When Delaware Right to Life hosts its annual dinner on Nov. 8 at Clayton Hall at the University of Delaware, its guest speaker will be one of the most familiar faces in the pro-life movement in the United States. Kristan Hawkins is the president of Students for Life of America, a nonprofit organization that “recruits, trains and mobilizes” young people to end abortion.
Hawkins, a mother of four who converted to Catholicism in 2015, started with Students for Life in 2006 to launch its full-time operation. The organization now has more than 1,200 chapters in all 50 states. She travels frequently to speak, although this will be her first appearance in Delaware. She answered questions about her visit via email.
Hawkins said her message in the First State will be the same as it is wherever she goes, that “abortion is a human-rights injustice, and we must do more to end it, making it illegal and unthinkable in our lifetime.”
She said she will challenge those in attendance to envision an America without abortion and to join the pro-life generation in transforming the country into a place where no woman feels like she must pay someone to end the life of her child in order to continue on with her life.
The reshaping of the United States Supreme Court notwithstanding, Students for Life will continue to do what it already does, which is talk to young people about their life-affirming options, spread the word on high school and college campuses about the truth of abortion, and fight for pregnant and parenting students, Hawkins said.
“Our mission will not change, and we are already active in all 50 states, ready to work for life-affirming laws when the time comes,” she said.
She said Students for Life has long believed that Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were “fatally flawed” court decisions and “will someday be an historical footnote as a human rights tragedy that was eventually overturned.” Should Roe be overturned, the question of the legality of abortion will return to the states.
Hawkins says critics who maintain that the pro-life community only cares for babies before they are born are incorrect. The movement, she said, is “overflowing” with loving adoptive parents and volunteers who help mothers and young children. Groups like Students for Life of America are also there to fight for pregnant and parenting students on campuses, and that people in faith communities are there to donate and offer volunteer services for young mothers.
“We should never be deceived by the false talking points of those who pretend that ending a young life is an easy fix,” she said. “Abortion creates new problems and pain for women and ends a precious life. For those who choose life for their babies, I know that many people are standing by to help.”
Students for Life also campaigns against infanticide and euthanasia, but Hawkins calls abortion “the most deadly human-rights tragedy our world has ever faced.”
One last message she would like to impart with Catholics in Delaware and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore is to vote for life. One way to do that is to know how the people who want to lead communities and states intend to protect vulnerable children and pregnant and parenting women.
The DRTL annual banquet runs from 5-9 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person, $20 for students. For more information, go to www.derighttolife.org.