by Steven Ertelt
August 16, 2007
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — Beauty pageants have seen their share of controversy after a former Miss New Jersey was forced to resign her crown after becoming pregnant and refusing to have an abortion. Now, the newest Miss Virginia 2007, Hannah Kiefer, has a platform that is rarely seen in politically correct beauty pageants: abstinence.
Kiefer is a 20-year-old North Carolina native but a student at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, and she won her crown in late June.
She will compete in the Miss America contest in January 2008.
Hannah believes strongly in creating healthy choices for teens with an emphasis on helping them learn to wait until marriage to engage in sexual relations.
"Young people in today’s world do not have role models and what better way to encourage teens to make right decisions than to live as an example of someone not far from their age who has set goals and obtained them," she said in an interview after winning.
"Abstaining from those downfalls allows a young person to empower themselves to graduate and go on to college for a better a future," she said.
She has volunteered with numerous organizations and she is the Director of Abstinence Education of Virginia at Hollins University.
"I volunteer for a nonprofit organization based in Roanoke called Abstinence Education of Virginia," she explained.
"They approached me about representing Hollins in the school system promoting abstinence and made me director. I am in charge of getting other students on board with the program," Kiefer added.
Miss Kiefer will be speaking in a few weeks at Cool Spring Presbyterian Church in Bedford at the church’s annual True Love Waits rally.
There, teens from Cool Spring and Gethsemane Presbyterian Churches will be making or renewing their vows to stay pure until marriage.
Kiefer’s pro-abstinence stance is a change form the fight over abortion the Miss America pageant endured this January.
Then, Ashley Harder, Miss New Jersey USA, said she had to step down because the rules of the contest forbid pregnant women from competing. Her resignation forced out of the Miss USA title in March.
Harder defended her pregnancy and decision to not have an abortion and said that having a baby shouldn’t be viewed so negatively.
In March, 22-year-old Miss Jamaica World 2006 Sara Lawrence decided to give up her crown rather than have an abortion. She is expecting a baby in September and said he’s keeping her baby instead of her pageant title.
Day Gardner, a former Miss Delaware and the first black woman to be a semifinalist at the Miss America pageant, applauded the decision. She now heads up the National Black Pro-Life Union.
"We are living in an age where we are taught to look for a quick fix no matter what the consequences," Gardner told LifeNews.com at the time. "Unfortunately, one such ‘quick fix’ has resulted in the torturous killing of millions and millions of children by abortion since the passing of Roe vs. Wade in 1973."
Upon completion of her year of service, Kiefer will return to Hollins as a junior where she is pursuing a double major in Communications and Psychology.
The Miss USA and Miss America pageants and organizations are run and governed separately.