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Bernie Sanders Pressured Out of Speaking at Women’s Convention

Manuel Balce Ceneta
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Instead, the Senator will visit Puerto Rico. 

Senator Bernie Sanders released a statement this week announcing his departure from the Women's Convention in Detroit, next weekend. Just last week, Sanders announced his participation in the event as its opening night speaker, shortly thereafter receiving unexpected backlash.

Running October 27 to 29, The Women's Convention will "bring thousands of women, femmes and allies of all backgrounds to Detroit for a weekend of workshops, strategy sessions, inspiring forums and intersectional movement building to continue the preparation going into the 2018 midterm elections," according to their website.

While many were excited for Sanders' appearance, critics of the decision pressured the Senator out of speaking. Those in support of Sanders' participation claimed his progressive history in legislation--fighting the gender pay gap, expanding and protecting reproductive rights, 12-week paid maternity leave, higher minimum age--was pro-woman. Those in opposition believed the opening speaker for a woman's convention should be exactly just that--a woman.

Sanders eventually backed out of the event in a press release tothe Washington Post, opting for a visit to the hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico, instead. His announcement reads:

"I want to apologize to the organizers of the Women's Convention for not being able to attend your conference next Friday in Detroit. Given the emergency situation in Puerto Rico, I will be traveling there to visit with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and other officials to determine the best way forward to deal with the devastation the island is experiencing. The U.S. Congress cannot turn its back on the millions of people in Puerto Rico who, four weeks after the hurricane, are still without electricity, food and running water."

The Women's Convention responded on Twitter, last night, officially announcing his withdrawal from the convention, while also thanking the Senator for his steadfast commitment to the country's temporary and persisting issues.

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