14 years ago, there was a problem in the pro-life movement. Young people were polling pro-choice. Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion industry were operating unopposed on our nation’s high school and college campuses, trapping young people into their predatory business cycle. And the pro-life brand was turning people away from joining the greatest human rights movement in the world.
Yes, there was a branding problem that was turning away young people. Even if they held pro-life views, they did not want to be called “pro-life.” It was time to form a mission to bring young people back from the culture of death.
Students for Life decided to shape our culture by going right where it’s formed…on our nation’s campuses. We are the boots on the ground where it matters most, because we can pass all the laws we want, but if we don’t win this generation, it will all be erased in 20 years. Young people drive culture.
Only by inspiring and equipping them to take a stand for preborn life can we successfully hand off the mission to the next generation. We believe that by forming these young pro-life leaders, abortion will finally be abolished. Young women will no longer be sold the lie that they need abortion.
And the good news is that it’s working. Today, Students for Life serves more than 1,250 groups in all 50 states. We’ve trained more than 100,000 young people including many who are now rising up as national leaders. Annually, we host the world’s largest pro-life conference with more than 3,100 in attendance and have more than 12,000 actively involved as officers in our groups who contribute more than $14 million in in-kind, annual volunteer service.
And now, the polls are in our favor with the majority of young people now polling pro-life, and the narrative of our movement, our brand, has changed to be young, trendy, and joyful. We are winning.
How we did this was through the simple evangelism model of Belong, Believe, Behave. We know that we have to make young people feel they belong and help them build the personal relationships that this generation craves. After they join a Students for Life group and find community there, their pro-life beliefs are fortified at every meeting, with every training, and with every engagement opportunity. Once they feel that they can defend their anti-abortion beliefs, young people will take their passion for ending abortion and put it into action, sacrificing everything they can to save lives, change hearts, and transform our nation.