and get it if they needed it. She asked me to get my ID. I grabbed my stuff, found Dusty, and got my ID. I went back to the registration table and I handed them my ID. The woman who asked me to leave took my ID and read my name. She then asked how long I had been President of the school’s pro-life Club, I said for a about a year. At that point I was somewhat surprised since I didn’t recognize any of the people there and believed they had no way of knowing such a personal detail about me. She asked why I wanted to go to this event. I stated that I was interested in Cecil Richards’ talk, but also their other keynote speaker who runs a trafficked women’s shelter in Columbus. At that point she asked if I had registered for the event and I said yes, I had that morning. She then said I would not be allowed to enter the event because I was a “safety concern.’”
After a back and forth where Ryser points out she wants to learn about running for office, Planned Parenthood admitted the real issue.
“Finally the woman asked, “how would you pro-life people feel if Cecile Richards came and sat in one of your events?” and I said ‘honestly, I feel like we would love it. Most of the pro-life people I know would feel like it was a huge win if Cecile wanted to come to an event.’ At that point she scoffed and asked me to leave. I asked if she was going to call security. She said she would gladly do it I walked away and came back with another SFLA leader.”
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“Later, another Students for Life leader also tried to get into the event. She went to the table, said she had also registered the morning of, before work, and that she felt that seeing Cecile Richards talk was a once in a lifetime event. The person working registration said they weren’t letting day of people in, but that the student seemed really genuine and she would check with her supervisor. The same women who kicked me out told her that some people who “were not in the spirit of our event” (her exact words) and because of that they would not be letting her in. The woman apologized profusely and said if other people hadn’t ruined things, they would have gladly let her in.”
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America said in response, “Planned Parenthood is right to be afraid of the Pro-Life Generation asking the tough questions about Planned Parenthood’s corruption and the waste of taxpayer dollars that the mainstream media will never ask. I’m proud that all my speaking events are open to the public, and in the past several years I’ve taken numerous questions from pro-choice students at my speaking events. Maybe Cecile knows that she’ll be confronted with tough questions about Planned Parenthood’s misdeeds that she’s been largely able to duck thanks to a sympathetic pro-choice media that doesn’t want to ask too many questions.”
A similar situation happened in February at Penn State University, when several members of Penn State Students for Life were prohibited from entering an event with Cecile Richards that was also advertised as open to the public.
Multiple attempts to receive a response from Ohio State University were unsuccessful. Students for Life spoke with a spokesperson on Thursday, October 18th and provided more information on the original e-mailed media request, but as of Monday, the spokesperson had not gotten back with more information.