By the Numbers: 2014-2015 School Year!

Our team at Students for Life has just finished tallying up all of our metrics for the 2014-2015 school year and I’ve got to say: the pro-life generation is on fire! Despite facing hostile administrations, apathetic peers, and the challenge of maintaining a good GPA, work, and pro-life groups, this generation is rising up to save to lives, help women, and change our culture on campuses.

Need proof of the incredible work that courageous pro-life students and Students for Life 2014-2015 school year infographichas done this past school year? Look no further than these amazing stats from the 2014-2015 school year, where Students for Life of America had the pleasure of….

  • Starting 120 new pro-life groups, which includes college and high school clubs
  • Ending the year with 901 active groups
  • Saving more than 48 babies
  • Conducting 428 group trainings
  • Training 8,152 students
  • Leading 823 student consultations
  • Mentoring 142 groups in the Pregnant on Campus Initiative
  • Traveling 152,928 miles to train and equip pro-life students
  • Visiting 27 medical school with the Med SFL National Speaking Tour
  • Hosting 16 Regional Leadership Summits with 164 schools represented
  • Visiting 421 individual campuses
  • Maintaining active groups in 49 states plus DC, Puerto Rico, and Canada
  • Distributing 263 activism kits
  • Visiting 103 schools with the “Planned Parenthood Project”, the “We Care Tour”, the “Fetal Pain Display” and the “When do Human Rights Begin?” tour.
  • Giving out 52,249 of our pro-life postcards
  • Organizing 17 community events and four state mobilizations in Washington, Idaho, the District of Columbia, and Michigan

We are so proud of our pro-life students, of our team and of our entire pro-life generation. It is because of this generation that we will end abortion in our lifetime!

Our team is already planning great things for the 2015-2016 school year, and we look forward to another incredible year! Want to start your own Students for Life group at your school? Email us at: info@studentsforlife.org.

 

 

Hold Your Head Up, Bristol

Reading Bristol Palin’s pregnancy announcement was difficult. Like so many women who face an unplanned pregnancy, she knows she has disappointed herself and her family in her decision not to remain chaste yet she knows the precious, tiny human being growing inside of her doesn’t deserve to be killed to simply spare her of the embarrassment she will face.

You know what? She is an incredible, real and honest example of a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy. She’s not hiding her feelings, however difficult and uncomfortable they may be for her.

And she is choosing life. And that should be applauded.

The Palin family has been in the spotlight for years and whatever anyone thinks of them, it cannot be easy to grow up with that kind of fame, especially when they are known for advocating traditional values and this is Bristol’s second out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

But everyone makes mistakes. Even Christians, surprise! Bristol is doing the best she can under less than ideal circumstances and she is a loving mother to her son and is already a loving mother to her preborn baby.

Having an abortion would have spared her this embarrassment. It could have been an “easy way out.” Instead, Bristol is courageously choosing the hard road and living out her convictions, in spite of the hordes of online abortion advocates who are sneering at her for becoming pregnant and telling her that she should have had an abortion.

Ironic, how those who label themselves pro-choice are insulting her for making a choice to not have an abortion.

Congratulations Bristol – we are so proud of you!

#Defundplannedparenthood

I got an email from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, today shrieking about how Congress is planning to vote for defunding her massive abortion giant of a non-profit:

Extreme members of Congress are pushing a bill that would eliminate federal funding for the nation’s family planning program (Title X) that pays for cancer screenings, well-women visits, and basic care at health centers nationwide.

*insert shocked face here*

The thing is, Planned Parenthood gets a half a billion dollars a year from taxpayers, which is part of the Title X program, but the stuff that this money is supposed to pay for (everything but abortions) is decreasing, while abortions are increasing.

This chart below from Americans United for Life shows that in 2006, Planned Parenthood did just over 2 million cancer screening and other preventative services while they did almost 290,000 abortions. Fast forward to 2013 and the numbers have completely reversed: the abortion giant did 935K screenings and prevention services and did 327K abortions – all the while increasing their slice of the taxpayer pie.

AUL PP chart

According to the AUL report on Planned Parenthood’s new mega-centers, The New Leviathan, “PPFA affiliates’ reported revenue from taxpayer dollars has increased from $272.7 million in its 2004-2005 fiscal year, to an average of $536.6 million in each one of the past 4 years.”

PP tax revenue

Planned Parenthood does not need this money. They are a billion dollar organization – all non-profit, *wink wink.* Yet somehow 41% of their revenue is from taxpayers.

No organization should be getting money from taxpayers that does abortions. PP will say that they aren’t using taxpayer dollars for abortions but the money is fungible, meaning that money is money, it’s all interchangeable. There are tons of organizations that do everything Planned Parenthood does except abortion. Why not hand over taxpayer dollars to them instead of PP? Because Cecile Richards pulls the strings of the her puppets in government. They do whatever she wills.

Remember the whole Susan G. Komen fiasco? They dared to announce they were stopping their grants to Planned Parenthood because they didn’t believe the money was going to mammograms (it wasn’t, they were right). Planned Parenthood threw a massive hissy fit in the media, all over the Internet, on TV and radio and blogs and within a matter of days, Komen caved and sent a check to Planned Parenthood.

It’s time for someone to stand up to the abortion giant, the Wal-Mart of the abortion industry. They don’t care about women – they only care about their bottom line and will scratch and claw their way for every dollar the government, and taxpayers, will give them. #DefundPlannedParenthood

Pro-life High School Student Interviewed on National Radio

Wondering about starting a pro-life club this year but don’t know where to start? Is writing a constitution, recruiting members, or coming up with ideas for events overwhelming? Madera South student Jorge Mendoza is not only a shining example of persistence and courage in starting a pro-life club but is also a great example of how to use all the free resources available from Students for Life TM  to his advantage.

Jorge’s groups at both Madera South and Madera High School in California won Group of the Month in May (see more about this here) after a months-long battle with the school administrations. But did you know why Jorge wanted to start the clubs or what his plans are now that he has graduated? How did he use SFLA’s resources? Where did he even find out about SFLA?

Jorge did a great interview with Teresa Tomeo over at EWTN radio where he answers all these questions and more, which is definitely worth a listen to! Click on the link below to listen:

http://www.mediafire.com/view/5ii4k52f6ikr4az/CC%20Mendoza%2006-15-15.mp3

Need help starting your club? Email us at info@studentsforlife.org to learn how.

Pope Francis’ New Letter Promotes Protection of All Life

PopeFrancis2 (3)While the liberal media may be tripping over themselves to declare Pope Francis’ new encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si (Praise be to You) a groundbreaking milestone in the Catholic Church on climate change, they are failing to mention the pope’s eloquent and articulate defense of life, especially as it relates to caring about the environment, our bodies and natural human dignity.

To summarize the Pope’s main points on abortion, he essentially says that caring for the environment, including the protection of endangered species and other animals, cannot be separated from or held above the protection of human preborn babies, even when that new little human life is deemed inconvenient.

(120) Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away.”

Pope Francis also isn’t afraid to point out the obvious disconnect between environmentalists who want to save trees and whales and stop animal testing but who have no problem promoting the ending of human life.

(136) [I]t is troubling that, when some ecological movements defend the integrity of the environment, rightly demanding that certain limits be imposed on scientific research, they sometimes fail to apply those same principles to human life. There is a tendency to justify transgressing all boundaries when experimentation is carried out on living human embryos. We forget that the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development. In the same way, when technology disregards the great ethical principles, it ends up considering any practice whatsoever as licit.

And the encyclical points out that living in harmony with nature is not authentic if we fail to have compassion for humans in all stages of life:

(91) A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings. It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking, unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed unwanted.

Pope Francis has quite the following – both from religious and non-religious people – so, in our view, it is imperative he uses his status as the head of the Catholic Church, and someone who is well-liked, to continue to speak the truth about abortion. Because of his charismatic personality, Pope Francis is able to relate to people in a way that the Church hasn’t been able to do in a long time. By speaking the truth about abortion and the protection of life in a way others, even those who disagree with the Church, can relate to, it is a big step towards opening hearts to understanding the dignity we all share as humans, no matter our stage of development.

For further reflection on the encyclical from a broader view, head on over to Ed Morrissey’s post at HotAir.com.

Petitions in support of 20 Week Abortion Ban delivered to US Senate from Millennials

Students for petitions front of mcconnell rezLife of America today delivered petitions from students across the nation to the U.S. Senate Majority and Minority Leaders advocating banning abortions after 20 weeks through the Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act, which was passed one month ago today in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Millennials are not apathetic about abortion, much less abortions committed on preborn babies that feel pain at 20 weeks and beyond,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.  “The Senate needs to listen to these students, to women, to all Americans, the vast majority of who oppose abortions that late in pregnancy.”

This past spring semester, Students for Life of America took their newest educational tour, the Fetal Pain Display, to 25 campuses from Hawaii to Massachusetts, and reached thousands of students.

petitions in front of capitol resizThe tour was incredibly successful. Students for Life groups were able to easily discuss the biology and science of fetal pain and use diagrams that are present in medical textbooks. They were able to recruit other students to join their clubs and they even witnessed students changing their mind on late-term abortion. Over 1,300 students signed a petition in person demanding that abortions are banned after 20 weeks gestation.

“For college students in the midst of exams, club meetings, work, and other obligations, taking the time to check out the display and sign their name was a testament to the recognition of the exceptioPetitions Harry Reid reznal horror of abortion, especially this late in pregnancy,” said Hawkins.

“U.S Senators should be forced to vote whether or not they will protect babies after 20 weeks gestation,” concluded Hawkins. “Public officials should not hesitate to protect the most vulnerable among us and if they do, they should be held accountable.”

The U.S. House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on a bill to protect babies from abortion after 20 weeks on January 22nd of this year, the day of the March for Life, but at the last minute it was pulled because of protests from Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN). They ended up passing the bill four months later on May 18, 2015 in the House of Representatives.

Fifty-two percent of Millennials are in favor of banning abortions after 20 weeks gestation, according to National Journal. Sixty-four percent of Americans think abortion should be illegal in the second trimester and that number jumps to 80% for third trimester abortions, according to Gallup.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, 42 states have banned abortions after a certain number of weeks of gestation and with varying exceptions. Some states have taken up bans on abortions after 20 weeks this year already including South Carolina and West Virginia.

 

Abortions Down 12% Nationally

News reports this week stated that abortions have dropped nationally 12% since 2010. This is amazing news! In some states, like Hawaii, abortions dropped an incredible 30%.

While reasons do vary as to why abortions are down, the good news overall is that less abortions are happening, which means more mothers are choosing life for their babies.

This past semester, SFLA visited 27 campuses with our new campus tour, the Human Rights Tour, and we asked students when they thought that a human should have human rights. We asked them to vote by placing a sticker next to the a photo of human development from conception all the way through birth.gracie

The overwhelming majority placed their stickers in the first trimester, most at conception.

College students – the first generation that has been able to view in great detail what life in the womb looks like – can easily see that the preborn child is a human being and deserves every right to life as anyone else. Abortion takes away that life and this generation knows it.

NARAL has documented the ‘intensity gap’, where Millennials who are pro-life are more passionate about being pro-life and protecting the preborn than those who are pro-choice and their passion for protecting abortion rights.

This past school year, we had our first Pregnant on Campus Students for Life group start an entirely student-run pregnancy resource center on campus – the first of its kind in the country – at the University of New Mexico. This generation not only wants to protect innocent human life in the womb but also cares deeply for the women facing unplanned pregnancies and wants to do everything they can to help them be able to choose life for their child.

 

 

How We Interact Matters

LovingHerby Emily Wilkinson, SFL West Coast Regional Coordinator

One of my favorite parts of being a Regional Coordinator is getting to have conversations about abortion with strangers on a regular basis. (If you’ve never had that experience, you should try it sometime!) Most recently, I brought SFLA’s Planned Parenthood Project  to a liberal California campus where we dialogued with passing students about PP’s abortion agenda.

One of the students who stopped to talk was a pro-choice girl with a lot of legitimate concerns. I really appreciated the opportunity to talk with her since the media so often portrays both sides just yelling over each other. We talked for a long time covering multiple topics – adoption, women’s rights, unplanned pregnancies, the need for accessible healthcare, and whether the unborn is a human/person. Then she turned the focus back to our display. She said, “I really appreciate how you guys are presenting your message, and I can tell you really care about this issue, but what about women who see your display who have already had abortions? Why are you trying to make them feel bad? It’s things like this that create abortion stigma.”

I gently explained that we were not there to judge women who have had abortions, but to direct them to healing and support. I told her that I disagreed with the idea that women only feel bad about their abortions due to “abortion stigma,” because abortion is truly physically and psychologically harmful. And we want to reach out not only to post-abortive women, but to women who are considering having an abortion because we don’t want them to go through that trauma.

I told her, “One of the things that the pro-life group here on this campus wants to do is support pregnant women and provide resources for them, because so many women are pressured to get an abortion and feel like they don’t have a choice. They’re told by society that they can’t do it – they can’t have a child and go to school at the same time. They think they have to choose between their education and their baby, and we want to tell them, ‘No! You don’t have to choose. You can do both.’ ”

The girl gave me a doubtful look, as if I held a delusional belief. “You expect women to be superheroes!” she said accusingly. “It’s impossible to go to school and do a good job of raising a child at the same time.”POC1-1

“You’re right,” I said, “I think women ARE superheroes! Women are amazing!!” I told her that I have several friends who have gone through school and done a good job raising a child at the same time.

“Women are capable of so much – way more than society gives them credit for, and more than they give themselves credit for. I think most of the time, women don’t even realize what they are capable of.” I think it took her by surprise that I was framing the issue in such a pro-woman way. (Check out the Pregnant on Campus Initiative to see what was going through my mind at this moment.)

She was struck by what I said and her expression softened. She seemed physically torn between staying and walking away, and mentally struggling with how to put her thoughts into words and respond to everything that I had been saying.

“I don’t know… I disagree with you, but… you’re so beautiful!… It’s like you believe life is just so beautiful!” she said with unexpected emotion.

Yes, I absolutely believe that, I told her. And then she started to cry a little, covering her face with her hands and apologizing, clearly embarrassed. “It’s fine!” I said, surprised, but before I could think to ask if she was okay, she regained her composure and said she needed to get to class. I quickly thanked her for talking with me and asked her name as she turned to go.

“Emelia,” she replied, which made me smile. I told her my name and that I like to go by
Emelia. “Feel free to come back before we leave at two o’clock,” I said, and she thanked me and walked away.

I really hoped that she would come back, but I didn’t see her again.

This was not how I had expected our conversation to end. I was left feeling uncomfortable and with unanswered questions. Had she changed her perspective on anything, or did she POC4-1still just think I was nice but delusional? What secret pain had bubbled up to the surface and caused her to break down, however briefly? I had been privy to her tears, but not the reason behind them, and it was heartbreaking to think that she might be post-abortive. The conversation had ended so abruptly that it lacked some sort of closure.

But that happens a lot with outreach on campus. Students are usually in a rush, and the conversations that do happen are interrupted by class, work, or homework. That is why it is vital for us to remember that it’s not just about what we say, but how we say it. Even if we only have a few seconds or minutes to communicate with a passing student, we must try our best to leave that person with a positive impression of what we stand for as pro-life advocates.

We can do this by smiling, being genuine, and listening intently to what the other person has to say. We can treat the person with dignity and respect no matter how erroneous we think his or her views are, and we can try our best to understand those views.  I was patient, respectful, and compassionate in our conversation. She seemed skeptical of how nice I was, and she became less defensive as time went on. By the end, she clearly respected me (even if she still thought I was misguided).

The truth is, it doesn’t matter that I will never have answers to my questions about Emelia. It also doesn’t matter that she almost certainly didn’t change her mind about abortion– that rarely happens in one conversation. What matters is that I was able to communicate the care we have for women in difficult circumstances, and share how abortion is not a good solution to any problem. Re-thinking abortion is a long process for many people, and every positive interaction they have with the pro-life movement is a stepping stone along the way. Our interaction may have been the first stepping stone in her journey. And that, my friends, is a successful conversation.

 

 

UNIVERSITY AGREES TO REVISE FREE SPEECH POLICY AFTER PRO-LIFE LAWSUIT

Boise State University has revised its speech policy in light of a lawsuit filed by the law firm of Students for Life of America (SFLA), Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), last year on behalf of a pro-life student group. The university’s new speech policy no longer requires student organizations to post warning signs on campus for events school officials deem “controversial” and no longer limits literature distribution on campus. Because of the policy change, ADF and Boise State attorneys mutually agreed to end the lawsuit, Abolitionists4Life v. Kustra.

“Pro-life students should not be discriminated against or censored because university officials do not agree with their viewpoints,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, which works with Abolitionists4Life. “Pro-life students have every right to host events on campus as do any other student. Universities are supposed to be beacons of free speech and tolerance, not discriminatory havens of censorship where the only views tolerated are those of liberal administrators.”

In April and May 2014, Abolitionists4Life hosted two different events, “Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust” and the Students for Life of America national campus tour, “What Has Roe Done for Us?,” which used images to communicate its pro-life message. A university official told the group that preemptive warning signs are required for events involving “controversial issues, specifically graphic pictures,” and that the events would not have been approved if the university knew there would be no warning signs.

“Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “We commend Boise State University for acknowledging this by revising its speech policy so that students can speak more freely throughout campus without fear of punishment.”

Boise State University has allowed other groups to host events without warning signs, including Planned Parenthood, which distributed condoms on campus, and the Secular Student Alliance, which held “Does God Exist?” signs in open spaces on campus.

The university also prohibited the group from distributing fliers outside one of the school’s eight “speech zones,” which together are limited to less than one percent of the entire campus.

High school denies pro-life club!

This morning, one of Students for Life’s brave high school student leaders was on Fox News.

Angelique has been trying to start her Students for Life club since last December and has been getting significant pushback from her school administration at West Career and Technical Academy (WCTA) in Las Vegas.

After submitting all of the necessary paperwork and recruiting more than enough club members, Angelique’s vice principal, Mr. Allen Lee, told her that abortion is too controversial, which is a typical response we hear from administrators.

(By the way, the school has a Gay-Straight Alliance club…but apparently that isn’t controversial!)

But here’s what he told her that is really crazy —

Mr. Lee told Angelique that there are “far more qualified” people to talk about abortion than a 16-year-old high school sophomore!!

Not only is Angelique articulate and razor smart but she is passionately pro-life, having researched abortion all on her own and come to the conclusion that it is truly the greatest human rights violation of our time.

It is this generation that has grown up with the technology to see inside the womb, to know that a baby is growing inside his or her mother and has every right to life as anyone else. They know that abortion ends that life. They have seen their brothers and sisters before they were even born. In addition, it’s this generation who is directly targeted by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry for business!

Is there a more qualified generation to talk about abortion than this one?

So last week, with the help of SFLA attorneys at the Thomas More Society, we sent a demand letter to the principal at WCTA, Amy Dockter-Rozar, and to the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, reminding them of Angelique’s free speech rights and demanding that they approve her club immediately, before the end of the school year, which is next week.

We need to get Angelique’s club approved ASAP, so she can start helping pregnant students in crisis and educating her peers on abortion right away and can host events right at the beginning of next school year.

Can you send a brief email to Principal Amy Dockter-Rozar to tell her to approve the Students for Life club now? Angelique and her fellow pro-life students have not only been censored and discriminated against but are being unfairly belittled for being pro-life.
Go here to send your message now: https://sfla.webconnex.com/wtca
Thank you and we will keep you updated on any developments in Angelique’s case!