- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., will speak at the nation’s oldest Catholic institution in April.

Ms. Richards was extended an invitation to speak at Georgetown University by the Lecture Fund, a nonpartisan, student-run organization that seeks to promote dialogue on the Washington, D.C., campus.

The Catholic Church has long been opposed to abortion and considers it a grave evil equivalent to murder. Since taking over as president of Planned Parenthood in 2006, Ms. Richards has overseen more than 2.8 million abortions, according to LifeSite, a pro-life media outlet.

Critics of the event say Georgetown is extending a platform to a set of beliefs diametrically opposed to church teaching.

“This is the latest in a long history of scandal at Georgetown University,” Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, said in a statement. “Disguised as an academic event, this is nothing more than a platform for abortion advocacy at a Catholic university and under the nose of the Catholic bishops, featuring a wicked woman who defends the sale of baby body parts and is responsible for the deaths of millions of aborted children.”

Georgetown defended the invitation on the grounds of academic freedom.

“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,” the university said in a statement.

“Georgetown remains firmly committed to the sanctity and human dignity of every life at every stage,” the school said.

Previous speakers hosted by the Lecture Fund include Ann Coulter, a conservative commentator; Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter to President Obama; and Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal.

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