Announcing the 2015 Conference Speakers!

Every year the Students for Life of America National Conferences get better and better. Since we added a West Coast National Conference, students have two chances to take advantage of our awesome speakers and workshops.

Not registered? Go HERE!

The East and West Coast National Conferences schedules mirror each other so attendees who aren’t able to attend one or the other will still get everything they need to go back to their campuses as pro-life warriors and abolish abortion.

Check out some of the great speakers students will hear from at our conferences:

Professor Robbie George
Defender of Life Award Winner
robertgeorge
“To stand up for the sanctity of human life at all stages and in all conditions, while also reaching out in love to provide material and spiritual support to pregnant women in need, is to be both a “sign of contradiction” and a “witness to hope” in a culture that is desperately in need of such signs and witnesses.”

Abby Johnson
And Then There Were None
abby-about

David Bereit
40 Days for Life
bereit3-768x768

Josh Brahm
Equal Rights Institute
NewJoshSmallForWebDevices-297

Peggy Hartshorn
Heartbeat International and Defender of Life Award Winner
peggyhartshorn
“I am excited to be in the midst of the most pro-life generation since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973!  Your “light” is shining brightly and providing the hope needed not only for those making a life or death decision but also for those of us who have been ‘fighting the good fight’ for a long while!”

Jason Jones
Movie to Movement
jj

Check out the full schedule here.

We are looking forward to seeing you in January!

Why Should You Start a Pro-Life Group?

Are you a pro-life student who wants to be involved in pro-life activities on campus, but
you’re hesitant to start an actual pro-life club? This is probably for one of two reasons:

  1. You are in the uniquely wonderful situation of being in a campus environment that
    ISN’T hostile to the pro-life message, where the majority of students seem to identify as pro-life and it doesn’t seem like very many hearts and minds need changing, or
  2. You’re afraid that you won’t be able to find enough members to have a successful club that can accomplish much on its own, and you’re thinking it would be easier to instead do pro-life activities through a supportive, pre-existing group such as a Christian Club or Newman Center.

If #1 describes your experience, congratulations, you’re lucky if you don’t have to deal
with a hostile administration, condom fashion shows, abortion fundraisers, etc on campus. You can take advantage of this situation and the fact that you won’t have to spend half of your time struggling with opposition or battling discrimination from your administration! Your members can put all of their effort into making the club successful and productive.
StartAGroup
If #2 is the case for you, it is great that another group with similar values is willing to support you and make pro-life activities part of its mission. However, an independent pro-life club can accomplish a lot more than if it’s just a side project of another club.

In deciding whether to establish an independent pro-life group at your school or not, here are a few points to consider:

  • The ultimate reason your campus needs a club focusing its efforts on the issue of abortion is that women on your campus are getting abortions. A whopping 44% of abortions in the U.S. are obtained by college-aged women (18-24)*. Sometimes Christian universities think that abortion is irrelevant to their campus because their students aren’t having sex, but we know this is not the case. According to as study from the Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood), 80% of young (18-29), unmarried respondents who identified as “Evangelical” have had sex. And 65% of women getting abortions identify as Christians (28% Catholic and 37% Protestant). How often do you see pregnant women walking around your campus? Probably rarely, and it’s the same reason Planned Parenthood stays in business. 
  • A pro-life group which starts as part of a Christian club may have to reestablish its identity later on.

Especially if you’re on a secular campus, you may have trouble disassociating yourself from your “parent club” when your pro-life group decides to break off and register as an independent club. While Christians might still comprise the majority of your members, you want to keep your group open to pro-life people of all religious beliefs and backgrounds. This could be difficult if you are still seen as “the Catholic group,” for example.

  • Becoming a registered club makes you more visible/accessible to the campus and the local community.

What if a freshman wants to know if there’s a pro-life group on campus, and assumes there isn’t one because it’s not listed on the school website’s club page? What if a local pro-life group in your town wants to invite local students to participate in a rally or attend their banquet? Or what if another pro-life club at a nearby school wants to partner with pro-lifers at your school for an activity? If your school’s pro-life presence is not officially represented, you will remain invisible and inaccessible to many people who would otherwise join or support you.

  • A registered club has access to more campus resources.

If you aren’t official, you can’t apply for funding or have special club privileges like reserving space on campus for free or displaying posters in designated areas.

  • Structured groups accomplish more.

Defined leaders will keep things moving, group the school’s pro-life involvement, and ensure the utilization of available resources for students (like SFLA’s awesome trainings, event materials, Leadership Summits, etc!).

  • Establishing a club can have an impact on future generations of students.

When you start a pro-life club, you are doing the most important work on your campus! You are bringing attention to the greatest human rights abuse of our time, improving your campus culture, and even saving lives. It’s not just about this semester, it’s about creating lasting change.

SFLA is behind you every step of the way. Now go forth and fill out that registration paperwork! If you need help starting a club, SFLA has many free resources. Go here to check them out!

*according to the 2012 study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Earn money, help pro-life candidates!

With just two weeks until the 2014 midterm election, pro-lifers need all hands on deck to get our candidates into the Senate, the House and state houses across the country. This is a pivotal time for the pro-life movement as we have life-saving legislation ready to pass at the state and federal levels but need the legislators in office who will do it.
IVPLF
But the abortion lobby is blocking pro-lifers everywhere they can. They are throwing millions and millions of dollars into races to get their pro-abortion candidates elected instead of pro-lifers.

YOU have the opportunity to change that.

Students for Life is teaming up with our friends at CitizenLink to give pro-life students the chance to directly impact the elections for Life. Through the CitizenLink system and Family Policy Councils in key states across the country, you can earn cash for yourself and your pro-life group by making phone calls and knocking on doors of identified pro-life voters to remind them to vote pro-life November 4th.

From the comfort of your own home, you can earn $10 per hour making phone calls on the CitizenLink system. For more information about this opportunity and to apply, please contact Brendan O’Morchoe at Brendan@studentsforlife.org.

We also have opportunities for Students for Life groups to fundraise for your pro-life efforts by organizing phone banks or volunteering at call centers. Your pro-life group can make $200 in just one night making phone calls to pro-life voters in key states.

In one night, you can raise enough money for four student registrations to the SFLA national conference! Contact Brendan O’Morchoe and Brendan@studentsforlife.org for more information and to get started.

We have only two weeks left in this crucial election. Electing pro-lifers will have a direct impact on passing life-saving legislation at all levels of government and will set the stage for a pro-life victory in 2016. Now is the time to show America that our generation votes pro-life first!

We Had to Call Campus Security

Lisa Atkins, SFLA Northwest Regional Coordinator

Portland State University is one of the most liberal campuses in the Northwest Region that I travel to. It was my first stop with the Planned Parenthood Project so I was bracing myself for the possibility of a crazy day on campus.
h
The display consists of banners revealing statistics on Planned Parenthood from their own annual report that are shocking and meant to inform students as to the abortion giant’s true intentions. It also consists of 915 pink crosses that are placed in the ground, which represent how many abortions Planned Parenthood commits per day in America. As we were setting up the crosses, many people stopped to ask what these crosses represented as well as a few individuals on several occasions who came and yelled at us.

But that wasn’t all that happened.

Several times during the day, students came and ripped out many of our crosses from the ground – the same ones it took us nearly two hours to set up. Others students stomped on our crosses.

One lady started screaming at us at the top of her lungs near the display.

Another woman, one who was post-abortive, yelled at the president of the club that we made her feel uncomfortable because she was a victim of incest on two different occasions.

We felt scared for our safety and upset that our display was being vandalized so we called the campus police.

You know what they said?

That it was the students’ rights to vandalize our display and that they couldn’t do anything about it!

But you know what? When students yelled at us, trampled on the crosses, and knocked over our signs, it brought more attention to the display and it illuminated the distinct difference between how we carried ourselves as pro-life ambassadors and how they reacted with hate and violence.

As disheartening as it was to watch our crosses be destroyed and be yelled at by abortion supporters, bringing the Planned Parenthood Project to Portland State was worth it.

There was constantly a crowd of 15-20 people standing in front of the display reading through it and we started a conversation on campus that wasn’t there before about a business who promotes sexual promiscuity and profits when its clients become pregnant and they counsel her to have an abortion.

We recruited a whole page of pro-lifers on campus who supported what we were doing and the current club members became even more committed than before. We were able to have multiple civil conversations with students who didn’t know that Planned Parenthood commits abortions and that it is their money-maker.

It was a difficult day in a hostile environment but if no one stands up for the preborn child, then who will? I do this for my friends who are post-abortive who are hurting because of their abortions, for all of the conversations with those who walk away whose hearts I don’t know were changed and those where I’m told I made that person re-think their entire worldview.

This is what it means to be courageous in the face of opposition and in the end, this is the cause worth fighting for.

Finding Common Ground

Written by: RJ McVeigh, Students for Life Regional Coordinator

Dialogue is possibly the most crucial part of pro-life activism- if you don’t know how to effectively talk to and relate to your peers on campus, especially those who are pro-choice, you will have a difficult time getting the right message across. Whether it is a casual conversation in class, talking to students while recruiting at your Student Organization Fair, or actively doing outreach, knowing how to talk to pro-choicers is crucial for any pro-life student.

Students for Life of America has an entire training dedicated to this form of activism: Apologetics Training. (Contact your Regional Coordinator or e-mail info@studentsforlife.org to get this training.) But there is one piece of this Apologetics training that deserves extra highlighting and emphasis: Finding Common Ground!

When talking to pro-choicers about abortion, finding common ground can be extremely helpful, and thus could be the reason the conversation continues or the person walks away. Believe it or not, there are several things we can readily agree on and should be highlight and acknowledge. Everyone feels good when their feelings are acknowledged and validated and it’s no different here. The more common ground you can find with a student, the more likely they are to view you as friendly and reasonable.

For example, if a pro-choice student agrees with you that it is wrong to kill toddlers, rather than immediately moving on to the next point, stop, smile, and acknowledge, “Okay, good – I agree that it would be wrong to kill the toddler. I think that makes sense.” This is a very little thing for you to do that can go a long ways towards helping to move your conversation along.

Or, if a pro-choice student tells you they support only first trimester abortions; affirm their pro-life stance in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Definitely talk to them about why they should be pro-life in the 1st trimester, too, but also give them a friendly acknowledgement that you agree that 2nd and 3rd trimesters are wrong.

If converting someone from pro-choice to pro-life is like crossing a river, every piece of common ground you can achieve is a stepping stone to getting across. Do not fear making the two sides appear less far apart – seek it out and embrace it. The more relatable you seem to pro-choice students, the more they will be willing to consider the points you starkly differ on. And THAT is how you change hearts.

We Care

Sexual assault is unfortunately prevalent in today’s culture. The National Institute of Justice reports that three percent of all college-age women are victims of completed or attempted rape, which translates to about 300 women on a campus of 10,000 female students. And nearly 80 percent of female victims of completed rape experienced the crime before the age of 25.RebekahBerg

If sexual assault is as common as these statistics point out, how can we not talk about abortion in cases of rape?  It is estimated that pregnancy occurs in five percent of rapes. These women are then faced with the heart wrenching choice of parenting their child or having an abortion.

Pro-lifers, especially those in the public eye, need to know how to answer the “what about rape?” question. This week, Students for Life of America is launching our national We Care Tour visiting 14 college campuses in eight states covering 5,580 miles this fall, addressing this very question, not shirking from it.

The fear of becoming the next Todd Akin is at the forefront of the minds of many good, pro-life candidates who have no idea how to answer that question when it comes to abortion. Admittedly, it’s a tough one, especially during election season where “rape” has been called “the four-letter word.”

By refusing to answer the question or giving a cringe-worthy response, the credibility of the pro-life movement is put in jeopardy because we leave doubts in the minds of so many Americans who have mixed emotions on the question, believing abortion is wrong but not wanting to further hurt a rape survivor.

2However, it’s a question that must be answered because so much is at stake: the health and well-being of the mother and the life of the baby, who through no fault of his or her own now exists. While crisis pregnancies in cases of rape are indeed a very tiny percentage of all abortions committed, they still involve the taking of a life and a lifetime of complications, mentally and possibly physically, for rape survivors.

During our tour, we will have the very real and honest conversations that need to be had; pass out rape whistles, sexual consent cards, and hotline numbers; and tell the stories of those women who conceived because of rape.

The conversations will be hard, especially given the violent and personal nature of rape and sexual assault. The pro-life movement absolutely has to be compassionate and understanding of what these women have been through and continue to suffer. But abortion is not the answer to lessening that suffering.

While the intention may be to ease her suffering, abortion, even in the case of rape, is a great injustice to the second victim, the baby, because he or she did not choose to be placed in this situation, either. Ultimately, we will ask the question: If both victims of this tragic situation can walk away with their lives intact, isn’t that the best option?

The Elliot Institute surveyed 192 women who conceived during a rape or incest. Of those victims, 70 percent carried the baby to term and either raised the child or made an adoption plan, 29 percent had an abortion, and 1.5 percent had a miscarriage.

  • 43 percent of these women said they felt pressured to abort from family or health workers.
  • 78 percent of those who aborted had regrets and said that abortion was the wrong solution.
  • None of the women who gave birth said they regretted their decision.

Talking about the “what about rape?” question demands generous compassion and empathy. Sexual assault is an incredibly violent crime that no one should ever have to face. The damage done to the victims are extensive – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually – but adding an abortion to that crime is adding another, equally innocent, victim. The pro-life movement needs to find a way to deliver that message with care and love.

— We Care Tour Stops —

University in New York, Buffalo
Boston University
Michigan State University
Oakland University
University of Michigan-Flint
University of Kentucky
Western Kentucky University
University of Memphis
Arizona State University
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
University of California, Riverside
University of Northern Colorado
Colorado State University, Pueblo
University of New Mexico

wecaretour

 

 

Planned Parenthood Supporter: “Abort away as far as I am concerned”

Students for Life of America, the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization, took their ground-breaking Planned Parenthood Project to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville yesterday and met some resistance – check out the video below to hear an avid Planned Parenthood defender call the abortion giant a “noble and just organization” all the awhile advocating to “Abort away as far as I am concerned.”

crazyscreencapThe Planned Parenthood Project was developed by Students for Life after the organization’s own polling in 2012 found that 59% of 18-24 year olds didn’t know Planned Parenthood provided abortions. In addition, Students for Life’s internal research has found that 79% of Planned Parenthood facilities are within five miles of a college campus, proving college-aged women and men prime targets for the organization.

The visual display is made up of 915 pink crosses to represent the number of unborn children that die each day inside of Planned Parenthood. In addition, the display has billboards that cite Planned Parenthood’s own annual report numbers and testimony from former employees to call into question their “caring” image. The campus is part of a national tour that will travel 21,861 miles and go 26 universities in 14 states over the next eight weeks this fall.

The majority of this generation is against abortion, which is why Planned Parenthood never  advertises the fact that they are the nation’s largest abortion vendor. So our goal is simple: we want to educate this generation about Planned Parenthood’s real motives and business model in order to turn them against the abortion Goliath and towards pro-life, pregnancy resource centers where they can go for honest, real help.

Defender of Life Award Recipients Announced

Students for Life of America is pleased to announce its Defenders of Life Awards for the SFLA East and West National Conferences in January 2015.
14defenderoflife
Professor Robbie George will be presented with the award at the SFLA East National Conference in Washington, DC on January 23, 2015 and Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., will be presented with the award at the SFLA West Conference in San Francisco, CA on January 25, 2015.

Not registered yet? Register HERE!

SFLA is thrilled to present these two outstanding individuals with the Defenders of Life Award for their tireless advocacy of the preborn and their mothers. Our national conference attendees are in for a big treat to hear Professor Robbie George and Peggy Hartshorn speak and receive their awards. Both of these individuals are titans in the pro-life movement and have so much wisdom to pass onto the new generation of pro-life leaders. We are very excited to have this opportunity to honor Professor George and Mrs. Hartshorn for their service.

Every year at the Students for Life of America National Conference, the Defender of Life Award is given to those pro-life heroes who have made bold and courageous steps to advance the pro-life movement, and defend the most defenseless among us – the preborn child, on the national stage within their sphere of influence.

Professor Robbie George is the holder of the McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence at Princeton University and the founding director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is an incredible conservative, pro-life, Christian thinker and speaker. He is chairman of the United State Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the US Commission on Civil Rights. Professor George will be  giving the keynote address at the SFLA East Coast National Conference.

Peggy Hartshorn became involved in the pro-life movement soon after Roe v. Wade when she and her husband joined the local Right to Life group, and they began housing pregnant women in their home in 1974. Mrs. Hartshorn is the president of Heartbeat International. Under her leadership, Heartbeat has grown from a network of 100 affiliated pregnancy help centers to the most expansive network of pregnancy help ministries in the world, with 1,800 pregnancy help centers, medical clinics, maternity homes, non-profit adoption agencies, and abortion recovery programs, on every inhabited continent (over  1,200 in the United States). Mrs. Hartshorn will be giving the keynote address at the SFLA West Coast Conference.

The SFLA East Coast National Conference is the largest pro-life conference in the world and SFLA is proud to host the second annual West Coast Conference, which saw huge success its first year. It is an honor to be able to give these two dynamic, pro-life heroes the highest award that SFLA gives out at our national conferences.

Previous Defenders of Life Award winners include Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Father Frank Pavone, Abby Johnson, David Bereit, and Phyllis Schlafly.

Register for both the East and West Coast National Conferences here: www.sflalive.org

I Vote Pro-Life First!

The 2014 elections are fast approaching and this is once again a critical time for pro-lifers. With vital, life-saving legislation being proposed in the Senate, such as the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” and potential confirmation hearings of justices at all levels of the federal courts who will rule on common-sense health and safety regulations for votegraphicabortion facilities, we need to do our part to usher in a pro-life Senate majority this fall. And in the past 3 years, more pro-life legislation has been passed at the state level than ever before. If we want to see this trend continue, we must elect more pro-lifers to state houses across the country.

This fall, you will have a direct impact on changing the policies that govern our nation. That is why we launched “I Vote Pro-Life First” in 2012 and continue our work in 2014. As our culture becomes increasingly more pro-life, we have to show our elected representatives that the people of America are pro-life and we won’t support those who stand in the way of Life. Every vote matters!

There are some easy steps you can take to make sure that your voice is heard:

  • Find out if you and your friends are registered to vote. Using this easy tool, you can look up all your friends and family and see if they’re registered to vote this fall. If they’re not, send them a link to this voter registration page. But hurry! Voter registration deadlines are fast approaching!
  • Pledge to vote early! Don’t take any chances on election day and make sure your pro-life vote gets counted. Apply for an absentee ballot and get your vote in now!
  • Look up your candidates’ voting record and pledges. Find out who has shown they will protect pre-born babies and pledge your support. Educate your friends and families so that they don’t unknowingly vote for a candidate who supports the killing of pre-born children.

And stay tuned for more opportunities with Students for Life to directly impact pro-life policy in your state and across the country. From pro-life candidates to pro-life amendments on the ballots this fall, Students for Life will be working on the ground to get out the pro-life vote. Volunteer your time and remind everyone you know to vote pro-life first.

Vandals Use Nazi Swastikas to Cover Pro-Life Chalk Messages at Eastern Michigan University

Following National Pro-Life Chalk Day last week, where pro-life student groups drew positive messages with chalk at their colleges, universities and high schools across the country, students at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI found today that vandals that covered their drawings with the Nazi swastika symbol and threw water on the swastika1chalkings as well.

The pro-life student group wrote slogans like “Life is precious, let’s protect it” and “Love them both” and “Women regret abortion.”

“Eastern Michigan Students for Life has two main goals on campus: inform the student body about abortion and help women in crisis pregnancies. To achieve both of these goals, we have loving, meaningful, and civil conversations on campus with our peers,” explained Rueben Ainley, Vice President of Eastern Michigan University Students for Life. “We also have many events planned throughout the year to educate the student body about abortion. The vandalism that took place on our sidewalk chalking display shows that some people who disagree with us do not want to have dialogue about abortion but instead show their point of view through vandalism and hatred.”

Chalking is a common activity for many pro-life student groups nationally – it’s fun, inexpensive and an effective and creative way to get out the pro-life message to college students who may be facing an unplanned pregnancy or who may just want to be more involved in the pro-life club.

swastikaPro-life students have every right to have their voice heard as anyone on any college campus. Drawing swastikas next to positive messages of love and hope are unconscionable. Our pro-life movement serves to help and support those who are marginalized by society.

The vandalism occurred last night (Sunday, October 5) while the pro-life students were drawing their messages.

“This vandalism shows the intolerance of some people on campus who have differing views than us,” said Ainley. “Eastern Michigan Students for Life, through our dedicated leadership team and members, want to change hearts and minds through loving means.”