Why I am “Anti-Abortion”

At the 40th year of legal abortion in America, our nation remains divided on the most important human rights issue of our time. We cannot afford another 40 years of bloodshed and tears. We cannot stand by and watch another 55 million die from the deceit of the abortion industry. We must abolish abortion in this lifetime.

The most recent Gallup poll has 44% of respondents identifying themselves as pro-life and 48% as pro-choice, where we’ve been stuck, give or take a couple percentage points either way, for decades. However, this same poll found that only 29% of those who responded want Roe v. Wade to be overturned. What happened to that other 15% who claimed they were pro-life?

Clearly, there is some confusion about what being pro-life means.

We at Students for Life of America have been first-hand witnesses to this confusion on our nation’s college campuses. When we first started, our Regional Coordinators would ask passers-by if they were “pro-life” or “pro-choice” in an attempt to get students to sign up for a new pro-life group. Usually, students would stop by and ask, “Which one is that?” That’s when we knew we had a problem.

Planned Parenthood, with its millions of dollars for marketing, has helped garner this confusion. Yet this past January, they announced that they were moving away from the term “pro-choice” permanently. Although they have tried to blur the “pro-choice/pro-life” lines, it’s still too linked with abortion.

Every American, even those who protest against us, knows abortion is tragic and wrong. They admit that nobody wants an abortion; what they don’t talk about is why. Distancing themselves from the word “abortion” is a smart move for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. They know that while it is profitable for them, they lose when they mention the word “abortion.”

And the data proves their assumptions right.

Last summer, in a study that SFLA conducted, we found that young people supported Planned Parenthood by a ratio of over six to one (66% “favorable” vs. 11% “unfavorable”). A plurality of even those who even identified as conservative (44%) and pro-life (46%) were “favorable” towards Planned Parenthood.

The reason? 48% said they did not know whether or not Planned Parenthood offered abortions and an additional 11% thought Planned Parenthood did NOT do abortions. In the study, respondents’ favorability towards Planned Parenthood was directly proportional to whether or not they knew the organization did abortions. Those who were unfavorable towards Planned Parenthood were much more likely than its supporters to know about their abortion services (69% to 40%).

Most Americans simply have no idea what Planned Parenthood is really about and when you tell them it’s abortion – their favorability falls.

So, what’s their goal? Never bring it up.

What should we do?

When we talk about abortion, we need to use the one word that terrifies Planned Parenthood and its other supporters: “abortion.”

My personal conversations with former Planned Parenthood workers confirm this fact. Recently, I was speaking with Abby Johnson, the former director of a Texas Planned Parenthood. I asked her what was the most damaging thing a “pro-life” group could do to the Planned Parenthood in their community – she responded, “Bring up the fact that they do abortions.”

Now, I’m not saying to abandon the use of the term “pro-life” altogether, but we must realize that the term “pro-life” allows the person using it to give it their own definition.

For me and others I work with, it means that we are dedicated to abolishing all abortions in our lifetime. For others, it means that they are personally against abortion but wouldn’t stop a friend from having one. And for another group of people, it means being against abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, unjust war, nuclear weapons, sex trafficking, and so on.

While the term “pro-life” can have many connotations with different meanings to different people, being anti-abortion very clearly states what we are against. There’s no confusion there.

In addition, it makes “abortion” the key issue and shoves the term back in the face of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.

Friends, for years, the mainstream media has attempted to turn “anti-abortion” into a pejorative term and in reaction, pro-lifers have chafed at the press refusing to call us by our preferred name.

But if something is as evil as abortion, you should want to be clear about what you are fighting against. After all, the slavery abolitionists of the past were anti-slavery, not pro-worker freedom. The anti-smoking campaigns of the 1980s and 90s were just that, not pro-clean air campaigns.  It’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving, not Mothers For Sober Driving. It’s anti-war, not pro-absence of conflict. If you truly believe in your heart that something is wrong, you must say it and not be afraid of putting it in a negative light.

Instead of shrinking from the “anti-abortion” classification, we should embrace it. We ARE anti-abortion. We are anti-abortion because it kills the most innocent and vulnerable among us; it degrades, deceives, and hurts women; it tears apart our families; and it has taken a third of this generation from us.

If we are going to succeed in putting the abortion Goliath Planned Parenthood out of business along with their allies in the abortion industry, we must drill it into Americans’ heads that the terms “Planned Parenthood,” “reproductive health care,” etc. are synonymous with abortion.

Be courageous and don’t be afraid to tell people what abortion is and why you are against it. Be that annoying person who talks about abortion everywhere you go.

Why? Because when we talk about abortion in our schools, churches, families, and communities, we win because the truth is illuminated.

Don’t be afraid to call yourself anti-abortion or an abortion abolitionist, because that is who we are, and our ultimate goal is to abolish abortion in our lifetime.

Kristan Hawkins is the President of Students for Life of America, the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization with over 700 groups nationwide. She is author of the new book Courageous: Students Abolishing Abortion in this Lifetime.
Articles by Kristan:

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  • Steve Koob

    I am anti-abortion and anti-contraception because abortion and contraception are wedded to each other and both are intrinsically evil. Most abortions are caused by contraception, either by the action of the “contraceptive” being abortifacient–all the hormonal means of “contraception”, or by failure of the contraceptive resulting in conception–leading to the “need” for abortion.
    I am also pro-life, which I take to mean that I am in favor of all life, plant, animal and human. After all, God instructed all living things to be fertile (or fruitful), multiply and fill the earth (Genesis). More specifically, I am pro-conception; I want there to be more babies. Not just because God said so, but because more babies will create a Culture of Life that is more welcoming of all babies–all life, really.
    Pro-conception contracts to “proception” just as contra-conception contracts to the familiar “contraception”. Please join me in encouraging proception. A proceptive mentality will do an end run around contraception and abortion. Being proception will make the world a superior place to live.

    • Lauren Walker

      What about women that were raped?

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  • Patricia


    I am grateful for all the wonderful work you do with SFLA! God bless you!

    Unless the pro-life movement address the dangers (for the child, the woman, marriage & society as a whole) & evils of contraception…we will not see an end to abortion in our lifetime. As Steve K. mentioned, contraception makes abortion ‘necessary.’ Humanae Vitae & Evangelium Vitae should be required reading for those who consider themselves pro-life. IVF is another topic that, sadly, too many pro-lifers either ignore or condone.

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  • Spencer Raney

    I am a
    conservative and a male and it is my belief that abortion should be legal. My
    chief argument in favor of abortion it is unfair to a child if you are going to
    bring them into a world that will be cruel to them, which would be the case if
    the mother is underage or an addict, because they would grow up either in
    financial hardship or with physical or psychological handicaps. Make abortion
    illegal would also be unfair to women because it might force them to have a
    child that is the product of rape or incest, making the child a constant
    reminder of the violation or producing a child who has to live with the
    knowledge that it is inbred.

    another note, abortion keeps the population in check. One of the biggest
    opponents of abortion is the Catholic Church, a church that often ignores women’s
    rights and that also believes that contraception is a sin. Their beliefs lead
    them to ignore the problems of overpopulation and common sense by prohibiting
    people from having protected sex, which results in children whose parents might
    not be able to raise, provide for, or even want, as well as allowing the spread
    of S.T.D.’s. Also, your article equates abortion with “the death penalty, and
    euthanasia”, two issues that are have legitimate arguments in their favor, and
    even goes to the outrageous length of comparing abortion with “unjust war,
    nuclear weapons, and sex trafficking”. Abortion is a legal medical practice
    that is upheld by the Supreme Court not a violation of the Geneva Convention
    that has regularly discussed by the International Criminal Court.

    Miss Hawkins,
    the author of the article, says that abortion clinics hide their real purpose
    by referring to themselves as Planned Parenthood clinics while anti-abortion
    supporters refer to themselves as pro-life, a label she says is vague and does
    not focus on their main purpose, but in fact is used to guilt people who are
    opposed to them by associating themselves with live and pro-abortion supporters
    with death.

    My belief is that abortion is not only legal
    but is serves a necessary purpose by preventing children from coming into a
    world that they could not cope with, preventing women from having children when
    they are either ill-equipped to handle life as a mother or are uninterested in
    having a child at that time, and by keeping the population balanced thus
    preventing the problems of not being able to provide enough resources for the
    world’s inhabitants.

  • Lauren Walker

    Are any of you people going to take care of these kids? All you’re going to say is “that’s so sad they were murdered or raped”. Kids going without shelter or food, what’re you going to do for them? NOTHING..YOU DON’T DO IT NOW. Enough is enough. You don’t believe in it so don’t have an abortion. How’re going to tell ppl what to do with THEIR lives. Not everyone is meant to be a parent.

    • editor

      Thats a pretty broad statement to make about people who are pro-life. My parents are pro-life and adopted for kids; my friends are taking in moms in difficult situations; just a few examples of many. You mention control of another person’s life… that is exactly why so many people are pro-life, because they want an unborn child to have the freedom to live. Science confirms that they are alive, unique human beings. It’s not a matter of “belief”, but of recognizing a scientifically proven fact.

  • Lauren Walker

    Evil? Some of you ppl probably judge ppl by their ethnicity.. Smh. Evil is trying to control another persons life.

  • chaserblue

    I am pro choice because it’s none of my business what anyone else does with their lives. I am not apprised of their situation, their mental health, their circumstances or what dreams they have. It’s not my place to force decisions and decide their entire life. It’s none of your business, either. A woman has a right to her own body. You do NOT have the right to occupy it and make demands, then arrest her when she breaks into her own body.
    My body was NOT handed to me by the government. I have had it since the day I was born. It does NOT belong to you. There is no room for you, your god, your laws or your politicians. My body, My choice.
    Forcing women to have children is every bit as evil as forcing them to have abortions.

  • Jason Gill Jr

    Have you ever noticed that the people that are against abortions are usually people you wouldn’t wanna fuck in the first place?