This semester has almost come to a close, and with it, Students for Life of America (SFLA) President Kristan Hawkins’ 2022 Fall Semester Tour, entitled Make Abortion Illegal Again. Her revolutionary tour following the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling stopped at eight different schools nationwide, bringing out up to 200 people for each event and attracting more than a million views online from posted content. Whether in person or online, pro-life or pro-abortion, there was buzz about this tour from students, university faculty, and community members. Here are some of our favorite highlights from each school:
Ohio State University
Hawkins’ first tour stop was at Ohio State University (OSU) where she tabled on campus for two and a half hours, engaging with many different students in conversations about abortion. One particularly heart-warming conversation occurred with a girl and her boyfriend who had flown from Atlanta, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio in order to watch Hawkins interact with students. When Hawkins asked why they had made such a long trip, the girl explained that she had found one of Hawkins’ videos on abortion online, and it had completely changed her mind on abortion. When she heard Hawkins’ would be in her state, she wanted to come see her in person.
Many of the students that Hawkins interacted with, however, were pro-abortion and came to argue — but she gave them food for thought, answering every tough, “gotcha” question they could come up with in a sincere, no-nonsense fashion. You can get a taste of the experience on campus by watching her debate these students below:
University of Cincinnati
At the University of Cincinnati, Hawkins faced a lot of pro-abortion craziness — and as it so often happens, there was no pro-abortion rhyme to their reason. One of the main goals of these speaking tours is to begin conversation across the aisle on abortion as it is widely understood that you can’t come to agreement without having a discussion, but (surprise, surprise) many abortion supporters refused.
There was a protest of the event outside the building, and as Hawkins always does when this occurs, she went outside before the event to invite the protestors in to come listen and ask questions during the Q&A session — they ignored her. Instead, the pro-abortion attendees that did decide to come chose to play sounds of babies crying during Hawkins’ speech. From the stage, Hawkins commented how this “protest” didn’t work for their side at all; after all, the sound of a crying baby elicits empathy for the child, and the pro-life movement definitely has the corner on that.
Hawkins also had a hilarious exchange with a pro-abortion student that just didn’t want to admit they were pro-abortion — even as Hawkins readily called herself anti-abortion. Watch and enjoy it below:
At Harvard University, Hawkins’ speech was filled with members of the Pro-Life Generation, proving that pro-life students attend and remain energetic in their pro-life activism at even the most liberal universities. These students asked thought-provoking questions and were truly interested in becoming even more involved in the pro-life movement.
You can watch Hawkins’ full speech and audience Q&A session at Harvard below:
Hawkins also spoke at Yale University for the Vita et Veritas Conference (meaning ‘life and truth’). This year’s theme was “The Path Forward: The Post-Roe Pro-Life Strategy,” and Hawkins’ speech on why and how we need to make abortion illegal again helped to equip pro-life Yale students with the needed tools for their activism.
University of Wisconsin-Stout
At the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Hawkins was met by a self-proclaimed “practicing pagan” in the Q&A session who tried to defend abortion as a religious right. In answer to Hawkins bringing up the Church of Satan’s lawsuits to regard abortion as a religious right, the pro-abortion, pagan student said, “The Church of Satan should be able to do whatever they want. It’s a religion; religious freedom.” Hawkins was undeterred, however, and her follow-up response that your rights stop when they begin harming someone else was the right antidote to that poisoning reasoning.
Pennsylvania State University
At Pennsylvania State University, one pro-life student brought her pro-abortion sorority sister to the event, and Hawkins’ speech really touched her heart. Through the event, she took notes, making a list of questions she had about the pro-life position, and after it was finished, she went up to Hawkins to speak with her (not wanting to ask questions in front of the crowd). Her pro-life friend messaged Hawkins afterward, saying:
“You answered them [her questions] so wonderfully and challenged her thinking throughout the entire event. She left so grateful for the event tonight and for the opportunity to meet you. She came in “pro-choice” but left with a smile on her face, proudly stating that she is now pro-life.”
This change of heart and mind is exactly what these speaking tours are all about as many students have never heard the pro-life position truly explained before. With the scientific facts and logical consistency laid out for them, students who used to be unsure of their beliefs can fully see why being pro-life is both pro-science and pro-love.
University of South Carolina
The tour event at University of South Carolina got rained out — but that didn’t stop Hawkins from hosting some of the SFLA student leaders for lunch at the Airbnb where she was filming a podcast. The group had a great time at lunch, discussing what campus has been like since the reversal of Roe v. Wade and what will be next for the pro-life movement. Not even the rain can stop the Pro-Life Generation!
At Clemson University, the Tigers for Life were put through the wringer before Hawkins’ speaking event, with students threatening them and calling for their event to be cancelled. While this did not happen, there were around 40-50 protesters that conducted an “Abortion 101” event with a megaphone outside of the building where Hawkins spoke. As usual, Hawkins invited them to come inside and talk during the Q&A session — but in a predictable fashion, the protestors preferred their echo chamber outside.
Stay tuned for the subject of Hawkins’ next speaking tour in the spring semester of 2023; we’re already looking forward to it!
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