Yesterday, I delivered an address at Wellesley College in Massachusetts as the first stop on my fall speaking tour entitled, The Future Is Anti Abortion: Preparing For A Post-Roe America.I was eager to speak at Wellesley because I believe it’s crucial to engage with students who don’t understand the pro-life worldview. And ahead of my visit, Wellesley students provided ample evidence that they hate not what we actually believe, but what they think we believe. Students prepared for my visit by disseminating a 30-page document in which they attached every unfounded, trendy label they could to smear my name and included an 800-signature petition urging Wellesley to cancel my speech and shut down the school’s only pro-life campus group, Wellesley For Life. Students also posted outraged and threatening social media posts and publishing a defamatory article in the school newspaper which is now the top search engine result for my name.
Due to the open threats of violence and intimidation from Wellesley students, my organization, Students for Life of America, published these threats in advance of my talk to alert media to the situation and spur the administration to tamp down the furor of its enraged student body. Hundreds of pro-abortion students were present when I arrived for the event. I suspect they would not have been as silent or peaceful as they were had my team not exposed their rhetoric and threats to the media ahead of my visit.
Universities were once bastions of diversity of thought, but Wellesley now signifies the total intolerance rampant on university campuses worldwide. Just weeks ago at Oxford University in England, vicious pro-abortion students destroyed an innocuous pro-life display and threatened peaceful pro-life students. Shortly before that, pro-life students at Exeter University in England allegedly received death threats as pro-abortion students lobbied to shut down their group.
But in speaking with Wellesley’s pro-abortion students during the question-and-answer period of my speech yesterday, it was clear that they hated their warped misconceptions of the Pro-Life Generation, not what we actually believe. For example, when I alerted pro-abortion students of their school’s record of failing to support pregnant and parenting students by forcing student mothers out of campus housing, they agreed with me that this was shameful behavior. And when I informed them that my organization founded the Standing With You initiative a decade ago to ensure that pregnant and parenting college students are protected and served, their preconceived notion that ‘pro-lifers don’t care about women’ was decimated. Pro-abortion students left my talk questioning their own school’s record on caring for women. We have the upper hand when we engage in-person about abortion. And that’s exactly why the abortion industry colludes with academia, Big Tech, and the mainstream media to ensure that conversations like mine don’t happen.
My Wellesley experience was a microcosm of the challenge the pro-life movement is facing today. We’re up against an abortion industry disinformation campaign seeking to ensure that our voices are not heard because feeding Americans the lie that pro-lifers hate women allows the abortion industry to maintain its stranglehold on the culture. It can continue to convince women that they have no choice but abortion and bury information about the sophisticated network of free, nonviolent pregnancy and parenting services available to every woman who needs help. I cannot overstate the importance of having face-to-face conversations about abortion in our communities, on campuses, and in our churches. This is why we make sure my speaking tours happen and why we launched monthly door knocking campaigns in 20 major cities nationwide as the centerpiece of SFLA’s multi-million dollar Campaign for Abortion Free Cities.
Ahead of my tour stops, my team plans for everything from backup locations where I can still speak to the community in the event that I am canceled to the possibility of violence being perpetrated by abortion supporters on campus. And our concerns about violence are not hypothetical; SFLA staff and student group members have been punched in the face, verbally assaulted, spit on, and intimidated by unhinged pro-abortion activists. Ironically, just hours before I arrived, a defamatory article in Wellesley’s newspaper characterized me as a threat to the mental and physical health of its students. There was zero substantiation for this claim or the same article’s claim that I am “transphobic” and “ableist” (which would come as a shock to my two children with cystic fibrosis). The article failed to mention the documented threats of violence against me being made by Wellesley’s own students.
Despite the immense pressure we faced to back down and skip this tour stop, we persisted because of the pro-abortion students. They came into my talk believing the bogus lie that pro-lifers don’t care about women and walked away knowing that we do and questioning whether their own side is as pro-woman as they thought. SFLA’s extensive research into those in the “moveable middle” on abortion — a plurality of Americans — shows that setting the record straight on our support for women is the first step in moving hearts toward the pro-life position. The shift that occurred in the hearts of pro-abortion students at Wellesley last night lays the groundwork for what the Wellesley For Life student group will continue to do now that I am gone: making the case that abortion is a human rights violation that victimizes children but also betrays and destroys women. We fought to be heard, and it was worth the struggle.