Students Open Campus Pregnacy Center

unm - facebook-20140902-110626Students for Life at UNM – Albuquerque, NM

Summer Break? No way! Students for Life at the University of New Mexico used their summer to impact their school by opening their own student run pregnancy resource center on campus, in collaboration with local community organizations.

As Samantha Serrano, the former President of the UNM Students for Life Club says,

“The Gabriel Project is our newest initiative and it will work in collaboration with our Pregnant on Campus initiative. We decided to start a Gabriel Project because we wanted to offer resources to pregnant and parenting students more than just every Friday. With the help of Project Defending Life we are now about to offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds on campus. This initiative is completely student run, which we think is important so that our peers will feel more comfortable coming to us for help. We are open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. and are always available by appointment. We have already had six women approach us about starting a parenting support group and we have only been open a week!”

UNM - facebook-20140902-110607As the school year begins, these courageous students are already seeing good fruit from their work. Last week, at the Fall 2014 School Club Fair, the SFL students were approached by a young woman who had been sexually assaulted just days prior. Immediately, the students embraced her with loving arms, gave her information to a rape support group on campus, and even helped find her free help. This group understands the importance of needing to give women in crisis help in the moment while being compassionate and approachable to their peers. .

Leading the Gabriel Project on campus this year, Dominique Davis was present to help this young woman and says,

“This woman saw our table and asked if we could help her.Our Regional Coordinator, Lo, was able to speak with her while I got some papers with information for referrals to CareNet where they can do STI treatment and counseling, but also to the local rape crisis center and another local organization, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), who deal specifically with what this poor woman had just been through.

One thing is important in these kinds of situations and I believe with the objective of Pregnant on Campus: to meet the specific needs right away to those who seek us for help. If not, he/she/them may continue searching without really knowing where to look or bouncing around from one referral to another until they do get the help they need. In situations like the one mentioned above, a woman may stop looking, become discouraged, and end up making regretful decisions. If I, or others, had not done hours of internet searching I would have never known about the rape crisis center or SANE, their locations, or their phone numbers. I would not have known about the different locations of CareNet or their contact information. I would not have been able to meet this woman’s needs, which she needed immediately. If I or others in our group had not taken the time to find out what is available in our community, SFL UNM would have certainly failed to do what we had committed ourselves to doing.

It is incredibly important that each club works hard to reach out to their campus, and be visible with open arms and hearts to help those in need. Students for Life at UNM only began in March 2013 and is an amazing testimony of what a student group can do in one year!

Congratulations to The University of New Mexico Students for Life for being true defenders of life and Students for Life of America’s College Group of the Month for August!

An Informed Birthmother

By: Amanda Lord, SFLA’s New Media Coordinator

Placing my son for adoption is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and probably will ever do. It is uncertainty that causes much of the anxiety. The biggest stressor during the placement process was fear that my son’s parents wouldn’t follow through with our plan of an open adoption.

Open adoption refers to the sharing of information and/or contact between the parents and birthparents of a child, before and/or after the placement of the child, and perhaps continuing for the life of the child. Research has shown that open adoption is best for all members of the adoption triad – child, parents and birth parents. Open adoption varies with every situation.

Unfortunately many states don’t yet legally recognize contracts that set the perimeters of an open adoption. Which means parents can choose to not follow through with what they agreed to in the contract. This can leave a birthparent feeling helpless and uncertain of how their child is doing.

I went on gut instinct when choosing my son’s family. I didn’t have all the tools available to me to best spot adopting parents who may not fulfill a written or oral contract. There were many wonderful people surrounding me who did all they could to help but they weren’t trained in the process of relinquishment.  This article gives signs for birthparents and their allies to watch for when choosing a couple to raise their child. These signs will help them spot parents who may not follow through with the open adoption agreement.  I encourage you to bookmark the page so you can share it with potential birthparents.

Birthparents and/or their allies should also do research on the adoption agency they are thinking of using. Find out if the agency provides pre and post counseling. Ask to speak with a birthparent who used the agency to find out his or her experience with staff. Contact a local PRC to see if they recommend the agency. Google the agency to see if you can find complaints. In cases where communication is made through the agency, ask if there is a plan in place to keep contact between parents and birth parents open in case the agency shuts down.

Uncertainty is a fact of adoption but that doesn’t mean birthparents and adopting parents shouldn’t do all they can to diminish the amount that exists.

A pro-lifer should be fully equipped to help a mother in a crisis pregnancy situation. That means being knowledgeable about all parenting options – including adoption.

The War for Souls Begins

Friends,

The freshman are already moved onto campus, and classes are getting ready to start next week. Our team at Students for Life is almost ready to launch for the fall. We’ve ordered the new educational materials for our groups, and we’ve made our travel plans to over 30 states. lisavideo

But today, I need your help to start this new school year strong. Can you chip in just $24 to help launch our Fall 2014 Field Program?

Next week, impressionable young pro-lifers across the nation will start classes and be overwhelmed by the Culture of Death. They will meet older, upperclassmen who openly challenge everything they believe.

These young students will be told by their professors and peers that God doesn’t exist, that all truth is relative, and to simply do what feels right and “live in the moment.”

Next week, an all out war for the souls for our young people will begin.

One of the greatest “side effects” I have seen of our work on campuses has been something most people don’t consider.

When we start a Students for Life group on a campus, we give pro-life and Christian students a community, a place where they can find like-minded friends to help them through the life changes they are experiencing. We give them a place where they can stay grounded in their faith or come back to it. We give them a place to belong.

At Students for Life, we’re not just saving babies and their moms from abortion, we’re also there holding the line, vanguarding our generation from a Culture that seeks to lead them astray and consume them.

Can you take just 4 minutes today to watch this quick video of Lisa?
I want you to hear her story of how far she drifted when she went away to college and how she came back.

Then, please consider chipping in just $24 to help pay for the travel expenses our full-time team of 19 will have in the coming 12 weeks.

You can help us find more Lisa’s out there.

Please keep our team in your prayers as we set out to accomplish our mission this fall: saving lives, helping mothers, and creating young leaders.

For Life,

Kristan Hawkins
President, Students for Life of America

Summer of Life

Did you know that the United States is one of only seven nations in the entire world that still allows abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy? By this time, halfway through pregnancy, the preborn baby feels pain, can acknowledge its mother’s voice, hiccup, and grow hair.

In 1994 at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, Blessed Mother Teresa said:

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

This week, Students for Life joined several other pro-life and pro-family groups in the “Summer of Life” rallies which call on members of the U.S. Senate to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortion past 20 weeks when the preborn baby has been scientifically proven to feel pain.

The legislation passed in the House over a year ago and now the opportunity falls to the Senate. A huge majority of Americans support this legislation and it needs to be passed immediately.

Abortion at any stage, like Mother Teresa said, is certainly the greatest destroyer of love and peace.  While this bill does not outrightly ban abortion, it does take a step in the right direction of protecting these little babies.

How cruel that even the most ardent abortion advocate would stop this legislation, which bans the horrific procedure of tearing apart a child in the womb? The U.S. Senate needs to support this bill immediately.

To contact your Senator and demand they pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, go to www.nrlchapters.org/painpetition.

Watch Kristan Hawkins speak at the rally:

September Event-in-a-Box:Chalk it Up!

IMG_3306It’s time to dig deep and find your inner pro-life artist! This month is all about PRO-LIFE CHALK!

Chalking is a fun and easy way to get your club active and spread the pro-life message at your high school or on your college campus. You can reach students with a life-affirming message of love and hope and have fun in the process!

This September, Students for Life of America is hosting a Pro-Life Chalk it Up Contest! We want to see how creative you can get with sharing the pro-life message! By the end of September, we will choose a high school and college winner who will receive free Rock for Life gear and national recognition! Click the links below to find out more information!

High School

College

 

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.