Pro-life students are planning to walk out of their classrooms in over 140 high schools and colleges across the country Wednesday.
Organized by Brandon Gillespie, a Rocklin High School junior from Sacramento, California, students participating in the event on April 11 will walk out of their schools at 10:00 a.m. in all time zones for 17 minutes – as did students who participated in the gun control walkout on March 14.
I have officially announced the pro-life walkout that i am organizing. It is going to take place on Wednesday, April 11th at 10:00 am. The walkout will last for 17 minutes. We encourage students across the country to participate in a stand for #life
— Brandon Gillespie (@bgillie13) March 22, 2018
“Inspired by courageous pro-life students in Sacramento, CA, it’s time for the #ProLifeGen to stand up and say ‘Enough is Enough!’” states the website Pro-Life Walkout about its mission.
Students for Life of America is assisting Gillespie and his friends with support and contacts:
One-fourth of our generation is gone forever due to abortion. That's why we are hosting a #prolifewalkout.
— Students for Life (@Students4LifeHQ) April 5, 2018
“I expect we’ll get less mainstream media coverage than the pro-gun control student walkout because we don’t have them rooting for us,” Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America, told Breitbart News. “We won’t have MSNBC promoting our walkout. But, to me, this is so refreshing to see a student like Brandon who decided on his own he wanted to stand up and speak out on this issue. For us, this is so powerful, because this is what we need to have a winning grassroots movement that’s working on all cylinders all the time.”
To date, Brandon has not heard definitively whether his school district will allow students from his school to participate in the pro-life walkout.
“I really want to test and see if there is a double standard at schools because the previous walkout on March 14 was school-sanctioned and it was for gun control,” he recently told Breitbart News in an interview. “So, I wanted to test the schools and see if they would allow a more conservative topic.”
“I think they realize that if they don’t allow him to participate in the walkout they’re going to have more negative press than if they would allow him to practice his First Amendment rights,” Hawkins said.
African pro-life leader Obianuju Ekeocha tweeted her support of the pro-life students:
Shoutout to all my friends who are students, I hope you’ll participate in the #ProLifeWalkout on Wednesday, April 11th, 10:00am local time wherever you are. It will last for 17minutes and it is our peaceful way of telling the world about the violence of abortion #TinyLivesAtStake pic.twitter.com/aodpmFVczf
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) April 8, 2018
Ben Wizner, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) speech, privacy, and technology project, told Breitbart News the ACLU is supporting the students’ First Amendment rights – even though the organization does not support the pro-life message.
“It’s not a secret that the ACLU has a reproductive freedom project and that we believe organizationally that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to choose, and, so, we are not going to support the substantive goals of these students on April 11, because they run counter to what our view of the Constitution is,” Wizner said. “Nonetheless, we support their right to express their views.”
Do you support the right of students to walk out of their classes, even if it's not for #GunControl? The #ProLifeWalkout needs donations to cover the cost of signs ($20 sends 10 signs to students) https://t.co/9X34aTlgUp
— The College Fix (@CollegeFix) April 5, 2018
The Pro-Life Walkout is sponsored by Crossroads, Family Research Council, and Kansans for Life of Douglas County.
“We will no longer tolerate legal abortion in our nation, which has killed more than a fourth of our generation,” the Pro-Life Walkout mission statement says. “We will no longer watch as our leaders in Washington continue to fund our nation’s largest abortion vendor, Planned Parenthood, with more than $500 million of our taxpayer dollars. We will no longer permit Planned Parenthood and their allies in the abortion industry to target our peers for their predatory business cycle.”
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Kellie Copeland, Executive Director of abortion advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said the pro-life students’ message “incites violence.”
“I believe that language is inflammatory and dangerous,” she said, adding that the pro-life students are equating gun violence with abortion in a way that “incites violence and shames women for their reproductive health-care choices.”
Proud of Brandon Gillespie and pro-life students who are standing up for the preborn by hosting a peaceful school walkout. On April 11, pro-life high school students will walk out of their schools at 10 am for 17 minutes in a protest over abortion. https://t.co/KNoPR5t2XH
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) April 3, 2018
Breitbart News reached out to both Chicago Public Schools – which supported the March 14 gun control walkout and organized student lesson plans around its theme – as well as the Los Angeles Unified School District about whether they would allow students to participate in the pro-life student walkout, but received no statements in response.