BREAKING: Free Speech Rights Violated at Texas State Capitol as SFLA Staff, Students Told to Hide Pro-Life Shirts

Kristi Hamrick - 15 Mar 2021


“The Pro-Life Generation is here today to peacefully make our voices heard.” said SFLAction’s Sarah Zarr. “We will not stand for violations of our free speech rights and we will not be intimidated by discrimination tactics designed to silence our message.” 


AUSTIN, TX AND WASHINGTON, DC (03-15-2021)– Students for Life Action/Students for Life of America leaders testifying today in support of numerous pro-life bills before the Senate Committee on State Affairs are facing discrimination by Capitol staff, said SFLA/SFLAction President Kristan Hawkins.

Upon arrival at the State Capitol this morning, the group of staff and students representing SFLA was told by the Senate Sergeant At-Arms to cover up their blue shirts reading, “I AM THE PRO-LIFE GENERATION,” and to turn their “VOTE PRO-LIFE FIRST” masks inside-out. The Sergeant was unable to identify to the group’s leader, Sarah Zarr, a rule barring anyone from wearing shirts or masks emblazoned with slogans. The Sergeant appeared to be attempting to use a rule barring the use of banners and flags. Zarr explained to the Sergeant that groups like Planned Parenthood wear pro-abortion slogans on their clothing regularly inside the State Capitol.

The Sergeant’s staff repeatedly told students to cover up their shirts and masks and were hesitant to allow members of the SFLA group into the Senate Chamber despite the presence of available seats. At one point, Zarr was physically handled by the Sergeant as he sought to assert his rules on Zarr and the SFLA group.

“When the government changes rules to silence messages it doesn’t want to hear, the First Amendment loses its meaning,” said Hawkins. “Free speech rights that you can’t use don’t really exist at all. And the Pro-Life Generation will not be silent about the human rights issue of our day, abortion.”


Learn more about our on-going efforts at Students for Life Action.

For interviews, contact Kristi Hamrick at  [email protected]. 


Students for Life Action(SFLAction) is the 501c4 sister organization of Students for Life of America (SFLA), the nation’s largest, pro-life, student organization with more than 1,240 groups on middle, high school, and university campuses in all 50 states. Students for Life has more conversations with those most targeted by the abortion industry every day, week, and year than any other pro-life outreach in the world and mobilizes the Pro-Life Generation to confront abortion at the local, state and national levels daily. Every week, Students for Life entities reach more than 2 million people across social media platforms to have nearly 200,000 digital conversations with the most engaged pro-life online audience in the world. 

Students for Life of America (SFLA) is the nation’s largest, pro-life, youth organization. Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, SFLA serves more than 1,240 groups on college and university, middle and high school, medical and law school campuses in all 50 states. Student pro-life organizations work to confront policies on their campuses to support pregnant and parenting students, to end Planned Parenthood’s relationships with schools and communities, and to change minds of their peers about abortion. SFLA has more conversations with those most targeted by the abortion industry every day, week, and year than any other pro-life organization.

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