Equal protection under the law for pre-born human beings is headed our way — and from the work of a surprising demographic: adults younger than 30.
A 28-year-old dynamo working on college campuses across the nation, Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins, exemplifies why hers is the “pro-life generation.”
Ms. Hawkins feels deeply the loss of nearly one-third of her age group.
“The undeniable fact is that nearly a third of my generation was killed by abortion. We are missing brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, husbands and wives. But [we’re] determined to set it right. We’ve seen the ultrasounds of our siblings, Googled ‘abortion’ and seen the bloody images, and sat with a friend as she cried about her abortion,” she says. “This youth generation is the most pro-life generation of young people since 1973.
“This isn’t our grandmother’s pro-life movement anymore: It belongs to this generation of survivors — to those of us who could have been legally aborted when we were in our mothers’ wombs and survived, to those of us who are now being targeted by Planned Parenthood, who has set up shop next to our schools and universities, with 79 percent being within five miles of a college campus.”
Yesterday just outside of Washington, D.C., Students for Life hosted the largest pro-life training of any group ever assembled. Virtually all of them were 17 to 25 years old. About 2,500 gathered within hours of today’s march to learn how to organize, help college coeds in the midst of crisis pregnancies, and see technology reveal the story of what abortion does — of what abortion really is.
Over the past few years, Students for Life has taught more than 13,000 young people how to be effective advocates for the unborn and for their peers.
Said one 21-year-old female participant in Tuesday’s training: “You can’t see ultrasound clips of pre-born babies living and moving inside their moms alongside photos of disassembled babies of the same age and their tiny, bloody bodies without recognizing the injustice of abortion. Dead babies wrapped in newspapers like garbage get your attention. And they make me want to educate myself further so I can help others recognize and help change this gravest of all acts of social injustice.”
This young woman reflects the wisdom and growing awareness about the ills of abortion that is characteristic of this generation of college students — an awareness of which older pro-abortion politicians are clueless.
Radical liberals — including elected officials like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — like to portray pro-lifers as “extreme” and out of touch, proponents of backward thinking and intolerance. President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton send the same message, as well as many in the “establishment” of the Republican Party.
While these aging liberals in both political parties have been out partying with the Planned Parenthood crowd, they have failed to see the sensitivities that the younger generation has toward any form of injustice when they see it.
But the dwindling numbers of older pro-abortion activists understand the problem. Grim and desperate, pro-abortion leaders beg young people to take up their cause.
Nancy Keenan of NARAL Pro-Choice resigned last year, bemoaning the “intensity gap” between abortion advocates and abortion foes, in hopes of spurring new energy for the pro-abortion side. Time magazine famously declared that the pro-abortion activists are “losing,” and they know it.
Consider the facts: Poll after poll on abortion reveals that those younger than 30 view themselves as more “pro-life” than their parents’ generation. When asked how they respond to the word “abortion,” 54 percent have a negative response, using words such as “death,” “killing” or “sad.” The General Social Survey from 1972 to 2006 shows how every generation since the legalization of abortion has become more and more pro-life.
Ms. Hawkins and thousands of other pro-life young people are tapping into the growing phenomenon to cry for justice and to equip college students from all walks of life for the battle.
Since Ms. Hawkins took the helm in 2006, Students for Life has more than tripled its presence on college campuses, with chapters at 700 universities and colleges in 49 out of 50 states. Under her leadership, the organization has spun off several targeted initiatives on campuses, including Med Students for Life, Law Students for Life, and Pregnant on Campus, which connects pregnant students to community resources.
So the pro-life generation is on a mission: “Abolish Abortion in Our Lifetime.” Their message unifies a diverse group around a singular purpose, defying the left’s attempts to stereotype them.
At this year’s chilly March for Life in Washington, fresh-faced, ponytailed home-schoolers will pray and sing alongside trendy hipsters from urban colleges. Pierced, tattooed, and peace-loving vegetarians will march arm in arm with meat-loving ROTC scholarship kids.
They find their bond in the fact that they escaped becoming victims of abortion. And they will not be stopped until every child and every mother is protected. They will work until justice prevails.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.