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Anti-abortion group Students for Life trying to radicalize kids in middle school

The group works to impose an extremist worldview on children and ensure they will stay a part of the anti-abortion movement.

By Lisa Needham - October 15, 2019
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Anti-abortion protester

After over 40 years in business, the anti-abortion group Students for Life of America has many years of experience targeting young people in order to spread lies about abortion and reproductive health.

SFLA has gone through several name changes and iterations since its founding in 1977, when it was known as C.Am.P.U.S and targeted students on college campuses, even though, SFLA admits, college students were “regularly polling pro-choice.”

What college students actually wanted or needed seems of little concern to SFLA. After being C.Am.P.U.S, the group shifted in the late 1980s to be known as American Collegians for Life, with the college focus still intact.

It wasn’t until its most recent rebrand, in 2006, that SFLA began explicitly targeting students much, much younger than college-aged. Now, it teaches middle schoolers how to be rabidly anti-abortion. The group says they’re doing so to stop the “infiltration of the abortion industry, led by Planned Parenthood, in middle schools.”

Of course, there’s no evidence at all that Planned Parenthood is “infiltrating” middle schools, much less pushing abortion on tweens. Planned Parenthood provides resources for educators and parents to responsibly and respectfully discuss puberty with middle school-aged children. They also offer comprehensive sex education in certain school districts and states. That includes helping students to how to avoid risky behaviors and to wait until they are older to have sex. None of those things are”infiltration.”

In contrast, SFLA really does seek to indoctrinate young people. They pair middle schoolers with “mentors” — national anti-abortion movement members — so they can have “a future in the pro-life movement.” They ask young children to use chalk to mark up sidewalks with anti-abortion messages for “National Pro-Life Chalk Day.” In short, they try to impose a comprehensive and extremist worldview on children and seek to ensure those children will stay a part of the anti-abortion movement.

Finally, SLFA brooks no middle ground. They’re not simply anti-abortion. Their leader, Kristan Hawkins, has admitted she doesn’t think IUDs or hormonal birth control should be legal. That’s an extremist stance that flies in the face of the fact that 92% of Americans find birth control morally acceptable.

They’ve also allied themselves with the Trump administration. While Hawkins initially expressed concern about Donald Trump during the 2016 election, the group has since come around, meeting with rabidly anti-abortion Vice President Mike Pence and talking with White House administrators to get them to block fetal tissue research and stop Planned Parenthood from getting federal grant money. They even met with Trump himself in late 2018.

Just because they hide behind children doesn’t mean Students for Life isn’t a radical anti-abortion organization. In fact, it’s precisely that which makes them so radical and dangerous.


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