Planned Parenthood President to Speak at Freedom From Religion Foundation Convention

Photo Credit: Laurie Shaull

Cecile Richards, who recently announced her resignation as president of Planned Parenthood, is scheduled to speak at this November’s Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) convention, and the atheist and agnostic group says that it plans to present her with an award for “moving society forward.”

The Wisconsin-based group made the announcement on Monday, advising that Richards has accepted their invitation to speak at FFRF’s 41st annual convention, scheduled for Nov. 2-4 in San Francisco.

“Richards will receive FFRF’s ‘Forward’ award, which recognizes work to move society forward,” it outlined.

“Under her leadership, the number of Planned Parenthood supporters swelled to 12 million, four times more than when she joined, and the organization expanded advocacy efforts to include fighting for access to health care,” the Church-State separation group said.

It also noted that Richards formerly worked as deputy chief of staff for now-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and that she was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2011 and 2012.

As previously reported, the late Anne Gaylor co-founded FFRF in 1976 as an offshoot of the abortion “rights” advocacy movement.

“[FFRF] grew out of the reproductive rights movement after the Gaylors saw legislative hearings packed with Catholic nuns, priests and schoolchildren and concluded religion was the root of women’s inequality,” the publication Isthmus once noted.

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Gaylor was the author of the book “Abortion Is A Blessing,” published in 1975, in which she argued in part that abortion was necessary so that women could achieve equality and work outside of the home. FFRF includes the text of the book on their website, which additionally asserts that Eve’s sin and Christ’s virgin birth are myths, and that the Bible has “damaged women.”

“Birth control and abortion are our greatest steps forward in social and moral progress since we freed the slaves,” she claimed. “A woman’s right to control her own reproductive life is a blessing, a blessing for her and a blessing for society. There is no reason to be bashful or apologetic about supporting women’s freedom to choose abortion; there is every reason to be ashamed of supporting a religion that opposes that freedom.”

In addition to her work with FFRF, Gaylor was an administrator with the Women’s Medical Fund (WMF), an organization designed to fund abortions, and also started a chapter of Zero Population Growth (ZPG). She additionally served on the board of the abortion advocacy group NARAL.

In 2011, Gaylor was the recipient of the Dr. George Tiller Memorial Award, named after the notorious abortionist who became known as “Tiller the Baby Killer.”

FFRF is now co-led by Gaylor’s daughter, Annie Laurie, and her husband Dan Barker, a former minister who turned away from Christianity in 1984 and became involved in atheist activism.

Similar to Gaylor’s abortion and anti-Christian activism, Richards founded the Texas Freedom Network (TFN) in 1995 as a way to combat what she termed as being the policies of the “religious right.” The group works with liberal mainstream “churches” to work against such policies.

“Based in Austin, TFN acts as the state’s watchdog for monitoring far-right issues, organizations, money and leaders. The organization has been instrumental in defeating initiatives backed by the religious right in Texas, including private school vouchers and textbook censorship at the State Board of Education,” TFN’s website reads.

“Our growing library of original research has become invaluable to policymakers on a wide range of Church-State and education issues, such as the faith-based initiative, public school Bible courses and sex education,” it states.

Her mother, Ann Richards, served as the Democratic governor of Texas from 1991-1995, and her daughter worked as an advisor to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

In addition to Richards, also scheduled to appear at the FFRF conference will be writer Salman Rushdie, television host Adam Savage, actor John de Lancie, Ex-Muslims of North America co-founder Sarah Haider, actress Julia Sweeney and stand-up comedian Leihann Lord.

Proverbs 6:16-19 reads, “These six things doth the LORD hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

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