Students for Life of America Calls for Assurances That Terrorism Accusations Propped up with Government Funding to the University of Maryland’s START project Will Truly Cease & Desist

Kristi Hamrick - 21 Apr 2024

“Too little, too late: After receiving a letter from our attorneys demanding that a website funded in part by Homeland Security end its vicious smears of peaceful pro-life students on a terrorism tracker, the mention of Students for Life of America quietly disappeared,” noted Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins. “Use of the delete key on the START website is not enough to fully resolve this viewpoint discrimination. This biased program smeared peaceful students, and we have no assurance they won’t do it again.”

READ MORE ABOUT THE CASE AT FOX NEWS TODAY: Pro-life group weighing legal action after being placed on extremist database alongside ‘Hamas, KKK’

WASHINGTON D.C. (04-21-2024) – Earlier this yearStudents for Life of America was notified of a terrorism slur at a website with the pretentious title – the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism—better known as START— “a university-based research and education center comprised of an international network of scholars committed to the scientific study of the causes and human consequences of terrorism in the United States and around the world.” START included Students for Life of America in shocking company on an unalphabetized list titled: Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States – PIRUS (Keshif), in which “offenders” under Group or Movement Affiliation include the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Ku Klux Klan, Hamas, and Nation of Islam, to name of few.

“Our attorneys sent a Cease-and-Desist letter after discovering that the University of Maryland’s START project quietly targeted Students for Life of America. And now, our name is gone from the website, again without notice – but only after our attorneys engaged. The Pro-Life Generation is looking for assurances that this ideological attack on peaceful pro-life Americans will not continue and will not be repeated,” said SFLA President Kristan Hawkins. “We are considering all legal options.”

The cease-and-desist letter was sent to START at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland, Office of General Counsel; National Institute of Justice; & The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security.

The letter noted that National Security experts found the accusations wildly inappropriate:

Various other individuals and organizations have pointed out that SFLA should not be included in the PIRUS list. Two former employees of the Department of Justice and Homeland Security stated that PIRUS lists SFLA among white supremacists, jihadist groups, and other threats, appearing as a “Terrorist Group” label in the raw dataset. National security expert Elizabeth Neumann stated that such labeling was inappropriate. She has worked on President George W. Bush’s Homeland Security Council, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and in the Department of Homeland Security in counterterrorism and threat prevention. Additionally, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo also explained that researchers can “create and apply any definition of ‘terrorist’ that they like,” but that it would make sense to use the definition publicized by the FBI. ‘It seems obvious that writing messages in chalk on the sidewalk does not come close to fitting this definition.’”

To read the letter in full, click here.

After media outreach to START, a letter was sent to SFLA’s attorneys, insinuating that the change was part of regularly scheduled maintenance of the website.

“Convenient timing aside for a fix, the outrageous targeting of peaceful pro-life students is all the more obvious when you consider that the so-called terrorism experts at START ignored pro-abortion activists, engaged in acts of arson and vandalism in support of their pro-abortion views,” said Hawkins.

On X/formerly Twitter, the day that the U.S. House delivered the articles of impeachment for Mayorkas to the U.S. Senate, Hawkins observed. “Since we’re talking about the articles of impeachment being filed against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, here’s another thing he should also answer for – funding a program at the University of Maryland, START, that targeted peaceful pro-life students …”

READ MORE: Self-Proclaimed Terrorist Watch Dogs Fail to Notice the “MASS CASUALTY OFFENDERS” at Planned Parenthood, picks on Students for Life of America Instead

“While we are glad that Homeland Security, START, and company seem to have quietly dropped our name, we never should have been listed next terrorists in the first place,” said Hawkins. “This was a thought police kind of smear. And without better assurances, we don’t know if they will do it again.”

For interviews, contact  [email protected]


The Pro-Life Generation (PLG) is an umbrella organization encompassing the most-cutting edge engagement opportunities for a Vote Pro-Life First Community. PLG includes Students for Life Action (SFLAction), a 501c4, along with its 501c3 sister organization, Students for Life of America (SFLA), that together make up the nation’s largest, pro-life youth organization, managing a grassroots political and policy operation engaging Americans of all ages but with a special emphasis on the largest segment of voters — the Youth Vote. Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, PLG/SFLA/SFLAction serves more than 1,400 groups on middle, high school, college, medical, and law school campuses in all 50 states. Our team has more conversations with this generation targeted by the abortion lobby than any other pro-life operation in the world, each week reaching more than 4 million across social media platforms and averaging 1.3 million video views. In addition to SFLA/SFLAction, PLG leads multiple initiatives to lead and serve the future of the pro-life movement including the Campaign for Abortion Free CitiesStanding With You, and the Demetree Institute for Pro-Life Advancement . Over more than 17 years, PLG CEO Kristan Hawkins has grown the operation into a nearly $20M organization, now preparing for an abortion-free America.

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