In December 2014 and January/February 2016, Students for Life commissioned several polls with the Barna Group. The questions we asked them to research revolved around the overall millennial views of the pro-life movement, abortion, and Planned Parenthood; the use of graphic/abortion victims imagery with millennials; as well as pastor views and involvement in our movement. The following paper is a summary of the first portion of that research as well as our unique experience at Students for Life starting and leading more than 1,000 millennial-lead pro-life groups on campuses nationwide.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, has been receiving federal tax dollars for decades, but it has only begun to receive national attention once James O’Keefe, Lila Rose, David Daleiden and other investigative journalists were able to put them on the map for unsavory business practices with the use of undercover video projects starting in 2007. Building on research conducted by other pro-life groups, such as Life Dynamics, in the past, Rose compiled a trove of undercover video projects that showed Planned Parenthood covering up rape and incest, aiding and abetting sex traffickers, taking money earmarked specifically to abort black babies, and skirting mandatory reporting laws. Students for Life of America (SFLA) helped to organize black pastors in 2008 to expose Planned Parenthood for the white supremacist beliefs of their founder, Margaret Sanger, and organize the first public press conferences calling for Planned Parenthood’s defunding. Since 2008, SFLA continued our advocacy on campuses, which included the launch of our “Planned Parenthood Project” national tours in 2013 and the “We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood” tour in 2016. But it was David Daleiden’s group, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which released undercover video footage of high-level Planned Parenthood executives casually discussing how to maximize profits from selling the body parts of aborted babies, that finally forced Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards to formally address the evidence and for Congress and multiple states to investigate the abortion industry on a massive scale. The first CMP videos were released in July 2015. SFLA conducted polling in February 2016, to gauge how Planned Parenthood was perceived by millennials in the wake of the scandal and to measure the damage the CMP videos inflicted on Planned Parenthood’s brand.