Washington, D.C. - Students for Life of America launched its “Sock it to Planned Parenthood” campaign at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. The organization announced its plan to show the nation’s capitol and states across the country the 328,348 baby socks they’ve collected – one for every unborn baby that died last year in abortions at Planned Parenthood.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, emphasized that the pro-life movement is tired of waiting to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider and that it's time for a visual reminder.
She cited the Center for Medical Progress undercover videos showing the abortion giant “illegally selling the body parts of children they were aborting, not only that, they were also altering, dangerously altering the procedures to obtain more viable tissue to sell for profit.”
In the public outcry that followed, she said, “the House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood but that was it. We were told we had to wait, that we had to wait until after the election until we could elect a pro-life Senate and a pro-life president.”
“We worked in the election, we prayed, we voted, we have a pro-life congress, we have a pro-life president but thanks to the constant gridlock that we currently face in Washington, the debate over the repeal and replace of Obamacare, nothing has been done,” she said. “It’s been almost a year since the election.”
She said the group decided to ask pro-life activists from across the country to send in baby socks.
“In April we took half of those socks to Capitol Hill, we displayed them and we demanded that Congress uphold their promises to defund Planned Parenthood but nothing happened,” she said.
“Today we are launching our national Sock it to PP tour,” she concluded. “We’re going to start today in Washington and we’re going to be heading out to states across the country. States where there’s very important senators who have constituents, who have voters who voted to defund Planned Parenthood.”
Hawkins said they would be visiting Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and others.
The group will then return to D.C. and send the socks to 90 college campuses to “show this generation that not only is abortion violent, not only does it kill a pre-born baby girl or baby boy, it harms a woman, it harms families.”
Hawkins mentioned the current Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill being discussed in the Senate, saying it “will defund Planned Parenthood but the pressure’s on, there’s only days remaining for the Senate to take action before we lose this chance, before Congress loses their chance to uphold their promises to defund Planned Parenthood.”
She emphasized the need to “show America the enormity of Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.”
Hawkins later told Townhall that all Congress has to do “is defund Planned Parenthood and if this was any other issue, if this was about high oil prices and there was an issue with the oil industry, they would’ve found a procedural way to fix it and they wouldn’t have said ‘oh well wait till 2018 or till we have 60 votes,’ if they really cared about this issue.”
She explained that when Students for Life brought half the socks they had gathered to the Capitol in April many passersby asked about the display.
She said that when she told people, regardless of their beliefs, what the socks represent, “they stopped, like it’s a sobering thought when you think of it.”
Hawkins said at that point they realized they needed “to take this visual on the road.”
Samuel Matthews, a freshman at Catholic University of America who helped to transport the socks along with other college students, explained his reasons for working with Students for Life to defund Planned Parenthood.
“The reason isn’t that I want to take away women’s healthcare,” he said. “It isn’t that I want to impose my religious beliefs on people. I oppose Planned Parenthood because it is the largest provider of abortions in the United States and abortion isn’t healthcare, it is the intentional taking of an innocent human life in the womb where it is most vulnerable.”
Students for Life exceeded a weight limit for the socks in the truck so on Tuesday they donated a basket of the socks to the Northwest Pregnancy Center in D.C. which provides comprehensive care for pregnant women and their babies.