UPDATE, 2/27/20: TFP Student Action reports that Cecile Richards is again listed on the Women of the World Festival Baltimore’s website as a featured speaker. Again, this event is being sponsored by a Catholic institution, Notre Dame of Maryland. See screenshot below:
2/23/20: Last week, Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins notified supporters by email that Notre Dame of Maryland University, a Catholic school, was set to host former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards at a women’s event on March 7th, 2020. “Women of the World Festival Baltimore” says on its website that its goal is to “unite and explore a variety of issues that affect women across cultural and social boundaries.” The Baltimore event is “part of a larger global movement that celebrates women and girls as a force for positive change” which began in 2010 to mark the 100 year anniversary of International Women’s Day. Hawkins encouraged supporters to contact the Catholic university to urge organizers to rescind their speaking invitation to Ms. Richards, a well-known abortion proponent.
Interestingly, as of February 22nd, the featured speaker page for the event does not list Cecile Richards, though her name is still listed in the event descriptions on the Baltimore Sun’s website and the Baltimore.org website (see below):
What’s more, the first result of a Google search for “WOW baltimore cecile richards” pulls up a link from the festival website with the title, “Speaker: Cecile Richards- WOW Festival Baltimore.” The page preview description reads: “CECILE RICHARDS. Co-founder of Supermajority and author of NY Times best-seller Make Trouble. Cecile Richards is a national leader for women’s rights and …” but when clicked, the link goes to an error message reading “Oops! That page can’t be found.”
The second search result is from the same website and is titled “News- WOW Festival Baltimore,” with a page preview description that reads, “Cecile Richards, a national leader for women’s rights, and social and economic justice, is the author of New York Times bestseller Make Trouble. Much of her….” When clicked, the link brings up several news announcements on the event website, but all mention of Richards appears to have been scrubbed.
Did the Catholic university rescind its invitation to the controversial speaker? Or did they simply remove her name from marketing materials due to backlash from Catholics and other pro-life supporters encouraging the university to uphold its faith identity?
Richards, who presided over Planned Parenthood’s major shift toward becoming the nation’s most profitable abortion provider, stepped down in 2018 after 12 years at the helm, just three years after the Center for Medical Progress exposed the abortion giant’s role in the trafficking and harvesting of the body parts of aborted children.
During Richards’ tenure, breast exams, Pap smears, birth control services, prenatal care, and adoption referrals all plummeted. Abortion services and government funding both increased significantly during that same time period, even as Planned Parenthood served fewer women overall at fewer locations across the country.
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