The recent success of the gay-marriage movement is a case in point, Hawkins added. “They talk about love and human rights, not that it’s wrong. It’s about love,” she said.
Students for Life has sought to back up its words with deeds. According to Hawkins’ bio, the organization has more than doubled the number of pro-life groups on campuses, increasing from 181 in 2006 to more than 500 today. The Catholic activist put the numbers in perspective. “Hey, maybe there are only 10 or 12 people in the group, but at least they’re hearing from someone other than pro-choice groups on campus,” the activist said.
Small numbers are not a problem at Students for Life’s annual conference before the March for Life in Washington, D.C. Thousands of college-age students descend on a large hotel in the Maryland suburbs for a few days to learn techniques to save the unborn. In addition, Students for Life has a Campus Pregnancy Initiative that encourages campuses to support students who become pregnant, such as holding baby showers, providing daycare, and even building housing.
Hawkins ended her speech with a theoretical and practical challenge to those gathered. “Do you think this is possible?” she said shouting and chopping the air for emphasis. Then, dropping her voice to a loud whisper, she asked them a slightly different question: “Are you going to join us?”
As multiple attendees rose to their feet to clap, Hawkins exited the stage. She appeared in the lobby outside the Regency ballroom and walked past a knot of people. She had been scheduled to sign copies of her book, “Courageous: Students Abolishing Abortion in this Lifetime.” But aides said she had another commitment. She was traveling to New York City to appear on the Mike Huckabee Show that night.
Mark Stricherz is Washington bureau chief for The Colorado Observer and author of Why the Democrats are Blue.