Catholic Georgetown University Defends Inviting Planned Parenthood President to Speak in April

Georgetown University
Georgetown University

The Cardinal Newman Society broke the news yesterday that the Lecture Fund at Georgetown University invited Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) President Cecile Richards to campus this April. The University defended its decision to allow Richards to speak on campus in a statement released today citing Georgetown’s commitment to “the free exchange of ideas.”

“As the nation’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university, Georgetown University is proud to be a university that deeply values our faith tradition and that encourages the free exchange of ideas,” according to the statement. “We respect our students’ right to express their personal views and are committed to sustaining a forum for the free exchange of ideas, even when those ideas may be difficult, controversial or objectionable to some.”

“They said the same thing when Larry Flynt and Barack Obama spoke at Georgetown,” Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly told CNSNews.com in response to Georgetown’s statement. “Besides a clear bias in the choice of speakers, there’s no sense of moral truth, which is the central point of a Catholic university. Either you accept Catholic moral teaching as true or you do not. In the case of Georgetown, they simply do not.

“In bringing in someone with such a horrendous record of not only advocating ideas that would be contrary to Catholic teaching, but is herself responsible for the deaths of more than two million babies under her watch, Georgetown demonstrates that it does not understand the nature of a Catholic university,” Reilly added.

As the Newman Society reported yesterday, PPFA’s records of “abortion services” disclosed in annual reports show that Richards has overseen the deaths of over 2.8 million babies since taking charge of the organization in 2006. The number of reported abortions increased steadily from 2006-2011 before waning in recent years.

“Ms. Richards is not being paid to speak,” Georgetown’s statement continued. “Student groups may invite any outside speakers and guests to campus. An appearance of any speaker or guest on campus is not an endorsement by the university.”

The University added: “We work very hard to ensure that [Catholic and Jesuit] values maintain a privileged place in our community while at the same time providing a forum that does not limit speech either in the content of the view being expressed or the speaker expressing the view.”

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SOURCE: Adam Cassandra 
The Cardinal Newman Society