But Slama is no stranger to standing up for her beliefs. As an undergrad at Yale University, she says she had to learn to defend her pro-life views.
“If you're a conservative student, you have three options,” she said. “You can: one, either choose to be indoctrinated and just go along with the crowd; two, sit in the back of the classroom, or three, stand up and defend your beliefs … and understand why you believe in the things that you do.”
Her time at Yale helped her to defend the pro-life worldview she was given at age four, when a discussion of late-term abortion featured on the national news prompted an emotional reaction from her mother.
“I just remember my mom right as we were getting set up for dinner, just bursting into tears going ‘That's a baby,’” she recalled. “So that's that's the first thing I can remember, and since then it has just been a real core value within me on a basic level that life is sacred.”
Now, when Slama has to defend her pro-life views she begins with a simple question: “If we as a government cannot protect the most innocent among us, then what is the point of government in the first place?”
She also criticizes straw man arguments about abortion that claim nothing can be done because it will always exist (the same is true for murder and rape, she says, but we still move to outlaw those acts), and the denial that life begins at conception.
Slama's passion and tenacity have impressed her pro-life colleagues in the Nebraska legislature.
In an interview with CNA, Sen. Joni Albrecht, a fellow Republican who sits next to Slama in the legislative chamber, called her a “trailblazer” on pro-life issues.
"She's a very bright young lady that is very resourceful and just does an excellent job," said Albrecht, who has been in Nebraska’s unicameral legislature since 2017.
"She's always on top of her game and always on top of every issue and definitely has a burning desire for the unborn, just as I do. And I can see that I can easily pass the torch to her to take it after I leave,” she added. “There is no doubt about it. She'd be my pick."
While Slama and other pro-life senators failed by two votes to break the filibuster against the Human Life Protection Act, one of several pro-life defeats this legislative session, she says there is much to feel encouraged about in the pro-life movement.
(Story continues below)
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Slama is hopeful that the June ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the case currently before the Supreme Court that could limit abortion to 15 weeks or overturn Roe v. Wade entirely and move abortion politics to the state level, will spur a special session for pro-life legislation to be passed.
“Sixty-two million babies have been killed in abortion since Roe v. Wade,” Slama said on the senate floor on April 6. “We can’t get those 62 million lives back, or even the tens of thousands of lives we’ve lost to abortion here in Nebraska.
"But here in 2022," she continued, "heaven have mercy on us if we know the science decisively proves life begins at conception, and we fail to take action.”
Kelsey Wicks is the Executive Director of the ACI Group. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She is based in Colorado.