16-Year-Old Wins Battle for Pro-Life Club on Campus

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Nov 06, 2007 9:35 AM
Meet Stephanie Hoffmeier:
With prayer, persistence and a lawsuit against the Stafford County schools, the 16-year-old recently succeeded in starting what might be the region's only antiabortion club in a public high school. The Pro-Life Club, which attracted about 20 people to its first gathering, also promotes teen sexual abstinence as well as opposing abortion. Hoffmeier said her legal fight was a matter of equity.

"We just wanted the same rights as other clubs," Hoffmeier said in an interview last week at her Fredericksburg home. "It's not a radical thing to expect equal treatment."

When her Fairfax high school rejected her application to start a club, she filed suit. The school system backed down, quickly.

Hoffmeier spoke with The Washington Post accompanied by a lawyer and her parents. Heath and Bernadette Hoffmeier, who are Baptists, said that they are proud of their daughter and that they support her fight.

"I was excited to see kids standing up for their rights," Bernadette Hoffmeier said. Heath Hoffmeier added: "I just think this is the way God is shaping her life."

Signs of the teenager's belief were visible all around. A white Bible dominated the coffee table in front of the couch where she sat, contrasting with her black T-shirt. On the front, the shirt proclaimed: "Some choices are wrong." On the back: "Abortion is forever." On her shiny red drum set in the basement were stickers that read "Hard Core Jesus Freak" and "She's a child. Not a choice."

Way to go, Stephanie. It's hard to stand up like that in high school for ideas that are "uncool" according to much of the student population. I'm glad to have this young activist on our side.