Two Students For Life Leaders Share Their Stories At Major Trump Rally

Brenna Lewis - 04 Jan 2020

Students for Life of America (SFLA) Leaders Praised by President Trump at Friday event for Courageously defending Pro-Life Free Speech


Students for Life chapter leader and parenting student credit SFLA for helping to defend their free speech rights on campus and saving the life of baby.

“Protecting students’ free speech rights can help save lives. I know from experience; it helped save my daughter and save me from an unimaginable loss and grief,” said SFLA’s Jessica Riojas.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (01-03-20) – As part of the “Evangelicals for Trump” launch event, two women affiliated with Students for Life of America highlighted the struggle for student free speech on college and university campuses and the successes the pro-life movement, made possible in part by President Trump’s leadership.

Former Fresno State SFLA chapter leader and current president of Fresno Pro-Life Future (Students for Life’s young adult outreach), Bernadette Tasy, was previously featured at the President’s announcement of a new executive order offering protections for student free speech at a White House event in March.

Called up to the stage by the President today, Tasy told the story of how a professor brought his class to her peaceful, Students for Life chalking event to destroy messages of love and support for mothers, including contact information for free, local help.

“When I asked him why he was erasing those messages he said that it was his free speech to censor us and that college campuses are not free speech areas,” she continued, “We filed a lawsuit against him. And we won!” she said to cheers.

“And this allowed us to help us continue to spread a message that might never be heard on a public college campus – the pro-life message. And because of a right to religious liberty and free speech we were able to help one woman courageously choose life over abortion who is now here with me today.”

Also joining Trump on stage was Fresno State University leader Jessica Riojas, who shared a story of how students speaking up for life changed her world.

A graduate student and mother of a 2-year-old daughter, Riojas said, “Protecting students’ free speech rights can help save lives. I know from experience; it helped save my daughter and save me from an unimaginable loss and grief.”

While an undergraduate student at Fresno State, Riojas was undecided about abortion and saw a Students for Life display about fetal development where she picked up a model of a preborn baby at 12-weeks-old that was being handed out. Later, when she experienced an unexpected pregnancy, a Planned Parenthood employee tried to convince her to get an abortion.

“However, I remember looking at my fetal development model throughout that time period, helping me to humanize the baby I was carrying. I decided to keep my baby,” she said to cheers. “I am now actively pro-life and co-vice president of Students for Life at Fresno State, helping other students choose life and feel supported in their education.”

Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins has been outspoken in her defense of student free speech, writing about the 9 common violations of student free speech for the Wall Street Journal.

To learn more about SFLA’s Pregnant on Campus program and the Pregnant and Parenting Bill of Rights, click here

For media interviews, e-mail Kristi at [email protected]


Students for Life of America is the nation’s largest, pro-life, youth organization. Headquartered in Fredericksburg, VA, SFLA serves more than 1200 groups on college, universities and high school campuses in all 50 states.

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