Students for Life of America

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Students for Life of America
Reorganized 2006
Type501(c)(3) non-profit
Registration no.EIN 521576352
FocusAnti-abortion activism on college and high school campuses
Area served
United States
Key people
Kristan Hawkins (President)
Formerly called
American Collegians for Life

Students for Life of America (SFLA), also known as simply Students for Life (SFL), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, anti-abortion organization that has formed groups of high school and college students across the country. Currently, there are over 2,000 SFL student groups across the nation. Since 2006, more than 160,000 anti-abortion activists have completed SFLA training.[1]

SFLA has faced legal issues resolved in its favor since its inception, notably with Boise State University and with two undergraduate students attending Yale University, in the last decade.

In 2022, SFLA celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade. SFLA remains active, and organization President Kristan Hawkins continues to lead its efforts.


SFLA was founded in 1988 as American Collegians for Life by students at Georgetown University. They run an event called "sockit2PP", protesting Planned Parenthood.[2]

In the Fall Semester of 1976, prior to the inception of Students for Life, 77 California State University, Sacramento anti-abortion students formed United Students for Life. The faculty sponsor of the group was a Catholic Priest who was also a Criminal Justice Professor at that University, Father Edward MacKinnon. The group was about 50% Mormon with the remaining members of the group Catholics, Protestants, and one self-described atheist. Existing from 1976 until 1980, they held numerous rallies, instigated a statewide initiative campaign, helped form other anti-abortion student groups, worked on the Morton Downey, Jr. Presidential Campaign, and hosted the January 22, 1980 California State Rally for Life at the California State Capital.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Views and philosophy[edit]

President Kristan Hawkins is on record as opposing exceptions for rape and incest when banning abortion.[11] The organization's stance on their website emphasizes the importance of providing love and support to women violated in a sexual assault. They pose the question, "If that assault results in pregnancy, aren’t there now two people affected by the assault? Two people in need of protection and care?" [12]

Hawkins also opposes in vitro fertilization, calling it "literally a business model built on disposable children and treating children as commodities."[13]

On March 10, 2024, President Kristan Hawkins made the disproved claim that the abortion drug, mifepristone, contributes to the pollution of water ways with pharmaceuticals, and that the drug negatively affects humans and animals.[14]


In an interview with NBC News, SFLA president Kristan Hawkins described the future plans for the organization after the overturning of Roe v. Wade (1973). She states that the organization will continue to work towards overturning legal abortion in every state with "a trained army of 150,000 young people" she describes as the "Post-Roe generation."[15]

Legal issues[edit]

In 2015, Boise State University paid SFLA $20,000 to settle a freedom of speech lawsuit.[16]

In 2022, two undergraduate students at Yale University were sent a cease-and-desist order from President Kristan Hawkins's legal team. This order was delivered in response to an interview the students conducted with her that, without her knowledge, was a parody of pro-life college students. The order also claimed that they had wrongfully used the SFLA logo, which was copyrighted material.[17]

When the students did not respond to the initial complaint, they were sent a second cease-and-desist order. Ultimately, they chose to post the interview as a video on YouTube on November 5, 2022.[17][18]


  1. ^ Honderich, Holly (22 June 2023). "She helped kill Roe v Wade - now she wants to end abortion in America". BBC. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  2. ^ Brown, Lauretta (Sep 19, 2017). "Students for Life Launch 'Sock It to Planned Parenthood' Campaign". Townhall. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  3. ^ "CSUS Students balk at abortion policy", Catholic Herald, Sacramento, California, September 29, 1977.
  4. ^ " 'Pro-Life' fights funded abortions: Voter initiative campaign greets campus with library rally", by: Brian Blomster, State Hornet, California State University, Sacrament, October 14, 1977, Pages 1 and 12
  5. ^ " Petition Drive will Seek Ban of Public Abortion Funding", by: United Press International, The Sacramento Bee, December 21, 1977, Page 11.
  6. ^ "Abortion foe declares March of Dimes boycott", by: Scott Reeves, The Sacramento Union, March 30, 1978, Page E3
  7. ^ "Abortion initiative nears deadline", by: Sister Carol Anne O'Marie, The Catholic Herald, Sacramento, California, April 20, 1978
  8. ^ "Pro-life Representatives Picket", by: Greg Welsh and Victoria Vierk, The Davis Enterprise, Davis California, February 15, 1979, Page 1
  9. ^ "Planned Parenthood draws protest", by: Mark Aulman, The Daily Democrat, Woodland Davis California, February 15, 1979, Page 1
  10. ^ "Rally for Life held in Capital", by: Times Herald, Vallejo, January 22, 1980, Page 16.
  11. ^ Arguments over rape and incest divide abortion opponents, Washington Post
  12. ^ What about rape?. Students For Life of America. (2022, June 14).
  13. ^ Dias, Elizabeth (February 24, 2024). "What Christian Traditions Say About I.V.F. Treatments". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Hoard, Charis (2024-03-12). "Students for Life promotes the debunked claim that medication abortion is polluting wastewater". Media Matters for America. Retrieved 2024-03-26.
  15. ^ "President of anti-abortion group Students for Life calls Roe v. Wade decision 'a historic moment'". NBC News. June 24, 2022. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  16. ^ University pays pro-life student group $20,000 to settle free speech lawsuit, Washington Post
  17. ^ a b Wollen, Miranda (November 9, 2022). "Yale spoofers threatened with legal action by Students for Life America". Yale Daily News. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  18. ^ "Conservative Women for Conservative Values Presents: Operation Save Yale Now, Our Movie". Youtube. Retrieved April 7, 2023.

External links[edit]