I was finishing my sophomore year of college when I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I had only been married for 11 months, but we were unsure about the future of our relationship at that point.
Getting pregnant while in college was not part of my plan and it certainly wasn’t in the plan at that point in our marriage either. Like many young adults, I hoped to finish my undergraduate education and start a family after working for a couple of years and traveling.
“Do you need to talk about abortion?”
I remember the day I found out I was expecting: I was in the Student Health Center on campus getting a checkup after a cold, when the nurse walked in and told me, “Well, you’re pregnant.”
It was as if she was speaking a foreign language; I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying. How could this happen? This was the worst possible time to bring a child into what seemed to be my broken little world.
At the time, I was a member of Students for Life (SFL) at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and had received training on the scientific proof that pointed to the humanity of the unborn. I knew at that moment that I was carrying a child – my child – and that it deserved life, but the words from my nurse became more clear as I woke from my daze of confusion, “Do you need to talk about abortion?”
Living my words
For a moment I considered it. It seemed like an abortion would solve my issues for just a moment. But then I remembered the women I spoke to that semester who came up to our Pregnant on Campus Initiative table and said they were pregnant.
They came to me with fear after facing an unplanned pregnancy and I told them they were strong. I told them they could continue their education, and that they had support to be a successful parent. I realized I lacked the same hope for myself that I had for these women. I too could be strong. I too could continue my education, and had the same support to be a successful parent. “No, I’m keeping my baby,” I told her, and she walked out of the examination room and never returned.
I choose life and accepted help
Most people expect the struggles to resolve after a mother chooses life over an abortion, but it was hard to be pregnant and continue my education. I faced discrimination on campus, which made me doubt my ability to excel in school, and my young age brought insecurities of my ability to be a good mother.
Despite my doubts, I had a wealth of support on campus – members of SFL who advocated for me when I faced discrimination. Through Pregnant on Campus, I was referred to a local pregnancy resource center where I could receive tools on parenting and baby items I needed. Members bought me maternity clothes, took me out for lunch, got me a crib, and most importantly became my family.
Pregnant on Campus was always there
The struggles grew after I had Daniel, as did the support I received and the strength I acquired. Over the next two years I led Students for Life at UNM as President, became a Wilberforce Fellow, began working as a client advocate at the same pregnancy center that assisted me, and was appointed to be a senator on my campus, which gave me ample opportunity to pass five pieces of legislation such as parental leave for students and other initiatives that support pregnant and parenting students on my campus.
In the midst of what seemed like accomplishments, I faced hardships along the way, but I realize that each trial made me a stronger and a more empowered individual. I had to figure out how to juggle school, several jobs, leadership positions, and a family life, while overcoming my recent diagnosis of depression and PTSD.
The honest truth is that I never figured out how to juggle everything, but I did figure out how to ask for help, and how to prioritize what was important in my life, and I owe a lot of that to Pregnant on Campus and the members of Students for Life.
The resources we offer students through Pregnant on Campus who face pregnancies and are parents on campus are not only physical needs. They include emotional support, a shoulder to cry on, a friend to call late at night, a pep talk, a shopping trip, a glass on wine (after the pregnancy of course), and someone to remind you that you are capable and strong even when you fail to see it yourself.
I graduated this month from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and am planning to continue in the pro-life movement as a journalist.
I remember myself two-and-a-half years when I found out I was pregnant, and thought my world was turned upside down. I didn’t know what I needed at the time, but what I received was support, empowerment, and friendship from Students for Life of America’s Pregnant on Campus Initiative. My struggles are not gone; sometimes they come stronger than most days. But what I do know now that I didn’t before is that I have support through those struggles.
You can be this support on your own campus. There are women like myself and many who don’t have half the support I did. As we start a new year, commit to seeking out these students and offering the support I was offered. You have the tools; now share them.
One question I often get from my Facebook friends is, “Why do you ‘like’ Planned Parenthood on Facebook?” My answer is simple: to see what they are up to.
Take their latest sabotaging attempt, for example. On Monday, Great Plains Planned Parenthood posted, “#GrabYourWallet and boycott businesses that support extremists…like Charming Charlie in Leawood.”
Planned Parenthood wasn’t too happy that Charming Charlie’s hosted a fundraising day supporting Kansans for Life, and thus decided to boycott. Me on the other hand, I was thrilled!
Finally, a business that I spend a good chunk of money at, doesn’t donate a portion to Planned Parenthood.
Note to pro-lifers: if you are ever trying to find companies to support, locate the companies that Planned Parenthood hates.
Good ol’ PP also decided to attack Charming Charlie’s on Facebook by writing terrible reviews on their page. When I initially saw that post, Charming Charlie’s star rating was at a 1.1.
That wasn’t working for me. I mean seriously, “I have enough jewelry,” – said no one ever. So leave it up to the #prolifegen to take over Planned Parenthood’s sabotaging plans. Within hours Charming Charlie’s star rating boosted to a 3.7 and the number of 5 star reviews doubled the number of 1 star reviews.
Nice try Planned Parenthood. I know this isn’t a Social Media War- but look at how
something so simple as backing up a company had us come together, stand up for LIFE, and sabotage Planned Parenthood’s own sabotage plans. This just goes to show that Planned Parenthood doesn’t stand a chance against the #prolifegen.
Also, a PSA to my husband. My increase in money spent at Charming Charlie’s is for the cause. I repeat, for the cause.
While most of the country cannot wait to turn the calendar to January 2017 and put 2016 behind us, Students for Life wants to take one last look at this incredible year and recount what we did that made it so awesome.
Many of the stories on campuses never make it the newspapers or on television but just because there wasn’t a camera there doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
So in the immortal words of Elsa, we are prepped to “let it go” and move forward but before we do, here’s to a wonderful 2016!
If January was any indication of where 2016 would go, we were in for a wild ride. Snowzilla threatened to cancel the March for Life and did end up shutting down the Students for Life East Coast Conference. We saw months of work get washed away the moment Washington, DC closed the metro.
But our students were resilient and managed to make more news on the way home from the March for Life than at the actual march itself when they got stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for 26 hours due to the storm.
Instead of complaining, they set up a snow altar and instituted the #TurkpikeMass, which spread like wildfire on social media and even many traditional media outlets covered it. Go pro-life students!
Speaking of fantastic pro-life people, in….
…SFLA added three new Regional Coordinators to our growing team. Breanna was our new Appalachian RC, Jake was out in the Arizona desert covering that region, and Ryan was busy sampling Southern food (errr, setting up pro-life groups) in the Southeast.
After training our new recruits, SFLA needed to recruit an attorney to file an amicus brief for us in the Whole Women’s Health case at the Supreme Court. A smart pro-life attorney stepped up and helped us to file the brief, which urged the Justices to see how the medical safety standards law out of Texas was meant to protect women.
Grab the popcorn because reliving the NARAL meltdown during the Super Bowl is just as fun the second and third times as it was in real time. Doritos – the cheesy chip company – aired a hilarious ad during the big game that dared to show *gasp* an ultrasound of a baby in utero. NARAL lost their minds and went on a maybe-drunken tweetfest about how Doritos was using an “antichoice tactic to humanize the fetus.” OH NO! We were all eating Doritos on Monday morning by the way.
Speaking of eating, our Capital Area Regional Coordinator, Michele Hendrickson, couldn’t manage to chow down on her free Chinese food as she infiltrated a rare lecture from infamous late-term abortionist Leroy Carhart at Johns Hopkins University. Carhart believed that killing viable babies was ‘doing God’s work’. It was stomach-churning.
Unfortunately February didn’t end there. Supreme Court Justice and pro-life stalwart Antonin Scalia passed away suddenly in mid-February, setting off a frenzy about the importance of the Supreme Court in a election year. We miss Justice Scalia.
Seattle University, a Jesuit school, allowed a pro-choice group on campus to promote an event featuring a Planned Parenthood doctor. The flyer had a photo of the Rosary, but instead of the Crucifix at the bottom, there was an IUD. Thanks to the swift notification from the Students for Life group on campus and our Regional Coordinator, SFLA immediately asked our supporters to call the school and demand they cancel the event – if this is what Catholic schools are promoting, raising up solid Catholic leaders in the next generation is going to be a huge problem.
While a disappointment at first, Seattle University caved to SFLA’s pressure and canceled the event.
Speaking of public pressure, in…
…. SFLA organized a huge rally and protest in front of the US Supreme Court during the oral arguments of Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt, which would have required abortion facilities to adhere to the same medical and safety standards as other outpatient facilities. Of course, Planned Parenthood was having none of that and bussed in around 3,000 (paid?) supporters. The kicker is that while pro-lifers were outnumbered, the New York Times ran a front page photo of a young, pro-life woman the next day at the rally and Planned Parenthood lost their minds. It was great.
But the abortion side would continue to lose their minds as a young woman – a student at the University of New Mexico – put together an entire life-affirming Real Sex Week at the school in response to their vulgar, abortion-promoting Sex Week the previous year. She had workshops on post-abortion healing, green birth control and even had an MMA trainer come in to do a self-defense class.
The talent of pro-life students continued to shine through this month as the SFL group at Arizona State University chalked pro-life gorgeous designs on sidewalks on campus. Even though they obtained permission ahead of time, someone from the school power-washed away their artwork and said it was “too political.” The students are working with the school to resolve this blatant attempt at taking away free speech (and pretty artwork).
SFLA headed out to dozens of campuses in March with our brand new campus tour, We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood, which consisted of huge banners comparing Federally Qualified Health Centers to Planned Parenthood and the services each offers (spoiler alert: PP offers waaay less than FHQCs). We argued that FHQCs should be getting taxpayer funding and that PP shouldn’t. Many students agreed with us!
Speaking of agreeing with us, in…
…students agreed that having a Students for Life group on the campus of Ohio University was an awesome idea. Jacob Hoback, a freshman at OU, was trying to start an SFL group on campus but kept running into obstacles and a few pro-abortion people were harassing him on social media. He didn’t let it get to him and with the help of our Regional Coordinator, Anna, Jacob managed to get the club off the ground and had his first meeting in April – where 35 students showed up, including a pro-choice girl who ended up changing her mind by the time the meeting ended. Here’s a virtual high-five to you Jacob!
Planned Parenthood’s PR machine was at work again in April as their favored candidate for president accidentally called a preborn baby an “unborn person.” Whoops. The abortion industry was not happy.
Planned Parenthood also wasn’t happy that David Daleiden released all those undercover videos of them discussing how to make a profit from selling the body parts of aborted babies. In fact, they were so mad that they got their buddy the Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, to raid David’s one-bedroom apartment with nearly a dozen agents! That’s not cool at all. David is a friend of SFLA’s and we immediately kicked into activism-gear and moved to hold a rally outside Harris’ office in Sacramento, which was well-attended and covered by the press.
And in another episode of faith-centered universities behaving badly, Georgetown University, another Jesuit school, welcomed Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, with open arms in April. It probably didn’t go as well as they would have liked though since SFLA had not one, but two, of our campus displays – We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood and the Planned Parenthood Project – set up where all of the students lined up to go inside the venue. We also helped the SFL group on campus, Georgetown Right to Life, secure Abby Johnson to speak later the same day, as well as promoted the tweets of a pro-life student who managed to get into Cecile’s speech, which was closed-press of course.
Something that wasn’t closed press was the premiere of the documentary, Abortion: Stories Women Tell, which was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. Why do we care? Because our Midwest Regional Coordinator rock star Reagan Barklage was featured in it! The film was slanted but Reagan shared the pro-life message so well and ended up having a good conversation on the flight home with the abortionist that was also featured in the movie.
Speaking of slanted, in…
….the school administration at the University of Iowa decided that our Students for Life group’s pro-life sidewalk chalk messages (some as simple as “Smile, your mom chose life!”) were too “offensive” and had them all washed off.
At Southern Methodist University, the Students for Life group created a cemetery with 3,000 crosses to represent the number of lives lost to abortion every day. They came out the next day to find out their entire display had been taken down. Not only that, a young man filmed himself ranting about the display and saying that women need abortion to be successful. The video caught traction with the students and the Students for Life group filmed a brilliant response of women saying that pro-life is pro-woman. We are working with the group now to make sure the school takes appropriate action against the vandals.
Our Students for Life group at the University of Colorado at Boulder had to fight with their student activities office to host Abby Johnson as a speaker. They initially denied funding to the group based on the content of Abby’s speech. With the help of our legal team and staff, the group received full funding and Abby was able to come and give an inspirational speech.
In more good news, we had a big legal win at the University of South Alabama when our lawsuit was finally resolved and the school agreed to open up more of the campus to free speech (it was less than one percent when we filed the suit) and not to discriminate against pro-life students.
SFLA wrapped up the We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood tour in May, striking fear into the heart of the abortion industry because we turned so many young people against the abortion giant by simply educating them. All in the all, we took the display to 68 campuses in 27 states plus Washington, DC and traveled over 13,332 miles.
Speaking of traveling, in….
…Rock for Life kicked off their summer tour, which hit up 17 Christian music festivals as well as 41 stops in 53 days with the secular Vans Warped Tour. Rock for Life is the only national pro-life group to do a summer music festival tour with the intention of reaching young people with a positive pro-life message. Rock on you guys.
In an example of Congress actually doing good work, the Select Panel on Infant Lives released evidence that Planned Parenthood illegally shared confidential medical information of their clients. Care about women, eh, Planned Parenthood? Nope, they only care about the bottom line. Fox News had an exclusive piece on the findings here.
Planned Parenthood hosted Hillary Clinton in her first speech since gaining the Democratic nomination for president. SFLA gathered a special welcome committee outside of the Washington, DC hotel where she was speaking, with women holding signs that Planned Parenthood and Hillary didn’t speak for them. SFLA also spear-headed a coalition of pro-life women leaders who released a statement condemning Planned Parenthood for selling out women.
So good news/bad news next. The Supreme Court struck down the Texas law requiring abortion facilities to maintain normal safety standards. It wasn’t fun to be outside the Supreme Court that day in the midst of pro-abortion women cheering. But we did manage to get our pro-life signs in dozens of news photos and give interviews to major news networks, including Spanish ones.
Good news was that we passed the 1,000 group mark in June! This was a huge accomplishment for SFLA and it also meant that we outnumbered Planned Parenthood campus groups 4-to-1.
Another bit of good news this month was that Kristan Hawkins, president of SFLA was invited to a meeting of pro-life and family leaders with Republican nominee for president Donald Trump. Any chance we got to be at the table for these meetings we took (and good foresight of course since Trump was elected president).
SFLA launched our brand new Institute for Pro-Life Advancement with the release of a white paper that detailed polling on Millennials, Planned Parenthood, and the pro-life brand. It garnered a good amount of media attention and gave SFLA a private polling institute for reference in the future and among the pro-life movement.
Speaking of attention, in…
…the Rock for Life summer tour got noticed by abortion advocates at the secular Vans Warped Tour and boy, were these people mad. Rock for Life was called all sorts of unprintable names on social media just because they were promoting the pro-life position. It was great because it gave Rock for Life even more attention. The head of the Vans Warped tour came out in support of Rock for Life’s right to be there and said he would gave the same deference to a pro-choice that wanted to exhibit – we never saw any. Guess they just wanted to rant on Twitter instead.
In one of our more exciting July projects, every year Students for Life releases our numbers from the previous school year and it’s always awesome. The 2015-2016 was no different, breaking all sorts of records. Even though our National East Coast Conference was cancelled because of the blizzard, we still managed to train 11,000 students, which is 3,000 more than the previous year. We work with incredible people, we really do.
SFLA loves incredible people so we hired two more in July. Camille Rodriguez came on as our new West Coast Regional Coordinator, which meant she got to travel all over California to train pro-life students and infiltrate safe spaces at pro-abortion leaning universities. Jillian Ferguson still needs to buy a cowboy hat and boots since she became the new Southwest Regional Coordinator.
About Texas…in Houston, the District Attorney threw out all the bogus charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the undercover investigators at the Center for Medical Progress. It was a huge win and we were able to support David and Sandra in the press and call attention to the corrupt DAs office.
July ended with was what quite possibly the beginning of the end of Hillary Clinton’s run for office when the Democratic Party ratified the most pro-abortion platform in its history. It called for taxpayer-funded abortion, more money for Planned Parenthood, and no restrictions whatsoever on abortion. Many Americans don’t agree with the platform and well, they voted in November.
Pro-Life Future chapters in the Northeast also headed to Philly in their first trip to the DNC, but it was to protest the pro-abortion platform. They talked to many people who were not in support of the radical abortion platform that encompassed the party.
Speaking of firsts, in….
…. SFLA decided to put together the first-ever National Pro-Life Generation Sidewalk Day, where we partnered with Sidewalk Advocates for Life to train our students on proper sidewalk counseling techniques and then got as many students as we could to go abortion facilities on the same day and use their newfound skills to help women. Students went to 30 different abortion facilities and we know of at least one baby save!
Students for Life of America hosted their 3rd annual Christian Leadership Summit in August, where over two dozen pro-life student leaders from Christian and Catholic universities gathered together to participate in workshops with pro-life movement leaders, learn how to be a good leader and talk about how to transform their campuses to a culture of life.
In the August installment of Christian Schools Behaving Badly, Texas Christian University got put on the naughty list for giving students credit for a Planned Parenthood internship. SFLA’s supporters weren’t happy and thousands of them called and emailed the school. Even the local news covered the story. Now everyone knows that TCU is in cahoots with Planned Parenthood. A local Pregnancy Research Center even reached out to the school to offer students a for-credit internship with them to, you know, balance out the abortion side. No word on if the school accepted.
Speaking of acceptance, in….
….we didn’t want to accept the news that Phyllis Schlafly passed away on Labor Day weekend, which was a huge loss for pro-lifers. She was not only a beacon of hope in the movement but a mentor for Kristan Hawkins and she will missed dearly.
SFLA kicked off September by releasing another white paper from the Institute for Pro-Life Advancement, this time delving into the touchy subject of abortion and how Christian and Catholic churches talk about it (spoiler: not well). A hefty majority of women who have abortion identify as Christian, which is a huge problem. We are trying to remedy that fact.
Because SFLA can’t let too much time pass between mobilizing students for pro-life activism, on September 10th, we organized a Women Betrayed rally outside the much-hyped All Access 2016 pro-abortion concert in Cleveland that featured pop star SIA.
In Pennsylvania, the Pro-Life Future chapter of Lehigh Valley lobbied their local legislators to support more laws to encourage pregnant and parenting students to continue their education and have their child or place him or her for adoption.
Students got to take our new campus tour to their campuses starting this month, the Cycle of Corruption, which highlighted the cycle of corruption in the abortion industry and challenged students to learn more about their own political parties and influence them on behalf of the pro-life position.
The special pro-abortion snowflakes in the school administration at Mizzou attempted to scare away students from the new display in an email, falsely claiming that the display had graphic images that would be offense. If they mean images that are not graphic in nature or offensive, then sure, they are right.
Ohio University Students for Life also encountered opposition to the display when a representative from the university demanded our students not hand out postcards and stand behind a table. The students already had permission to be there but while our attorneys looked into the matter, our clever students made their own signs:
Speaking of brave and clever pro-life students, in…..
….junior Bridget Christiansen from Gretna High School in Nebraska went public with the fact that her high school was not allowing her pro-life club to be an official club and was discriminating against her. SFLA and our attorneys sent a demand letter to the school and Bridget did dozens of media interviews. The school eventually demoted almost all clubs to a non-official status, resolving the problem in the most childish way possible.
In efforts to make sure the president of Planned Parenthood knows that this generation is pro-life and isn’t fooled by her rip-off “Planned Parenthood Generation” mantra, pro-life students brought the SFLA #PinkFleet vans to wherever she was speaking. At Temple University in PA, the pink van was there. Cecile saw our pink van in Denver at a medical conference she was speaking at.
And when we couldn’t get the pink van out, our pro-life students showed up all over Iowa and in San Francisco.
Speaking of not buying Planned Parenthood’s crap, two high schools in Colorado had a competition to see which one could raise the most diapers for a local pregnancy resource center. Combined they collected over 28,000 diapers. Now that’s the Pro-Life Generation in action.
The Pro-Life Generation also took action during National Pro-Life Chalk Day, which is designated as a day where student pro-life groups all do chalk messages on campus. It’s usually controversial in some places because pro-abortion students can’t handle messages like “love them both” or “women deserve better than abortion.” One such incident happened at the University of Mary Washington in the middle of the night, where the pro-life group caught the vandals red-handed erasing their messages and writing abortion ones. But instead of getting mad, our students actually had a long, civil and thoughtful conversation with them. Listen to it here.
Speaking of civil conversations, in….
…. SFLA got together two pro-lifers who were friends and had a fun night before Election Day called Election Whine. It was live-streamed over Facebook and meant to look at both sides of the Trump/NeverTrump debate and ultimately to have a group hug at the end, which they did. And it was nice.
SFLA wasted no time in trying to unite pro-lifers after Trump’s historic win, releasing an op-ed about how important it is to make sure pro-life leaders present a united front and hold Trump accountable to the promises he made to pro-lifers.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the late-term abortion capitol of the nation, an arsonist set fire to a pro-life pregnancy resource center in the middle of the night, burning up a chapel and several other rooms in the process. SFLA has students that both work and volunteer there and it is so sad that someone decided to cause serious damage, which the FBI has labeled a hate crime.
Speaking of abortion supporters being intolerant, in….
…Satanists decided to start a campaign to send bodily-fluid soaked soaks to the Texas governor in protest of a law that requires aborted babies to be cremated or buried. The abortion industry supported this of course.
There was some good things that came out of Texas though, like the amazing Group of the Month, Students for Life at the University of Texas in Austin. This group not only hosted the Cycle of Corruption campus tour but they had a guest speaker on end-of-life issues, hosted Abby Johnson and showed the movie 40 Film, held freshmen recruiting events and did a Facebook video with doodles from students on why they are pro-life.
SFLA live-tweeted Congressional speeches from pro-life Members of Congress when they House Select Panel on Infant Lives referred Planned Parenthood for criminal charges in Texas for the buying and selling of aborted baby body parts. The Senate Judiciary Committee also referred both the national Planned Parenthood and affiliates for criminal prosecution.
Other things happened this month that were not taking place in Texas, like the Chicago Pro-Life Future chapter doing Christmas caroling outside abortion facilities and volunteering to help serve women, children and families at the Women’s Center Christmas party.
And that’s a wrap of 2016. We can’t wait to see what happens in 2017.
In today’s update of Planned Parenthood’s desperate attempts to scrape even more money from Americans’ pockets, we have the talented Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer of the Broadway musical hit Hamilton, offering a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience for a $10 donation to America’s abortion Goliath.
And recently, the Broadway star is taking a new angle—bribing Hamilton fans with hotel and air fare, three Hamilton shows, and show paraphernalia. Yup, you too can sell your Hamilton-loving soul with a $10 to $5,000 donation to Planned Parenthood! (Yuck)
Oh this is awkward…
So you know that Planned Parenthood targets minorities, right? No? (Awkwaaaard.) Dear Mr. Miranda, here’s a little wake up call on Planned Parenthood. (I mean, you are fundraising for them, after all.)
Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, advocated for the “eugenic value” of birth control to resolve the “unbalance between the birth rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit’” classes. The “inferior classes” included “the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, [and] the poverty-stricken classes.” She also recruited black ministers to advocate for her programs. She defended her choice saying, “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Despite such damning quotes and articles, Planned Parenthood honors Sanger every year with the Margaret Sanger Award.
Mr. Miranda, you may refuse to defend those who are the most vulnerable in today’s society. You may refuse tell their story. You may even continue to openly advocate for Planned Parenthood and legalized murder in America. But know this…
This January, over 600,000 people will gather in Washington, D.C. We will gather like we have for 40+ years. The media will barely cover our protest. Broadway won’t sing songs. We will tell the story of 60 million preborn children and their mothers.
And guess what? “When our children tell our story,” they’ll tell of the story of how we abolished abortion in America.
After hearing about just how life-changing our Students for Life National Conference has been for so many young leaders, one of our long-time supporters just called and offered a generous grant to help us bring more people to our National Conferences than ever before.
Because we all know that staying in DC an extra night for the Students for Life National Conference is one of the biggest expenses you will have.
Here’s what our donor has offered to do:
Any student group (college, high school, youth group) that is coming to the March for Life in Washington and hasn’t registered yet for the Students for Life of America East Coast National Conference can get free hotel housing in Maryland near the conference venue if they register within the next two weeks.
Here’s the catch: We only have enough funds to pay for hotels for one night (so it’s first come, first served) and there will be four people to a room. Further, this awesome new opportunity only applies to student groups (10 people or more) who have never been to the Students for Life National Conference or who haven’t been to our Conference since 2013.
Want to make sure your group can come to our East Coast National Conference on Saturday, January 28th (the day after the March for Life)?
From there, we will send you the link to register for the conference and form to fill out for the free hotel rooms! The registration fee for the conference is only $45 per person and that includes free shuttle rides to and from the metro station, lunch, and dinner – plus, now, a free hotel night!
Check out the amazing, jam-packed schedule for break-out and general sessions featuring Abby Johnson, Josh Brahm, Shawn Carney and more at: www.sflalive.com/schedule.
If you can’t make it out to our East Coast National Conference but want to be at the West Coast National Conference on Sunday, January 22nd, you can register for that event easily at www.sflalive.com. The first 100 to register get 50% off their registration! Use the code: FIRST100
The abortion industry had just come out of a pretty tough year in 2015, having to defend the illegal buying and selling of aborted baby parts and all. But they looked to 2016 as their redemption, specifically the great hope had by all of them that the next President of the United States was going to be a pantsuit-loving, abortion-funding woman who was already BFFs with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. We all know how that turned out.
Even so, abortion advocates started freaking out in the beginning of the year over Doritos commercials and the insanity just never ended. Here is a list of the top 9 times abortion advocates lost their minds in 2016.
9) The time when NARAL lost their minds over the Doritos Super Bowl ad It’s chips people! Doritos, in all their marketing brilliance, showed a hilarious ad during the biggest sports game of the year where a pregnant woman was having an ultrasound and the dad-to-be was munching on some tasty Doritos. The baby in the ultrasound decided it really wanted those chips and mom goes into labor. NARAL, one of the biggest pro-abortion groups in the country, absolutely freaked out and it was a joy to behold:
8) The time when Cecile Richards flipped out over the New York Times putting pro-lifers on the front page During the oral arguments of the abortion case Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt in March, dozens and dozens of pro-life students braved the cold to rally in support of common sense medical standards for abortion facilities. Planned Parenthood and their buddies bussed in supporters and likely spent a good chunk of money making their presence known outside the Supreme Court that day. But what photo did the New York Times (!) choose to use on their front page the next day:
7) The time when abortion supporters called the Indiana governor to talk about their periods If there is one thing abortion supporters know how to do well, it’s to use images of/real bodily fluids and sexual organs to their advantage when they flip out over laws they don’t agree with. In April, then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a bill that banned abortions because of gender, race and fetal abnormalities. Abortion supporters lost their minds and started a campaign called Periods for Pence, where they called the governor’s office to talk about their menstrual cycles. Why? We don’t know. It’s what they do when they get mad apparently.
6) That time when Planned Parenthood lost their minds over Mike Pence’s nomination as VP Speaking of Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the abortion industry really doesn’t like him. At all. When he was a Member of Congress, he was the first person to introduce a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. This was way before it was cool to try to defund the abortion giant.
When Pence was selected as Trump’s VP, Cecile Richards lost her mind, putting out a short, bitter statement: “The reason anyone in America could pick Mike Pence out of a one man lineup is because of his long history of targeted political attacks against the care provided at Planned Parenthood health centers in Indiana and across the country. Other than that, he doesn’t have a single distinguishing characteristic.”
Brutal, Cecile. Have a cosmo or something.
5) The time Hillary Clinton slipped up and called a fetus an “unborn person” The audible gasp of Planned Parenthood and their allies in the abortion industry when Hillary Clinton called a developing baby in the womb an “unborn person” on Meet the Press could be heard throughout the social media realm. Diana Arellano, community engagement manager for Planned Parenthood of Illinois, was obviously in a state of shock when she tweeted out this gem:
4) The time abortion advocates freaked out over Rock for Life at the Vans Warped Tour Rock for Life is a big initiative of Students for Life of America that travels all over the country every summer to mostly Christian music festivals and talks to young adults and teens about the pro-life message. This past summer, Rock for Life was able to get a booth at the secular Vans Warped Tour, where they hit up over 50 stops, much to the dismay of pro-abortion concert-goers.
do you think I’d get in trouble if I set the pro life tent at warped on fire by accident
Ouch! These people ended up getting the attention of the head of the Vans Warped Tour, who came out in SUPPORT of Rock for Life and said that if the pro-abortion side wanted a tent space, he’d give them one. Not sure if they took him up on the offer.
3) The time pro-abortion students were offended by hearts In April, the Students for Life group at the University of Iowa chalked 3,200 hearts with the message that “abortion stops 3200 hearts each day in the US” and other pro-life messages like “women deserve better than abortion” and “Students for Life supports pregnant and parenting students” AND “Smile, your mom chose life!” Some people didn’t like that. There was an organized effort by individual pro-choice students to send in complaints to the school about the pro-life messages. The pro-abortion student wrote, in part, on Facebook that: “THIS is violent. THIS is stigmatizing. THIS creates an unsafe environment for students on campus and we should not tolerate it.”
Really? They thought little hearts that represented those of tiny babies whose lives were taken because of abortion created an ‘unsafe environment for students on campus.’
2) The time Planned Parenthood freaked out about the Tom Price HHS nomination Representative Tom Price was nominated to become the Secretary of the Health & Human Services (HHS) Department by President-elect Donald Trump. Rep. Price is a doctor. He’s also 100% pro-life. Cue the Planned Parenthood freakout:
Cecile Richards released a statement citing her normal talking points about how the other side hates women, wants to take away their healthcare, etc. Calm down, Cecile. Just because the majority of Americans don’t want to fund abortions like you want everyone to do doesn’t mean we don’t love women.
1) The time Planned Parenthood couldn’t believe Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton This was a given. Planned Parenthood threw over $30 million to get a certain someone elected and it didn’t work. Now they are whining about women not being able to afford basic healthcare (if that $30M went to women’s healthcare….) and how the world is going to end and we are all going to die, ignoring the fact that Planned Parenthood alone takes the lives of 887 innocent babies A DAY:
Let’s get these words out of the way: Devastated. Angry. Shocked. Disgusted.
“Best of” lists are always fun and this year, while it has been one for this history books and late-night comedy shows, has also been a stellar year for pro-lifers. Here’s just a few of incredible things that happened this year from a pro-life perspective.
13) Pro-life students show selflessness during #TurnpikeMass The March for Life in January of 2016 was nearly cancelled because of a devastating blizzard. But hundreds of thousands of people came anyways, and then attempted to make their way home afterwards while snow blanketed the East Coast. Several Students for Life groups were on buses that were stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnkpike for over 26 hours. Instead of complaining, they decided to set up an altar on the side of the road and priests that were with them said Mass, which later became known as the #TurnpikeMass. Dozens and dozens of social media posts led to both local and national covering the mass, which showed the resilience of those pro-lifers stuck on the turnpike and the joy they innately possessed as members of the Pro-Life Generation. 12) Famous image made even more famous This incredible image of an 18-week-old fetus in-utero was named one of the 100 most influential photos ever by TIME Magazine. It was originally released in 1965 and was one of the very first to show was life in the womb looked like, a huge moment for anti-abortion advocates anxiously trying to bring humanity to the preborn child.
11) Win for Free Speech at University of South Alabama A long, on-going case was finally closed with a win for free speech for students at the University of South Alabama. With the help of the attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom, an agreement was reached that increased the amount of the University of South Alabama campus that is open to free speech from less than one percent to the vast majority of campus. Also, the settlement ensures that the university’s policies will be applied the same way to all student groups and prevents university officials from censoring pro-life speech based on its message.
10) Campus pro-life groups outnumber Planned Parenthood campus groups 4-to-1 Students for Life of America announced in 2016 they have over 1,000 high school, college, med and law, and young adult groups nationally. SFLA has only existed since 2006, when they started out with 181 groups. Planned Parenthood celebrated their 100-year anniversary in 2016 and can only muster 275 pro-choice groups on campuses. Their brand of extreme abortion positions isn’t resonating at all with Millennials.
9) Pregnant student gets Christian school to change policy A Christian college in South Carolina kicked a pregnant student off their campus for getting pregnant instead of helping her and offering her resources to make sure she had the chance to stay in school and keep her child. But she didn’t give up. Not only did Kamaria Downs choose life for her child but she also lobbied her school to change their policies on pregnant and parenting students. We hope all schools – especially Christian schools – will take a hard look at their policies on pregnant and parenting students and make efforts to help these moms in need rather than kicking them off campus. 8) First Real Sex Week hosted at University of New Mexico Sade Patterson, a student at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and member of the Students for Life club on campus, put together an entire Real Sex Week agenda and workshops as a true opportunity of empowerment for students on campus in response to the school’s vulgar Sex Week that happened there in 2014. Real Sex Week was covered by local and national media and covered topics like post-sexual trauma healing, green birth control, and a self-defense class with an MMA trainer. 7) Millennials continue to trend anti-abortion Polls in 2016 continued to show that Millennials are trending more anti-abortion than generations before them, favoring more restrictions on abortion and agreeing that abortion should be made illegal in all or most circumstances.
6) Pro-lifers flexed their electoral muscles and outed Rep. Renee Ellmers In January 2015, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) led the fight to stop a bill in its tracks that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks, citing the fact that Millennials are against it (they aren’t, just for the record – they are the age group that supports a ban by the largest numbers). Ellmers took heat from Students for Life on the day of the March for Life when SFLA’s president Kristan Hawkins led over 70 young Millennials to her office on Capitol Hill in a sign of solidarity that no, Millennials are not who she says they are. For over a year, Ellmers continued to take heat from pro-lifers. She even called many pro-life groups “childish.” The Susan B. Anthony List put boots on the ground in her district and supported her opponent in the primary, which she lost.
5) Pro-life students making their voices heard during Cecile Richards events Whether Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was giving a big speech or merely meeting with local supporters at a university, it seemed pro-life students and young adults made every effort to show up and let her know that her organization wasn’t winning the hearts and minds of the younger generation. Our students showed up at Georgetown University (one even asked her a direct question at the closed-press event, Temple University (where we had our bright pink “Planned Parenthood Betrays Women” van out front of the venue), all over Iowa, Denver, and San Francisco. 4) Meeting Abortion Supporters Where They Are Reagan Barklage was featured in a documentary about abortion in Missouri, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. She was on the only young, pro-life woman in the film, which caught the attention of editors at Glamour magazine. While not exactly a beacon of pro-life thought, they invited Reagan to write about her experience a young, pro-life woman. This was a huge step for pro-lifers to breakthrough into a media outlet that caters to Planned Parenthood clients.
3) Criminal referrals of Planned Parenthood Over a year after the first Center for Medical Progress undercover videos rocked the nation by revealing that Planned Parenthood was heavily involved in the illegal buying and selling of body parts of aborted babies, committees in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate referred Planned Parenthood and several of their business partners in the tissue procurement business for criminal charges.
2) Indictment thrown out against David Daleiden The Houston District Attorney indicted David Daleiden, the head of the Center for Medical Progress, in a series of bogus charges early in the year. By the end of 2016, the DA who indicted Daleiden lost her election, all of the charges were thrown out against him, and Planned Parenthood was referred for criminal charges in Texas by the Select Panel on Infant Lives in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1) Election of a president who made pro-life promises In 2016, the nation elected Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. He made specific promises to pro-life Americans that we have every hope he intends to keep. Never before has a presidential nominee made promises to defund Planned Parenthood, install pro-life Supreme Court Justices, ban abortions after 20 weeks, and make the Hyde Amendment part of permanent law. This is our time as pro-lifers to make significant strides towards ending abortion in our lifetime.
Every year, Students for Life of America is honored to award prizes to student groups and leaders at our National Conferences! These cash prizes can help further the outreach efforts and the effectiveness of these groups at their schools.
To award these prizes to deserving students and groups, we needyou to nominate the groupsand leaders you think deserve recognition – you can even nominate your own group! Listed below are the categories, prize amounts, and nomination forms for each award. Winning groups must be present at the SFLA West or East Coast National Conference to receive the award.
This award will recognize the all-around excellence of one college pro-life student group. The SFLA College Group of the Year will demonstrate success in areas of campus activism, recruitment, and community involvement.
This award will recognize an outstanding new pro-life college group that was formed between January 2016 and December 2016. The New College Group of the Year Award will be given to a group that has shown success in recruiting members and raising awareness about abortion on campus.
The Pregnant on Campus Group of the Year Award will recognize the achievements of two Students for Life college groups that have excelled in promoting pregnant and parenting resources. (One award will be given to an East Coast group; the other award will be given to an West Coast group.)
The SFLA Pregnant on Campus Groups of the Year should demonstrate success in pregnant and parenting advocacy and outreach on their college campus. This group should show significant efforts to change their campus to embrace practices and policies that protect and assist pregnant and parenting students.
This award will recognize the all-around excellence of one high school pro-life student group. The SFLA High School Group of the Year will demonstrate success in activism, recruitment, and community involvement.
The New High School Group of the Year will be given to the student pro-life group who has best developed and organized an innovative way to share the pro-life message at their high schools or in their homeschool communities.
Back in July, a much larger study – following over 8,000 women for 13 years – was published by Dr. D. Paul Sullins of Catholic University of America, and reported an opposite finding and received no media attention (surprise, surprise). The new study from the University of California-San Francisco only followed about 1,000 for five years.
The Sullins study (read our blog on it here) confirmed that even after controlling for over twenty possible variables, there’s still a clear, significant increase in the relative risk of mental health disorders for women who have abortions. And this is compared to women with any other pregnancy outcome (live birth or miscarriage).
For what it’s worth, the Sullins study isn’t even the first study to find a clear link between abortion and mental health disorders. Before Sullins, we had the Fergusson study from New Zealand and the Pederson study from Norway, among others.
A brand new documentary called Hush, produced by a pro-choice woman, sheds much-needed light on this topic and expertly walks viewers through the evidence that abortion is indeed harmful to the mental health of women. Abortion advocates are already trashing the film because the film so clearly presents the many dangers associated with abortion.
The UC-SF study is part of a larger effort, I believe, to normalize abortion in our society. Unfortunately, what pro-abortion activists fail to see is that women are still the ones losing here. When a woman in a crisis pregnancy finds herself faced with her choice of whether or not to abort her child, she deserves to know the truth about her options.
Instead, we’re seeing more of what happened at the Democratic National Convention, where abortion was framed as “the right choice” for “strong women.” Suddenly, the conversation is being shifted to question the pregnant woman and to deny her the reality of the consequences of her choices. So now, we’re telling pregnant women that if they’re really “strong,” they’ll choose abortion, and then if those women experience depression afterwards or dare to regret their abortion, it’s their own fault for not being strong enough to handle it.
What is the outcome of this frame-shift? It puts the responsibility entirely on individual pregnant women, and leaves them alone in the aftermath. The danger here is that our society will start stigmatizing the woman who regrets her choice to abort her child. After all, why would we invest resources in counseling women if there are no possible negative consequences of abortion? Then, that woman, in addition to being more at risk for mental health disorders, will also be more alone than ever before.
A brand new report from Americans United for Life uncovers serious deficiencies about how the abortion industry, led by Planned Parenthood, harms women and lacks basic safety standards.
The entire report, available here, exposes evidence collected from 32 states and hundreds of abortion facilities and abortionists to compile the report. The data from the report was collected over a period of eight years, since 2008.
The report documents that “227 abortion providers in 32 states were cited for more than 1,400 health and safety deficiencies between 2008 and 2016.”
Additionally, 39 Planned Parenthood facilities in 15 states (Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia) are cited in Unsafe (http://unsafereport.org/).
Why is this important? Because Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, and their buddies in their abortion industry consistently say they support women, that evil pro-lifers want to take away safe abortion access, that any kind of regulation meant to bring abortion facilities and abortionists to the same medical standards as any other surgical facility is an “attack against women.”
According to Unsafe, this entire line of messaging is based in some alternate reality where abortionists aren’t killing women, where women aren’t getting maimed during an abortion, and where women aren’t walking into an abortion facility that has hundreds of health violations.
Remember the Whole Women’s Health Supreme Court case this past summer? The Justices overturned a Texas law that was meant to stop another Kermit Gosnell-like situation. Planned Parenthood and their supporters cheered loud and clear that day by the way. Women deserve better than abortion, better than Planned Parenthood.