New York Times Columnist Praises SFLA’s Strategy & Successes

Caroline Wharton - 30 Jun 2022

It’s not often that large, pro-abortion media outlets portray pro-life powerhouses like Students for Life of America (SFLA) in a good light—after all, such praise wouldn’t fit with their narrative—but sometimes they do it unintentionally when criticizing our movement. It’s always fun to see them admit our strengths and successes, and New York Times Opinion Columnist Michelle Goldberg recently just confessed (albeit tongue in cheek) her own admiration for our tactics. Here’s what caught her eye about our organization:  

The title of Goldberg’s article, “Lessons from the Terrible Triumph of the Anti-Abortion Movement,” really says it all as she recognizes that we employ winning strategies in our anti-abortion efforts. How has she observed our strategies, though? Goldberg says in her article that she recently viewed a documentary called “The Battleground” which featured SFLA, among other pro-life organizations, and showcased our methods for winning hearts and minds. 

Michelle Goldberg

Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade through the recent Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, Goldberg says in her article that she cannot stop thinking about the documentary and particularly about one moment in the documentary which showed a SFLA training. The training was led by SFLA President Kristan Hawkins, who Goldberg describes as a “savvy lobbyist and organizer.” She wrote

“The scene I keep revisiting features a Students for Life training session about “how you can change minds about abortion online,” in which members of the group learned how to draw young pro-choice people into debate in comment threads. Hawkins said they’d had 105,000 conversations.”  

Goldberg continued by making the point that our approach (of actually approaching people and discussing the abortion issue with them civilly and rationally) was not shared by the radical and hostile abortion lobby. She remarked,  

Michelle Goldberg

“This is quite different from what I’ve seen in the pro-choice movement, where activists frequently act as if those who don’t agree with them on everything aren’t worth engaging with. (Last week, NARAL tweeted, “If your feminism doesn’t understand how anti-trans policies disproportionately impact BIPOC folks, particularly Black trans women and girls, it’s not feminism.”) In the aftermath of the anti-abortion movement’s catastrophic victory, it’s worth asking what we can learn from their tactics.”  

Goldberg is absolutely correct that many pro-abortion supporters unfortunately do not care to engage in conversation with anyone they disagree with, and SFLA has witnessed this many times. Pro-abortion students have demanded that SFLA President Kristan Hawkins not be allowed to speak on campus, and when our SFLA groups table on their campuses, many pro-abortion students would rather walk by and flip them off than have a discussion. Additionally, in the wake of the Dobbs decision, abortion supporters are cutting off any friends/family that may have supported the ruling—the social media post below is an example of such intolerant sentiments.  

Goldberg is entirely right that the pro-life movement’s strength is in our willingness and intention to engage with others for the purpose of changing their minds. Our cause represents the difference between life or death for preborn children so of course we’re going to be passionate about it—and our foundation of clear scientific evidence and ethics bolsters our passion.  

Goldberg believed that the tactics and “the success of the anti-abortion movement, which has organized for almost 50 years to bring us to this moment” could be essentially used by the abortion lobby as well when she wrote that the pro-life movement and SFLA could show the “arduous path out” of the reversal of Roe.  

Michelle Goldberg

But it’s pretty clear that the abortion lobby can never mimic this strategy—because they lack scientific evidence, strong ethics, and the compassion for others that garners the true passion of our pro-life activists. Instead, the abortion lobby is built on racism, sexism, and ableism (since preborn babies aren’t able to say no to abortion)—it’s sure hard to build a winning community of activists on such a morally defunct foundation.  

Thanks for the shoutout, Goldberg—but good luck on ever getting the abortion lobby to win the minds and hearts of the American people. The legal murder of preborn children just doesn’t sell—but the courage and compassion of the pro-life movement always will. We finally reversed Roe; now, watch us turn a Post-Roe America into an abortion-free America.  

READ NEXT: Roe Is Gone—Now What?  

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