Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, will bring her “Lies Feminists Tell Tour” to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire on November 7, at 7 p.m. in the Rockefeller building. The public is invited, and the presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer period.
Does the topic title leave you feeling triggered? That’s probably fine with Hawkins, who says,”Women’s interests in an integrated, successful life have been reduced to abortion by aging, second-wave feminists who fail to work for an agenda that empowers today’s student leaders.”
Full press release about the tour is at this link, and the Facebook event listing is here.
When Kristan Hawkins started talking at Thursday’s New Hampshire Right to Life annual dinner, I did everything I could to get a photo of her. About twenty shots later, I gave up and settled for the blurry images I’d managed to capture. It was like trying to pin down a whirlwind. Calm down, I wanted to tell her, although that would have been pointless. Her dynamism is undoubtedly part of her success.
“I am an abortion abolitionist.”
Hawkins is executive director of Students for Life of America, where she has worked since 2006. With her team, she has helped to establish 759 SFLA chapters on campuses nationwide in response to demand from students. Her energy and commitment were visible from the podium as she spoke in an urgent voice, her head turning almost constantly as though she were determined to make eye contact with every person in the room. The crowd of nearly 400 included about 125 high school and college students with a special interest in Hawkins’ ministry. Former Congressman Frank Guinta was in the audience as well. He recently announced that he’s running again for the First District seat now held by Carol Shea-Porter.
“I am an abortion abolitionist,” said Hawkins. “We are more pro-life than [our parents’] generation.” Demand for SFLA services exceeds supply; “this is a good problem.” SFLA provides materials to pro-life student groups upon request for use on campuses and in classrooms nationwide. Projects within the SFLA campus groups range from literature distribution to installation of large outdoor displays.
Sometimes, those pro-life displays are vandalized. She says that doesn’t put an end to pro-life activism, as students continue to “share the truth.”
Students from at least four New Hampshire colleges attended the banquet. Dartmouth, Thomas More College, the College of Saint Mary Magdalen, and St. Anselm were all represented. Younger students from area high schools as well as homeschooled teens were also present. Hawkins was scheduled for a speaking engagement at St. Anselm the day after the banquet; she makes a point of speaking on campuses whenever possible.
“Be the annoying person.”
“Be the annoying person,” urged Hawkins. “When we talk about abortion, we win.” Abortion advocacy groups – and this includes Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and EMILY’s List, among others – are dropping the word “abortion” from their lexicon in favor of the less abrasive “reproductive rights.” The general public has grown disgusted with unlimited abortion, to the extent that seventy pieces of pro-life legislation have passed in various states in 2013.
“The new strategy [by abortion advocacy groups] is, don’t talk about abortion. So what should we do? Talk about abortion. I am proud to say that I am anti-abortion.”
The dinner and Hawkins’ speech ran a little behind schedule as a larger-than-expected crowd waited to be seated. I spent time on the NHRTL board over a decade ago, and I never saw a larger crowd at the group’s annual dinner, or one with such a significant proportion of students. Hawkins and her message were clearly a draw.
Kristan’s five-point plan
Hawkins has a plan of action that she urged on her listeners. Some of the five steps she recommends are familiar things that bear repeating.
“Tell our stories. Share the truth.”
“Envision a world without abortion, don’t just imagine it.” She admonished her listeners not to give in to the attitude that pro-life work is important but success is unlikely. “Plan for a future without abortion. Know what you’re going to do after abortion is abolished.”
Base pro-life ministry on personal relationships with people in need of support in moments of crisis. “It’s messy work.”
Expose Planned Parenthood, “our nation’s abortion Goliath, the Walmart of the abortion industry,” particularly by keeping a close eye on the sources of its funds. She commended NHRTL for bringing PP of Northern New England to court in an effort to force transparency in the use of public funds.
“It’s time to start talking about abortion in our churches.” She knows too well that many pastors are uncomfortable with the abortion battle and therefore don’t talk about it from the pulpit.
SFLA’s biggest annual event is a conference in Washington the day before the annual March for Life. Last January’s event attracted 2000 participants, which doesn’t surprise me.
What Really Happened at the Komen Foundation reveals never-before-publicized information about the tangle among the Susan G. Komen For the Cure breast cancer charity, Planned Parenthood, and a handful of women within Komen who tried to separate the two. This article was published last month in the online magazine Crisis, produced here in New Hampshire.
The abortion facility in Texas where Abby Johnson used to work has announced that it is shutting down.
Remember, it’s not too late to sign on with New Hampshire’s upcoming 40 Days campaign in Manchester; find more information on the Leaven for the Loaf Facebook page for July 23. (You can go to this blog’s sidebar and click on the Facebook emblem to follow the Leaven page, which includes items that don’t make it into the blog.)
Students for Life of America announced this week a pair of fellowships for high-school and college-age students, which will help prepare future pro-life leaders to get the pro-life message out to campuses as well as the larger community. Congratulations to SFL for a great initiative.
40 Days for Life, in which New Hampshire volunteers have played an important role, is having a webcast this evening at 9 p.m. that will serve as a review of the success of the last 40 Days campaign nationwide. The web announcement also promises “abundant hope … three keys to stopping abortion in your community.” Register at the 40 Days for Life website. This is tonight, 9 p.m., and participants may listen via phone or webcast.
This one is a few weeks off, but because of the cost I’m listing it now so you may plan accordingly. The New Hampshire Federated Republican Women will have its annual Lilac Luncheon on May 20, and the speaker will be Star Parker of CURE. Tickets for non-members of NHFRW are $50. I know, ouch – but I will be there to cover Parker’s remarks, and you can count on a blog post or two from that.
Two Twitter feeds:
@nhcornerstone. (Full disclosure: I have been employed by Cornerstone Action and Cornerstone Policy Research.) Cornerstone promptly reports on important votes in Concord, and the Twitter feed also keeps you informed about Cornerstone’s pro-life/pro-family work in New Hampshire.
One web site to bookmark: nhrtl.org. New Hampshire Right to Life sponsors our state’s annual March for Life. It also has an email alert list to keep supporters notified of times and places of public witness outside abortion facilities. This is New Hampshire’s oldest pro-life group not affiliated with a church. By the way, the site includes an announcement that the speaker at NHRTL’s annual fundraising banquet in October will be Kristan Hawkins, executive director of the aforementioned Students for Life.
One volunteer opportunity: Birthright is always looking for people to help in direct ministry to women in crisis pregnancy. The group is resolutely nonpolitical, and their only work is to “love them both,” mother and child. To find out the particular needs in your area, you can call Birthright in Manchester at 668-3443 or Derry at 434-3000.
As always, these links are for informational purposes only and do not constitute my endorsement of everything on the sites.
One more number, just for fun: ONE. That’s for this blog, which I started one year ago this month. It was a tiny thing at first, and then I abandoned it for a few months, but now here we are! I am grateful to my readers.