Roger Marsh: Welcome to Family Talk, the listener supported broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Roger Marsh. Under the Biden administration, the pro-life movement has two primary concerns right now. The first is the rapid expansion of chemical abortions in America, which account for nearly 50% of all abortion procedures. Secondly, the censorship of pro-life groups by big tech, which labels them as so-called quote unquote, "hate groups." On today's program, our guest is Kristan Hawkins, the President of Students for Life of America, which has an incredible 1,300 chapters in all 50 states. Kristan lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and four children. Despite the deceit of the abortion industry and the mainstream media, Kristan tells our own Dr. Tim Clinton: the young people in America today are more pro-life than ever before. Let's listen now to Kristan Hawkins' analysis right here on Family Talk.
Dr. Clinton: Kristan Hawkins, she's the President of Students for Life of America, which has over, well, nearly 1,300 chapters in all 50 states. Kristan's a powerhouse voice and influence in our culture today. Kristan, thank you for joining us.
Kristan Hawkins: Thanks for having me tonight.
Dr. Clinton: As we get started, Kristan, here at Family Talk, you know we've got a firm commitment to life and Dr. Dobson's been an advocate and champion for life for a long, long time. He certainly loves and appreciates and respects what you do there, but Kristan, God is really at work in and through Students for Life in America. Tell us a little bit about what's happening. I know you and I were together at the March For Life last year and the thing that I was just stunned by were how many students were there, middle school, high school, college students. They were from everywhere, all walks of life, standing as champions for a voice in this moment in this hour for life.
Kristan Hawkins: That's absolutely right. The Holy Spirit is at work and I think there's so many folks right now who are sort of downtrodden about the state of our country. And you turn on the news, you read a newspaper and we talk about disunity and everything that's happening and some things are happening pretty rapidly in Washington, D.C. these days. But the good news is, is that we have the momentum and that this generation of young people are against abortion. They know what abortion is. They don't like abortion, and despite what you may hear, despite the narrative that you might be being fed from the abortion industry, there is a lot of hope for the future and we know these young people that we're equipping, that we're seeing come out by tens of thousands in the March for Life, will be the ones to lead us to - a nation, to a place that's post Roe versus Wade. When Roe will be gone and we will work to completely abolish abortion in our land.
Dr. Clinton: Kristan, I found and I think a lot of people are saying this very thing that the majority of Americans want some type of restriction on abortion. They want it. How in the world did we get to a place where we've cascaded kind of off the cliff and we're talking about things like birth day abortions and stuff now?
Kristan Hawkins: Well, I think the very real answer is money and politics. We saw the abortion industry kind of cement themselves, embed into the Democratic party, into the Democratic machine, the apparatus, to the point where now, if you're a Democrat and moderately pro-life, willing to speak and say that you believe abortion is wrong, you will be censored by your own party. Not be allowed to speak at events like conventions. You'll be primaried by your own party. Look what happened with Congressman Dan Lipinski, one of the few remaining pro-life Democrats in the House of Representatives, lost this year, this past year because he was primaried by NARAL, Planned Parenthood and his party. And so I think that's why we've seen this extremism.
When you look at the polls, it's shocking when you think about how liberal our abortion laws in the country are, how extreme they are, but yet the vast majority of Americans agree with us that they want common sense restrictions, and you're like, how does that happen? Why would a political party, why would politicians, who, let's face it, their sole job is to get reelected, why would they take this chance with this extreme pro-abortion position? And it's because they fear Planned Parenthood. They fear the abortion lobby. Planned Parenthood is one of those powerful lobbyists in Washington, DC and they will go after candidates, politicians, leaders, who don't do what they want them to do. And so to be an elected official, you've got to have courage and you have to be willing to stand up and sadly, sometimes that's few and far between in Washington.
Dr. Clinton: Kristan, let's go back to your organization, Students for Life for America, you call them the pro-life generation. And I really believe they are. There's a lot of energy. There's a lot of excitement. You guys started out with 50, 100 chapters. You're all the way up to nearly 1,300 chapters all over the country on college campuses and more. You're expanding it into churches, but Kristan, you're also up against some challenge. The academy, the college and universities are working hard to undermine that group to confuse them. What is it that you're seeing? What are you concerned about?
Kristan Hawkins: There's two major issues that we are concerned about going into 2021, especially with this Biden administration. One is the rapid and radical expansion of the chemical abortions in our country. Already today, chemical abortions account for a little less than half of all abortions and the abortion industry loves these chemical abortion. These are pill cocktails, where a woman will take a pill at the abortion facility. Sometimes in some states, the doctor isn't even there on the premises and then she takes another pill at home. And she's told, "Sit on the toilet, don't flush. You're going to have painful cramps. There's going to be bleeding. Just don't look." These are toilet bowl abortions. They're horrific. They actually fail about 10 to 15% of the time when she then has to go back in to get a surgical abortion.
The other thing is they have a graying of the abortion industry. Surprise, surprise: Doctors don't go to medical school to end lives. And so it's very hard for them to convince doctors to become abortionists. With the chemical abortions it's a little easier to convince a doctor just to hand a pill out. Chemical abortion is a huge concern for us. We saw it just get passed in California last year, where every single California state college now has to dispense the abortion pill on campus. They've turned every single state college in California into an abortion dispensary and they want this legislation to go nationwide. That's number one.
Number two is censorship. We had a Students for Life Group this fall amidst the election, you probably didn't see the news because of all the election coverage. The University of Northern Iowa Student Government Association actually labeled our Students for Life group a hate group because they hate abortion. They said, "If you're anti-abortion, you're violent." And they banned our Students for Life group from campus. We had to write a very strongly worded letter from our lawyers to the president of the school, listing out all the legal victories we've had. All the damages universities have had to pay our lawyers over the years and then surprise, surprise the school rescinded the student government's decision. But this isn't going to stop at Northern Iowa. We are going to see this more and more. We've seen increased rates of cyber bullying, death threats. We're going to see censorship of pro-lifers, of Christians on campuses. Just saying you're pro-life, just saying you're a Christian is going to get you labeled hate speech. And what they'll try to do is they're going to try to cancel you.
Dr. Clinton: Kristan, I think I saw where the majority of these clinics are within what? Five miles or so of college campuses. In addition, the majority of people who are getting abortions are under the age of 25. And so here she is, she's in a predicament and most women or the couple, make a decision to abort or not within a 24 hour window. Somebody's got to be there. Somebody has got to be able to speak into their life. You go back to the raw debate when somebody says, "No, no, no, this is my body. This is healthcare," versus, "No, no. This is a person." The person who I debate is the core of this whole thing, isn't it?
Kristan Hawkins: All of these questions and all these justifications we hear for why we need legal abortion, all of those things start to change, when we answer the question, what is it? And it's actually really simple. Science is definitive. What it is, is a unique, whole living human being that's never existed before and will never exist again. That's exactly what is inside of her. It's a human being with entirely new genetic code, just like you and I.
Dr. Clinton: You think that's why when an expecting mom goes and sees an ultrasound and she sees the baby, that it often has an unbelievable impact on her to carry that baby to term now? You think that's what's going on? It's the personhood issue, isn't it?
Kristan Hawkins: I think it is. Yeah, absolutely. Think about what the abortion industry has just unveiled. In the past couple months, there have been articles out about this new pill that the abortion industry is offering. It's called a missed period pill. And so what they're doing is they're marketing Plan B, which is a high dose hormonal birth control pill that you can purchase sadly at Walmart, grocery stores, wherever. And this is a pill that in case you've had sex and you believe you've ovulated, you can take this pill and it might prevent you from ovulating if your egg hasn't been released so that way, no conception can occur. But if your egg has been released, is making its way down the fallopian tube, as part of your monthly cycle, it can prevent a fertilized egg, a new zygote, a human being with a new genetic code, from implanting into your uterine wall causing an early abortion.
But you'll never really know. As a woman, you wouldn't know if you were having an early abortion. But what they found is people don't like abortion. They don't like to think about having abortion. What they're calling it is a missed period pill. You don't have to ever go figure out if you were actually pregnant, you can just take these pills and maybe you have an abortion, maybe you won't, but then you'll never have to know. And then you'll have this peace of mind-
Dr. Clinton: Wow.
Kristan Hawkins: That you didn't have an abortion. And I think that's significant. And to see that they understand what we're seeing is that young people know abortion's wrong and so they're trying to market it in such a way where they're still having abortions, but yet they're not going to call it that.
Dr. Clinton: Wow, so from that discussion all the way through to some discussion that's taking place of actually taking the life of a baby who may have survived, we call them botched abortions. It's horrific. Before President Trump left office, he declared January 22nd National Sanctity of Human Life Day and we know January is the month for the March for life. We were there again last year. Was just amazing. It was unbelievable, really. Talk to us about the significance of that day, that march and its influence on culture. Here we are, by the way: huge unrest, a lot of change going on, great division in our country and we're right into this issue. Right out of the gate and it's front and center and a lot of people are looking at it. Kristan, I believe differently this year. You know why? Because it is so prominent and they realize it's such significance in our culture. Your thoughts.
Kristan Hawkins: Well, if you're one of those people that wants just the controversy to end, you want everything to go back to normal, I don't have real great news for you on that front. And in fact, I don't want the controversy to end when we're talking about abortion, because the more we talk about abortion, the more minds we know we will change. But because we don't see it, we forget about it and that's exactly what the abortion industry wants. They want you to forget about. That's why they use euphemisms like "reproductive rights" and "reproductive choice." They don't want us to know what's going on. I hope you all will stand up and do something.
We at Students for life are doing Stand for Life weekends where every night this week, we're training young people and adults in a different part of pro-life activism because that's what's so great about the pro-life movement is that it doesn't require just a certain type of person. In fact, we need lots of different types of people. We're training folks and sidewalk counseling and lobbying and post-abortive healing. And then we want you guys to get out and get active, to do it. You can join us at Students for Life or just go out in your community. This week, hold a pro-life sign at a busy intersection for two hours. Be a witness.
Dr. Clinton: Kristan, I think a lot of people want to get involved. I've never seen such enthusiasm around the issue of life as I'm seeing right now. Kristan, there is good news. The good news is we are winning when it comes to life. Abortion clinics are closing. The number of abortions seems to be going down, but with the pill it's getting complicated, like you said. Kristan, the heartbeat bills that are starting to surge in states, et cetera. Gives us an encouraging word. We're winning at life, right?
Kristan Hawkins: We are absolutely winning at life. We absolutely have the momentum. In fact, I have this whole spreadsheet right here of all of our victories, of all of our wins I can go through with you. We are totally winning. That is why they're fighting so hard. That is why we're seeing what we're seeing there. They're gasping their last breaths in the abortion industry. That's why they're doing everything possible to stop the advancement of something they know is coming because they read the same polls. They watch us at the March for Life. They know it's here. There is a generation of people now who understand what abortion is. And every single day, science continues to advance and proves our point. That what is inside of that mother is a unique, whole living human being that should be protected.
Dr. Clinton: Yeah, I wanted to say this: "What if I had an abortion? And as I hear you all, I'm weeping in my heart." What do you say to her? It may be a him. There a lot of hims involved in this whole thing too. We get that. But what do you say to her right now, Kristan?
Kristan Hawkins: What we say is, we love you and that the pro-life movement is not judging you. In fact, our movement is filled. I would say the majority of those leaders on the ground in communities are leading in the pro-life movement today because of a past abortion decision. We actually want you to join us. We actually need your story, but we need to first make sure that you are taken care of. I encourage you to go to Rachel's Vineyard, to find a post abortion healing retreat in your community. Go get healing, sit and talk with others who've gone through an abortion experience and know that you are forgiven. We have an ultimate savior who redeems. And no, it's never going to be easy, but that we love you, that we're not judging you. In fact, we need you to join us and we need your voice and we need your story.
Dr. Clinton: I remember being in a session one time, Kristan, with a woman who kept telling me she had something that she needed to tell me and she couldn't get it out for weeks. And finally, the night came where she told me and as she told the story of going through this horrific experience, she just wept. Kristan, she cried and cried and cried. And then she said, "Tim, every night I go to sleep all I hear are babies crying." And I remember looking at her and saying this, "He has forgiven you." And she said, "Do you mean that?" I said, "God has forgiven you. You've asked him. He forgives you." And she began a healing journey. God brings healing. And now what he wants you to do is what? Go and sin no more. He wants you to go become- don't just curse the darkness, be a light. Kristan, questions coming in. I agree with most of your points about the science behind creation of life, but what about conception caused by a rape or something? What's your position on that?
Kristan Hawkins: Yeah, I think this is really difficult when you get asked this question, depends on what kind of context the question's being asked. We always like to remind our students is when someone's usually asking you this question, they're not really asking you if the child is human, they're asking you if you're human. Do you have sympathy for her? And so you have to be careful to launch right into a biological defense of the pre-born child. And we can do that. I've already made that case that no matter your parentage, you're still a unique, whole living human being who is made in the image God and has fundamental rights and dignity and value. But when we first get to ask that question, I always start off by saying how I feel about sexual assault. That I can imagine nothing worse happening to my daughter or to my best friend or to my mother and my sister.
And that we, as a pro-life movement, we as Christians should be willing to do everything possible to help her because we know it's not, and you know this, there's not a quick fix for a woman who's been violated. Even for a man who's been violated. There's not something quick, it's a slow and painful healing process and we should be willing to do and go as far as we can to help her. But the line that we have to draw is that we shouldn't be willing to kill for her. And by the way, that's actually a very rare occurrence. About 5% of women will conceive who've been violated, who have endured and survived sexual assault. Sometimes I hear it, people will try to justify having abortion legal all nine months for any reason and they're trying to justify almost a million abortions a year for a very few number of cases.
And so, I even will go back in that discussion and say, "Well, let's take that off the table. Let's say, we're not going to touch the legality about abortion in cases of rape. We can get to that later. Let's just talk about the other 97 to 98% of abortions that don't occur because of sexual assault or incest or life of the mother. Would you agree with me that we should end those 97 to 98% abortions?" And then the person asks me another question. And so really what I find so sad is that women who have survived sexual assault, they're actually used to justify all abortions. And that's always the argument that we hear.
Dr. Clinton: Two more questions, Kristan.
Kristan Hawkins: Okay.
Dr. Clinton: I'm on welfare, I'm a single mom, I can't afford to have any more kids, I cannot provide for more and there are no means in my community, I'm ashamed, I'm in conflict because I'm a Christian, but still I see it as an obvious logical choice in terms of means and what type of world the baby would be brought into. What do you say to her?
Kristan Hawkins: Well, when we're getting asked a question about a mother who's living in poverty, trying to get her family out of poverty.
Dr. Clinton: And it's rough.
Kristan Hawkins: It's hard. And that's why we as pro-lifers start pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes across the country and why there's thousands of them. That's why we're there serving in our communities. But I think it's interesting when you get these questions because it's automatically assumed that the child, eliminating the child, ending the life of the child is suddenly going to help. If she goes into a Planned Parenthood in poverty, enduring an abusive relationship, she has an abortion, she's going to walk out in poverty in an abusive relationship. The abortion actually, isn't going to solve her poverty. It's not going to take her out of poverty. It's not going to end the abusive relationship she's in. In fact, in some cases it could actually prolong the abusive relationship she is in. I think it's wrong to assume that we eliminate another human being and attempt to eliminate a problem that's completely disconnected from the life of that human being.
Dr. Clinton: One more question. I'm young, in college, I see you online and social media. I want to speak up and do ministry to other friends who struggle, have made bad decisions. But in my circle, in my click sheet, I won't speak up because people are going to label me as too conservative, too judgmental. How do I even begin a safe conversation with those around me?
Kristan Hawkins: Well I would say, and I hate to be so crass, but buck up. Jesus doesn't call us to be comfortable. And in fact, as Christians, we know it's not always easy being a Christian. In fact, I actually think we're entering a time in the history of our nation, where it's going to be very hard to be a Christian. And there's going to be some people who deny their beliefs because it'll be just easier for them. You are called to speak up as a Christian, to bring light to the darkness. And yes, you may get labeled whatever label they want to give you that day. But you can, through your life, continue to prove them wrong of who you are. That you're not judgmental, that you love women by your actions. And they may still call you names, but it doesn't mean anything.
There's so much you can get involved in. If you're still afraid, not sure, it helps to do things in groups. That's why we start Students for Life groups on campuses, so it's not just one person standing out there tabling and having a conversation. You're out there with five other people. And you're starting to have this conversation and you're showing other students on your campus that this is a legitimate viewpoint to hold and we can have a calm, rational, loving discussion about the issue of abortion.
Start a Students for Life group, join one. You can go to studentsforlife.org. We can look up the nearest one to you. We have online, in person trainings happening all the time and you will find young people like you across the country, that you can become partnered with and allied with and I guarantee you, once you start hanging out with the 100,00 plus students we've trained across the country and you start hearing their stories about lives that have been saved, minds that have been changed, campus policies that have been reformed to actually support pregnant and parenting women, you'll know you can move forward and you'll know exactly you need to do and you'll have the courage and you'll have the backup to do it.
Dr. Clinton: Hey, if we see the momentum that we're seeing happen right now, we possibly could see Roe versus Wade overturned in our generation, Kristan. Hey, your website one more time, studentsforlife.org. And if you want more information about Kristan Hawkins and her ministry, you can certainly go to drjamesdobson.org, drjamesdobson.org. Kristan, thank you and your ministry for joining us.
Kristan Hawkins: Thank you very much.
Dr. Clinton: Blessings your way.
Roger Marsh: And today here on Family Talk, you've been listening to Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America and her conversation with Dr. Tim Clinton. To learn more about Kristan Hawkins and Students for Life of America, visit our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org. And if you'd like to rehear any portion of the broadcast that you might've missed, please visit our broadcast page as well and you'll find the audio there, drjamesdobson.org/broadcast.
Now on a different note, does a happy marriage seemed like a lot of hard work? Guess what? It is. Is parenting today tougher than it used to be? Guess what? It is. Are you having trouble keeping up with our out of control culture? Well, shake hands with the rest of us and then sign up for Dr. Dobson's monthly newsletter for biblical answers to tough questions. Go online to drjamesdobson.org/subscribe. That's drjamesdobson.org/subscribe. Or if you'd prefer, you can contact us by phone when you call (877) 732-6825. That's (877) 732-6825. A member of our team will be happy to serve you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I'm Roger Marsh. Thanks for listening. Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to join us again Monday for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
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