Kristin Hawkins, executive director for Students for Life was one of the speakers at a prominent Christian conference this past weekend, and I was able to attend. Kristin is a young woman who has been in the pro life movement for about 10 years, and started in the movement inadvertently, by volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center at age 15. Kristin became the national executive director for Students for Life at age 21.
Ms. Hawkins was scheduled to speak for 45 minutes, but informed the conference sponsor that she would be speaking for 30 minutes. The first half of her speech was her personal history and accomplishments in the movement and the second half was intermixed with her current plans to expand the program, and her ‘vision’ for the future of the movement.
I was there all day and she was the last speaker Ms. Hawkins speech was sparsely attended and the people in the room seemed restless and this seemed to accurately reflect the importance and gravity of what was to come.
Ms Hawkins may be adept at calling campus leaders to organize groups, but she could not bring forth any personal victory of any substance that would be considered being ‘on the road’ to overturning Roe. Ms. Hawkins stated “One day, Roe will be overturned”, but did not follow up with any tangible plan or strategy. Ms. Hawkins must believe that the overturning of Roe will be accomplished through the process of osmosis, as there were no clear plans or strategies mentioned or alluded to. From there, she went on to say for the first time, the majority of people in this country are pro life, that the current generation realized one third of them have been aborted, and this has mobilized her generation into action. The action alluded to was the goal of having the numbers of organizations on campuses grow to 500. What exactly these organizations are going to do was left out of this speech. There was no plan presented on how to overturn Roe, no vision, no timeframe, no strategy.
Ms. Hawkins equated numbers to success. Her main success story had to do with a gentleman in Illinois, who, to his credit, organized a large contingency on a public university. The held protests and prayer vigils, but essentially, did not change any laws, impact any of the elections, and other than some press, did not change the debate on legalized child killing. Ms. Hawkins is equating style with substance, and did not present, either through this example, or her own thoughts any strategies or plan to overturn Roe.
Ms. Hawkins encouraged more people to get involved, and her greatest challenge to the men in the room was to utilize their skills in maintenance and work at the crisis centers. This speech did not call to arms in any way, shape or form to address or inspire the challenges and means necessary to overturn Roe. This speech reflected more of a young woman whose only experiences has been in dealing with crisis pregnancy centers, some lobbying and putting together groups that are monitored in a fashion that does not think outside the box and conforms to her ideas of placating those who are fearful of discomfort and inconvenience.
Ms. Hawkins clearly is not a leader that will inspire others to jump into this battle believing it is winnable. Ms. Hawkins gave a great speech if she were recruiting people to mow the lawn and fix locks at a crisis pregnancy center. There was no vision on how to overturn Roe, and it was painfully obvious Ms. Hawkins does not have the life experience or the practical knowledge, or the ‘scars’ of battle it takes to create the social tensions needed to confront the reality of legalized child killing and end it . Yes, crisis pregnancies are important, prayer groups on college campuses are important, and lobbying is important, but this is not the front line in the battle to end legalized child killing. Ms. Hawkins has not experienced victory, and cannot lead others to victory with a vague plan to ‘educate and change hearts’. Legalized child killing will only end when it becomes illegal. It will only become illegal, when those in power are subjected to so much heat, that they cannot but help themselves to make it illegal. This will not happen by mowing lawns, changing light bulbs, sending e-mails and pleading for milquetoast Christians to participate in virtual protests. Don’t send a medic into the battle to do a general’s job.