Pro-Life Students Confront Planned Parenthood Across America

President of Students for Life, Kristan Hawkins details how pro-life students are combating Planned Parenthood's lies on college campuses and in politics.

By John Zmirak Published on March 14, 2018

Last week I came across an incisive analysis. Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America scrutinized Planned Parenthood’s annual report for 2017. As she wrote:

[T]he Abortion Goliath is crying crocodile tears all the way to the bank … They claim to be under attack, but their profits from the rising number of abortions and from the hard-working taxpayers are up again. Making money from ending lives is big business at Planned Parenthood. It is vital that Planned Parenthood be defunded and student lives protected from a predatory and profit-driven enterprise. But there is a silver lining in this release, as we can see that more students are responding to the human rights interests of the preborn than to the business interests of Planned Parenthood.

Consider that while Planned Parenthood started 50 new campus groups, according to their report, Students for Life started nearly 120 last year, and now has more than 1,200 student groups on campuses in all 50 states. Planned Parenthood reports training 750 young activists from 11 cities while Students for Life trained nearly 11,000 students from across the country. The pro-life generation clearly has more energy, passion, and motivation to defund Planned Parenthood.

Hawkins found a few telling facts in PP’s report:

  • The Abortion Goliath is doing well. Total revenue reported by the nation’s number one abortion provider: $1.46 billion.
  • Ending Life is the big business at Planned Parenthood. They only do one adoption referral for every 83 abortions and provide prenatal care for one woman for every 239 abortions.
  • While Planned Parenthood is very vocal about helping people with sexually transmitted disease, of STDs diagnosed by Planned Parenthood, they only treated approximately 20 percent.
  • Breast health is not Planned Parenthood’s focus. Number of Mammograms performed at Planned Parenthood: zero, compared to 321,384 abortions

The Stream decided to interview Ms. Hawkins in depth about Planned Parenthood, and her organization’s efforts to confront it.

Fighting Planned Parenthood’s Political Power

The Stream: Why is defunding Planned Parenthood one of the highest pro-life priorities?

Hawkins: You get more of what you pay for and less of what you don’t. The abortion industry can subsidize itself with taxpayer monies. It pretends that it takes government funds to pay a light bill. Then it uses another fund to pay an abortionist. So the bottom line of the organization is not enhanced. But anyone who has run a family budget knows that money is fungible. We need to pull our support from the abortion industry. For the good of women and their pre-born children. And for the good of the taxpayers. Their resources are wasted on an industry that profits from death. Tax money should pay for life-affirming, real, full-service medical care. Separating our money from Planned Parenthood and the abortion is an absolute priority. They are a manipulative force in the culture, schools, courts and legislatures, made profitable by all of us.Kristan Hawkins - 360

The Stream: What is the biggest political obstacle to doing that?

Hawkins: Planned Parenthood and their abortion allies are politically well connected. They’re well funded. They’re well represented among the elite: Celebrities, universities, and political operatives. That kind of firepower has an impact. And yet, pro-life laws get passed. New pro-life people get elected. And a new pro-life generation is coming into political power. More pro-life than their parents. My generation has lived every day of its life with situational ethics. We were taught that it’s okay to kill some of us. Never mind what we see in the womb through ultrasounds. Or new scientific discoveries that detail the amazing life hidden from view in those first months. The pro-life movement is underfunded. We have a harder time breaking into the mainstream media. They can choose to pretend we are not there. But we have the passion.

Elected officials should remember this: The pro-life generation sees this is a human rights issue. We’re active on campuses, and preparing to vote our values.

We are frustrated with the lack of willpower among politicians. Some of them say they are pro-life yet do very little. Before the Alabama Senate election, we did have 50 votes. If we went to majority rule, defunding Planned Parenthood would have been accomplished. Those who advocate for abortion are willing to use every tool at their disposal. But our side hesitates. And they shouldn’t. Elected officials should remember this: The pro-life generation sees this is a human rights issue. We’re active on campuses, and preparing to vote our values.

College Students and Planned Parenthood

The Stream: What’s the image of Planned Parenthood among college students? What is the organization in reality?

Hawkins: The media portrays Planned Parenthood as some kind of humanitarian effort. But really, they’re cold-eyed profiteers. They run a business. They have abortion sales quotas, for God’s sake. They promise to minimize the impact of the hook-up culture. They pretend that birth control alone is a panacea. Then when that fails, they sell the idea that abortion is an insignificant choice. But millennials and Generation Z are not convinced. They’ve seen the fallout of the abortion mentality.

The Stream: How do you go about dismantling this inaccurate picture of this organization?

Hawkins: Students for Life of America has taken a “We don’t need PP” tour to hundreds of campuses. We see students, again and again, choosing to give their taxpayer dollars to Fully Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) instead. We educate people on Planned Parenthood’s crate-a-customer business model. On how much money it receives from taxpayers. How few services they actually provide. How many millions they put into our electoral system. The label of pro-choice or pro-life doesn’t matter. Students almost always agree with us that it’s a smarter bet to give our limited taxpayer dollars to FQHCS. They serve more than 20 million more people, have 7,400 more locations, perform way more services, and aren’t building profits for lobbying and election expenses.

We use social media, innovative tools, speeches and educational materials. We’ve had three huge campaigns in the last few years including #WomenBetrayed, #Sockit2PP and now our Defund Planned Parenthood tour. The only way to dismantle the faulty picture of Planned Parenthood is to confront it. And Students for Life confronts Planned Parenthood daily. In the media, in front of their clinics, in the halls of state and federal government. Where they go, we will follow.

The Stream: How well informed are college students about the racist and eugenicist roots of PP? What percentage knows that Margaret Sanger addressed Klan rallies?

Hawkins: That’s interesting. Recently a college had an event, sponsored by a Planned Parenthood student group, to discuss this. They addressed the racist origins of the nation’s number one abortion provider. We believe this is an area in which our messaging is getting through. Recently under pressure from the Mizzou Students for Life chapter, the university took down a poster of Margaret Sanger. That’s after our students called for the removal based on her racist views. It is incontrovertible: Planned Parenthood’s birth was orchestrated by some who felt strongly that some people based on race and the perception of abilities, should never be born. We can never forget that reality.

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The Stream: Some people think that PP is a front-line provider of health care to impoverished women and children. What is the best starting point in correcting that fallacy?

Hawkins: Nobody goes to Planned Parenthood for a flu shot. They don’t do mammograms. They treat fewer patients, give out less birth control, and treat fewer sexually transmitted diseases than they did in previous years. Where Planned Parenthood has experienced growth is in raking in tax dollars and doing abortions. These facts are something we talk about on campuses almost every day.

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