EMILY's List: Sanders headlining Women's Convention 'sends the wrong message'

EMILY's List, which backs female candidates who support abortion rights, said Thursday that organizers of the Women's Convention are sending "the wrong message" by having Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.) as a featured speaker at the event.

"The choice of Senator Sanders sends the wrong message," said EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriok in a statement. "We have more women leaders in elected office than ever before, and they are forcibly leading the resistance against Trump and his allies in Congress who are intent on attacking women." 

Sanders was selected to speak on the opening night of the Women's Convention in Detroit later this month.

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The progressive event, organized by the same group behind the Women's March earlier this year, is a three-day conference ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. EMILY's List is among the groups supporting the event. 

"I think that right now, no one can deny that Bernie Sanders is probably one of the most powerful U.S. senators ... on progressive issues, women’s issues, mobilizing millennials," said Women's March co-founder Tamika Mallory in an interview with USA Today. "He is really in line with the principles of the Women's March." 

Sanders said that he is "honored" to join the women at the conference, saying that supporting women's leadership is vital to progressive causes.