Welcome to the New School Year!

We are turning the tide on our high school and college campuses. We at Students for Life are confident that this year will be absolutely amazing! With new regions opening up and nearly a half dozen new Regional Coordinators, we know that each and every student group has the potential to reach new heights, and engage even more effectively in the pro-abortion culture on our high school and college campuses. To get the year started, we thought it would be helpful to give you some tips to ensure a great start to an exciting year!

Tip #1: Contact your Regional Coordinator! If your state is not yet covered by a Regional Coordinator, be sure to contact either our National College Program Coordinator or National High School Program Coordinator. We can give you tips, trainings, and an overall sense of confidence as you engage your campus. Click here to find our who your RC is!

Tip #2: Order your FREE August Event-in-a-Box. We have the perfect set-up to get your group recruiting new members in no time! Click here to see what’s in this month’s box. To request a box, be sure to contact your Regional Coordinator or email info@studentsforlife.org.

Tip #3: Schedule your first group meeting for the semester. We can’t stress it enough—the earlier you can get started planning for the year, the better! This is especially true if you’re group was unable to get together over the summer. At the first meeting, we recommend using the Plan Your Year Calendar to make organizing your year quick and easy! To utilize this FREE resource, contact your Regional Coordinator. They can send it to you and then walk you through how to use it effectively.

Tip #4 Make sure your group is scheduled to table at your fall activities fair! This is essential as you want incoming students and returning students to know that your club exists! Fall is an exciting time, and it’s important to capitalize on the freedom students generally have at the beginning of the semester. Now is the time to snag new members. Check with Campus Involvement to find out how you can register for the fall activities fair on your campus. Remember to be proactive in seeking new members! Don’t just hide behind your table!

These four easy tips are sure to get your group off to a great start this fall. We know that each and every one of you are courageously changing the culture on your campuses. If you need any help or encouragement at any time, be sure to let us know! We are always here to help! Now don’t wait— it’s time to be courageous and get started!

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Bodily autonomy? I don’t think so.

By Angela Erickson, Northern Regional Coordinator
Originally posted at: www.loveasintended.blogspot.com/2014/03/bodily-autonomy-i-dont-think-so.html

Yesterday I read a blog post titled “How to refute anti-choice arguments”by a young blogger. I find her post to be insufficient in its use of definitive terms and logic. This author claims that she has found a fool-proof way to defend the pro-choice position using the standard argument of bodily autonomy. I couldn’t help but call into question her assertions and presuppositions so I feel compelled to go through every. single. point she made and debunk it from the pro-life perspective.

The first point she makes is that we as pro-lifers assert that “Embryos are babies and therefore have a right to life.”  Right from the get-go she’s not really accurate. So let’s clarify some things. Pro-lifers reasonably argue that because embryos conceived in the human person are human, they are deserving of having rights that all humans have such as the right to life. We recognize that the scientific term ‘embryo’ is a term used to describe a stage of development of the human person. She is correct however in pointing out that the term ‘baby’ is an idiomatic term but that still does nothing to disprove the pro-life position. In order to cohesively construct a fluid argument asserting that bodily autonomy is the supreme reasoning of supporting abortion, she must assume that the distinct, whole, living, and unique embryo is in fact not human. This is scientifically false, and she has not done this probably because she knows that embryos are human beings.

Now she goes further to state that embryos don’t have the ‘right’ to use another person’s body to survive. First she uses a false analogy– she states that just as parents aren’t required to donate blood for their children, they are not required to let their embryos thrive in the uterus. This is clearly the foundation of the discussion of autonomy but there is a large problem (well, there are several problems…) with this assumption—it assumes that the relationship between the mother and the embryo is unnatural. In line with such thinking, I would also expect those who believe in sole bodily autonomy to then also support infanticide because let’s be honest—newborns need nourishment, shelter and touch to develop properly and typically these things naturally come from the loving care of a mother. The mother-embryo relationship is not like the relationship between a person and a parasite where the relationship is unnatural (although some pro-choice advocates so vehemently, and fallaciously, believe this is somehow comparable). We should also consider, as Matt Walsh points out in his article refuting the notion of bodily autonomy, that with the ideology of complete bodily autonomy, we have no obligations what-so-ever to any other person in this world.

That’s a scary thought, and when we construct our world around some ideological thought, we must consider the implications of such thinking.

The second anti-choice argument she claims to have perfectly refuted is basically the following: Abortion is like slavery or the Holocaust. She claims that embryos shouldn’t be treated like humans because they require another human to survive. I must point out that again makes the assumption that embryos are not human and she still has yet to establish a reasonable grounding for why embryos are not human… Ultimately her argument is silly. She correctly addresses that pro-lifers compare abortion to slavery or the holocaust. We can all agree that African Americans and Jews/Catholics/the disabled/the elderly etc. were entire groups of people who were denied their rights. We must also acknowledge that many people are dependent on others for their survival e.g. the disabled, those in nursing homes, those who are sick etc… So should we kill them too because they are inconvenient and require the aid of others? She has yet to prove why a pregnant woman’s body is in fact more important than the body within her. To do this, again, she would have to dehumanize the human embryo.

This may seem redundant, but let’s look at the facts: The embryo within a woman is human. Fact. Naturally embryos require shelter and nourishment like all other human beings. Fact. An embryo is a stage of human development. Fact. Do any of these facts make embryos less human? No. Do my rights as a woman end where the rights of another human being begin? Yes.

The slavery/Holocaust comparison used by the pro-life moment is used because let’s be honest—it’s pro-choice ideology like the one she is implementing that ultimately dehumanizes and marginalizes entire groups of HUMAN BEINGS. It allows people like herself to declare her life more important than the life of another. That’s what slave owners did. That’s what the Nazis did.

Moving on.

Next point: Gendercide. Yes, the pro-life movement recognizes that gendercide is a reality. However, this doesn’t bother our intellectual blogger because she suggests that the fact that abortion is a legal ‘right’ means the reason for obtaining the abortion is irrelevant. Really? That’s not relevant? How so…? I think the reason women abort is very important. Some women are coerced into abortion, some fear lack of financial resources, some fear their education or career is jeopardy, and the list goes on. That’s important. But in the instance of gendercide we see discrimination among a group of people. Ironic that those on the left tout the battle against discrimination and yet, we see complete ambivalence when it comes to discrimination within abortion procedures.

The final pro-life argument she discusses: “If abortion is detrimental to the health of women, pregnancy must be healthy!” Well yes, pro-lifers tell people about the negative side effects of abortion. We do this because most women often are not formally told the negative side effects of abortion. I think she has her argument wrong again however, because we rarely argue that pregnancy is healthy, rather, we argue that abortion is unhealthy. These are two different arguments. But she goes on, not to refute that abortion is detrimental to the health of women, rather, to list all the complications and side-effects of pregnancy. So rather than address the actual argument that is presented by the pro-life community, she skirts around it! Instead we see a comprehensive list of what does and or can happen to a woman during pregnancy, meanwhile she still neglects to refute that abortion can and does harm women. I think she does this, because she knows it is indeed harmful for women.

So here are some things she may have left out:

Frequent anticipated side effects post-abortion:

  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Spotting and bleeding
  • Diarrhea

More serious potential complications include:

  • Heavy bleeding that persists
  • Permanent damage to the cervix
  • Scarring of the uterine lining
  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to other organs
  • Possible infection
  • Incomplete abortion

Although some women are relieved after their abortions some women experience

  • Regret
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Sense of loneliness

Other things to consider:

  • New research suggests that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer.
  • Some post-abortive women find it difficult to form proper relationships with the children they have after the abortion.
  • Hyperkalemic Paralysis can occur with improper use of Digoxin or other abortifacients used in induced abortions.
  • The risk of complications during future pregnancy increase with every abortion including preterm delivery (PTD).
  • Post-abortive women have been shown to run a higher risk of substance abuse.

Although abortion is glorified by the pro-choice as being “safe, legal and rare” we know that there is still a risk for death due to abortion despite it being legal. Oh yeah, and it’s far from rare considering that one woman out of ten will have an abortion by the age of 20 and that number only increases with time.

Lastly, I would also like to point out that our lovely blogger brings up the pro-life campaign begun called Silent No More as they often carry signs saying, “I regret my abortion.” She implies that these women (and men) are shaming abortion-minded women. How absurd! Shame on her or anyone else that has the audacity to scoff at these courageous men and women by downplaying the pain they have endured! Many of them were just like this blogger— pro-choice and proud. Anyone who regrets their abortion is shamed by the pro-choice community. Pro-choice advocates scream to the world that abortion is wonderful, but what happens when post-abortive women find themselves disagreeing? They are ignored, devalued, and left to bear their misery in silence so as to escape the wrath of pro-aborts.

Now men and women are coming out of hiding and devoting their lives to preventing others from making the same ‘choice’ they did. They do this by reliving the pain of their abortions over and over and over again through telling their personal stories. Why? Because they were just like this blogger.

So as for her “bullet proof case”…. she might want to reconsider some things. I would say that there are some serious gaps in her logic, and it just so happens her case for bodily autonomy may not be as air-tight as she would have you believe. But go ahead– see for yourself.

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Success at the Christian Leadership Summit!

Driving up the 101 towards Santa Barbara as the sun was setting was just the start of a fantastic weekend with some amazing student leaders. Representing 23 of the top Christian schools in the country we gathered this weekend in Santa Barbara, CA to address the many challenges facing pro-life students at Christian schools. The conference was held at the beautiful Reagan Ranch Center (owned and operated by Young America’s Foundation) just a few blocks from the cool ocean. We know that most schools would rather ignore the controversy than prepare their students for confronting it. They would rather pretend that everyone on their campus is pro-life and that students are not getting pregnant. However, we know that students at Christian schools are not just getting pregnant, but are having abortions, partly because their schools do not support them in choosing Life for their children. And at some Christian schools, the administration and student government won’t even allow the Students for Life group to get started.

Led by the Students for Life team, the student leaders worked through the many challenges that they’re facing and learned from the successes we’ve experienced at other schools. Together, the students began crafting a strategy for fixing the climate of viewpoint discrimination, student apathy and overwhelming lack of life-affirming resources for pregnant and parenting students. Our goal is to help Christian colleges and universities better fulfill their mission of forming students to lead the Church in pursuing justice in the world. This meeting was just the beginning of what will be a long process to change culture on Christian campuses. We can’t wait for you to see the fruits of the students’ labor over the coming months!

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Back to School & the 1st Amendment

The start of the new school is nearly here and inevitably it will bring yet another round of poignant First Amendment cases where pro-life students will be harassed, discriminated against and in some cases, be forced to file lawsuits against their schools for the right to even exist.

Students for Life of America works closely with Alliance Defending Freedom to ensure that pro-life students have excellent legal representation when it comes to defending their freedoms on campus. Many of our lawsuits go public and garner national media attention even – both on the high school and college level.  We are there to train our students on how to handle media attention and provide support on all fronts to make sure that their voices are heard and the pro-life position is not diminished.

While we certainly expect new cases to come up, we are still dealing with cases from last school year that haven’t been resolved yet.

  • At Boise State University in Idaho, the pro-life group on campus Abolishionists4Life is engaged in a lawsuit with the university over their rights to free speech. The university administration forced them to put up warning signs during their pro-life display that some of the material was graphic and offensive – yet the university made so such claims when the pro-choice held their own demonstrations.
  • At Central Tusculoosa High School Ke’Ontai Price was denied approval for club because principal was afraid of “protests” by student body. Price was required to turn in all planned events for approval by the school board and the Principal delayed responding to Price by ignoring multiple attempts to be contacted. Price was unable to find an adviser at the school and believes principal told all staff to turn down the request.

These are only a handful of the lawsuits we are involved in. We expect many more this year because our pro-life groups are dynamic and engaged and ready and willing to help both the mother and baby in crisis pregnancies.

If you are facing harassment in your high school or campus because of your pro-life views, please contact us at legalhelp@studentsforlife.org!

The Giver

thegiverAlmost every student in the past decade has read The Giver. For some, reading the book
was just another assignment but once we began reading, we couldn’t put it down. The Giver is about a young man named Jonas who lives in a future dystopian America where “Sameness” is the law and emotions have been eradicated. Jonas has been given the daunting task of taking on all the memories from the past and while doing so, begins to see through the veil of “Sameness”. Not only does he begin to feel, he begins to see that there is a need for a rebellion against the State.

The Giver will go down as one of the turning points in our ongoing efforts to protect the most vulnerable in our society. This movie beautifully articulates the dignity of the gift of life. Our pro-life generation has grown up reading The Giver; now we have the chance to experience it and share its inspiring themes with our friends and families. It’s my hope that The Giver inspires this generation to take a courageous stand like Jonas.

The Giver opens in theaters on August 15th. Purchase tickets here. 

It Didn’t Have to End Like This

Hollywood icon Robin Williams tragically took his own life earlier this week. He was suffering from severe depression – which isn’t uncommon and should be taken seriously and dealt with immediately to prevent such horrible endings.

To those of you suffering from depression, there IS help and there are people who want to help you.  Unfortunately Robin Williams isn’t the first celebrity to take his own life due to depression. There are many others. And there are still others who aren’t in the spotlight that do it every single day. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We need to not only talk about mental illness but also take steps to help those who are suffering. For more information, visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Please share this post. You never know who is suffering silently from depression but is too afraid or too embarrassed to ask for help.

Surrogacy Diminishes Life

Studies have suggested that many couples who have trouble conceiving a child naturally have turned to surrogacy in recent years. Either by using their own sperm and eggs or those that have been donated, they pay a woman to carry their child to term and then claim the child as their own – in most circumstances.

Last year a surrogate was offered an extra $10,000 to abort the baby she was carrying for a couple because an ultrasound showed the baby was going to be born with severe disabilities. It’s an incredible story where the biological parents demanded the surrogate have a late-term abortion and the surrogate fleeing the state to somewhere where she could have the child and place it for adoption.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to surrogacy. Babies are treated as pure consumerism – easily created and easily discarded if unwanted.

The latest surrogacy story is heart-breaking as well. An Australian couple, where the husband is a sex offender who spent three years in jail, paid a woman in Thailand to have their child. She ended up having twins – a boy and a girl – and the boy had Down syndrome.  The couple only wanted the girl and left the boy behind in Thailand. The surrogate is taking care of the boy, named Gammy, and now wants his sister back with her. Oh, and the Australian couple want the money back that they paid for their children to be conceived and born. They said they would have ordered an abortion if they knew the baby would have a disability.

Wesley J. Smith at National Review Online uses this particular case to demonstrate his valid point:

“Surrogacy and IVF has objectified procreation. Now, it can be about not just having a baby to unconditionally love, but about ordering a baby that meets specifications.”

And there is the case of celebrity talk show host Sheri Shepherd, who, after filing divorce from her husband and hiring a surrogate to carry their child, wants nothing to do with the newborn and has asked the courts to release her from any parenting duties or obligations.

The Washington Post ran a story in 2010 on a couple who are in their early 30s and fertile and who froze embryos because they want to wait to start a family. Said the wife: “Our five frozen embryos, which we call our baby blastocysts, will remain in storage until we are ready to use them. … Now, we have some insurance against future infertility.”

“Use them” – not love them. That’s exactly what has happened. These children are being used. It is a gross commercialization of the greatest gift we have: life itself.

The National Catholic Register points to a disturbing show out of Britain to illustrate this point:

“Last year, the television show Parent Makers followed the same-sex British couple Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow. The Drewitt-Barlows have used surrogates and donor eggs to have five children. In the trailer for the show, Barrie tells his curly-haired son Orlando, “I paid for a gorgeous designer child with green eyes, olive skin and straight, blonde hair.” Orlando defends himself by responding, “I don’t have straight hair. I don’t care about that.” Barrie retorts, “Yeah, but I care.” [emphasis mine]

Life is diminished to a commercial product and discarding that product, either before birth or after, is merely seen as contractual and within the rights of everyone involved in the creation of the child. The child. How often it is forgotten that a unique human being is at the center of the entire debate.

Infertility is a devastating diagnosis and the pain is truly unimaginable unless one is unfortunate enough to have to go through it. But it is never a good thing to go down the road of IVF and surrogacy because they are at the beginning of a very slippery slope that, instead of valuing life to the fullest, devalues it to the point of commercialization and materialism.

Look What You’ve Done!

Students for Life of America accomplished some amazing things this past school year and could not be more excited about what’s to come in 2014-2015! The pro-life generation is energized and ready to abolish abortion and we have lots of great things planned for this year. But why not check out what our pro-life leaders and students did last year:

metricsgraphicAre you inspired? We are. Can you share this graphic with your friends, fellow students, and on your social networks? Click here to share on Facebook, tumblr, Twitter and Instagram!

August Event-in-a-Box: Recruitment Time!

August EIBWelcome back to school! We at Students for Life of America are excited for you to start another school year. We can’t wait to see all that you accomplish and the lives that are impacted through your pro-life group.

The most important thing your group can do at the start of the year is RECRUITING! Recruiting new members is vital to your club’s growth and impact. At the beginning of the year you have a lot of new students who are looking for ways to get involved, and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to grow your group. Recruiting is also really important in finding and developing new leaders. And, it’s really fun!

Choose either High School or College below to get your Event-in-a-Box and start RECRUITING!!

High School 

College 

SFLA: Investigate Planned Parenthood in Arizona

Last week, Students for Life of America joined other national organizations to call for an investigation into Planned Parenthood of Tempe, Arizona, for failing to report the rape of a young girl because it was too much of a “hassle” they said.

A letter to Attorney General Tom Horne from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said the teenaged victim went to the clinic and had an abortion there in January. The letter said when the girl and her mom told a counselor that the pregnancy was the result of a sexual assault, the counselor told them that she didn’t want the hassle of reporting the assault to law enforcement. Planned Parenthood is a mandatory reporter.” – KTAR, Arizona

Our West Coast Regional Coordinator, Casey Tesauro, spoke at the press conference, denouncing the abortion giant for their failed protection of not only one girl but dozens of others who the man, Tyler Kost, sexually assaulted. Planned Parenthood needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for this horrible act of intentional negligence.

For too long an under-regulated, rarely monitored and unaccountable abortion industry has pushed the boundaries of the law to increase profits and meet quotas. This is about increasing Planned Parenthood’s bottom line – the more abortions they do, the more money they make. They are a business and are here to make money, not go through the “hassle” of protecting young girls who come through their doors.

Planned Parenthood claims to they are cheerleaders for women’s health and want to protect women – if they truly wanted to protect women, they would follow the law and report it to police when a young girl is raped. How can any organization claim to protect women and fail so astoundingly bad at actually caring out that mission because “it wasn’t worth the hassle”?

Planned Parenthood receives nearly $500 million a year in taxpayer dollars. They need to be held accountable for repeatedly covering up statutory rape. It’s not a onetime thing in Arizona. They have been caught multiple times on camera refusing to report rape to the authorities and have been sued in other states for the exact same behavior as what happened here. Not only should they be investigated by the proper authorities but all taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood should immediately cease.