Last night during the debate, the president, in arguing for Planned Parenthood’s continued federal funding, claimed that there are “millions” of women who rely on it for mammograms, in one of three mentions of the abortion giant. Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms, a point the Students for Life for America immediately made in a graphic put together for social-media educational purposes. Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life, talks with me about mammograms, Planned Parenthood, and the election.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Why does it matter if Planned Parenthood does mammograms or not?
KRISTAN HAWKINS: Women don’t go to Planned Parenthood for breast-cancer screenings. They go to Planned Parenthood for birth control and abortions. Planned Parenthood is the abortion Goliath of our nation.
Planned Parenthood tries to divert attention from the fact that they are the nation’s largest abortion provider by pointing to other medical services they provide, like STD testing, and some they don’t even provide, like mammograms, to explain why U.S. taxpayers should give them over $487,000,000 a year. Starting as early as elementary and middle school, Planned Parenthood’s objective is to establish trust with young people so that when they become sexually active, they turn to their business “to take care of” an unplanned pregnancy.
LOPEZ: Planned Parenthood does abortions, but not exclusively. Go ahead and “Gotcha!” the president on mammograms, but what about the other services they provide?
HAWKINS: Planned Parenthood turned 96 yesterday, and they proudly celebrated their roots back to the first birth-control clinic that their founder, Margaret Sanger, established in New York City. Planned Parenthood’s objective then and now is the same: population reduction. Planned Parenthood does not offer services for those women who want to conceive or who are already pregnant. I’ve been into multiple Planned Parenthoods while visibly pregnant, and they had zero resources for me. They couldn’t even give me names of local OB/GYNs I could see, but I did walk out of every Planned Parenthood facility with a referral sheet for where to obtain an abortion and how much cash I would need.
Last night, the president furthered the lie that Planned Parenthood attempted to tell the American taxpayers – that Planned Parenthood does mammograms. They don’t. As for the other services they provide, there are more than 7,000 federally qualified, taxpayer-supported health clinics across the nation that do the same thing — without providing abortions.
LOPEZ: Shouldn’t students be a little more compassionate and cognizant of the health-care needs of women?
HAWKINS: Of course we recognize the medical needs that women, especially women in low-income families, have. However, we don’t believe that those needs ever necessitate killing a preborn child. Abortion is not health care.
Currently, SFLA works with over 700 active pro-life student groups across the nation. Our Pregnant on Campus initiative was designed to help Students for Life groups promote local medical and material resources in their community. There has never been a case where students referred women to Planned Parenthood because they offered something that no one else did.
LOPEZ: Why do Students for Life hate single women like Sandra Fluke?
HAWKINS: We don’t hate single women, far from it actually. A majority of those whom we work with are single women. However, we don’t believe U.S. taxpayers should be forced to pay for someone’s birth control. Science has proven that some types of morning-after pills can cause abortions, and we don’t believe the U.S. government should ever put pro-lifers, those of conscience and faith, in a position where we are being forced to pay for procedures and drugs we morally oppose.
LOPEZ: What is Students for Life doing to get voters ready to vote?
HAWKINS: Our goal is to work with pro-lifers across the nation to reach more than 300,000 households with the Vote Pro-Life First message before November 6, and we are well on our way to doing that.
Students for Life of America has been engaged since January in this initiative. Our goal is to empower pro-lifers across the nation, regardless of their age, political affiliation, or religion, to vote on November 6 and encourage other pro-lifers to do the same. After releasing a study about this generation of 18- to 24-year-olds in June, SFLA has been directly educating young pro-lifers about the importance of always voting pro-life, in every race — from local school-board member to president of the United States. In September, we organized our I Vote Pro-Life First campus tour and have signed up dozens of Students for Life groups and young people to volunteer with 501(c)(4) advocacy organizations to knock on doors, call voters, and pass out candidate-comparison information.
We believe, now more than ever, that our generation and movement must stand up and show our nation that the pro-life vote matters. We are paying attention and will continue to do so after November 6.
LOPEZ: What are you hearing on campuses?
HAWKINS: We don’t see a lot of excitement for either candidate running for the U.S. presidency. However, the closer we get to the election, that will change. Pro-life students haven’t been excited about Mitt Romney’s candidacy, but they do understand that President Obama has been an abortion advocate as president. We haven’t spoken to any pro-life student who believes President Obama has helped the preborn or advanced our cause. I think on Election Day the percentage of under-30 voters will be below the 2008 level.
LOPEZ: What would you hope every voter would consider this cycle?
HAWKINS: I would like to ask people to consider abortion first when voting for any candidate, of any office. If you believe that abortion kills a child, a human being, it should be at the top of your list when considering a candidate. If a candidate doesn’t stand for the very right to life in its earliest and most vulnerable stage, how can you trust them on other important issues?
Ask yourself: Could you vote for a candidate who believes that owning others as slaves should be a legal choice? Or would that candidate’s extreme “pro-choice” view on slavery, cause you to question his judgment, his worldview, on every other issue?
If you believe as we do, I would encourage you to sign up to be a get-out-the-pro-life-vote volunteer. We will send you all you need to do to impact this election.