Our CBC Member of the Week is Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America. Ms. Hawkins leads the largest Pro-Life student organization in the country and is encouraged by recent statistics that show an increase in Millennial support for life.
Congratulations Kristan on being our Conservative Book Club “Member of the Week!” Tell us a little about yourself and the work you do as President of Students for Life of America.
Students for Life of America (SFLA) launched full-time in August of 2006. At the time, I was SFLA’s only full-time employee. Today, we have a team of over 20 employees, spread out across the nation working with pro-life high-school, college, law, and medical students as well as young adults.
Our vision at SFLA is to abolish abortion in our lifetime. We know achieving that vision will only happen one way, by changing our culture starting with where culture is formed – youth. We start and equip Students for Life groups throughout the nation and inspire and train young leaders to take leadership of our movement.
What got you interested in the work you do?
I was asked to volunteer at a pro-life women’s center when I was 15 years old, helping to counsel women facing unplanned, crisis pregnancies and help those in their most desperate hour. From that very first day, I knew the pro-life movement was where I needed to be.
What a transforming experience that must’ve been for you. What books, authors, or conservative-themed books, influenced your political philosophy and outlook on life?
After becoming passionately involved with the pro-life movement, I began to look closely at politics and knew I was a conservative. I began to read Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter religiously while in high school. Since launching SFLA nine years ago, I find myself reading books mostly written by those on the other side. Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and “After the Ball” have become staples.
Where are we on the life issue? You always hear that students tend to be more liberal and tend to be in the Pro-Choice camp. Have things changed?
While it is true that as students enter college they become more “liberal,” it’s not true for the pro-life cause any more. In fact, this is one of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry’s biggest concerns right now, so much so they are trying desperately to reframe their message.
It used to be that young people become more pro-abortion and would help replace those who were growing older and more conservative; they relied on this generational off-setting. However, today’s youth, those in high-school and college, are more pro-life than any other youth generation since the handing down of Roe and Doe in 1973.
Very encouraging! What are some ways young people can get involved in the pro-life movement?
We need student voices in the pro-life movement as they are the ones heard often above the rest.
I always encourage students to go to our website at studentsforlife.org to find out where they fit in and to start or join a Students for Life group in their school or homeschool which helps to “mainstream” the Culture of Life, educate those who are most targeted by the abortion industry for business, and help young women in crisis.
Why did you join the Conservative Book Club? How is the user experience beneficial to you?
I joined CBC because I enjoy reading books by those on “our side” to learn their ideas and develop new strategies for ending abortion. CBC is an important tool that allows me to get everything in one place and quickly!