National Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity: October 17, 2017

On Tuesday October 17th, 2017, students from all across the nation will give up their voices in solidarity with around 2,500 lives taken by abortion every day, whose voices will never be heard.

This is 1/5 of our generation – our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our peers. Over 56 million children have died from abortion since 1973, when Roe v. Wade legalized the killing of pre-born children. They were not given the chance to experience life outside of their mother’s womb, the joy of seasons changing, holidays, and family gatherings.

We ask that you wear a red arm band or red duct tape over your mouths to identify that you are taking part in the National Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity. You can also wear a pro-life t-shirt to show your support. Take a vow of silence for the day, acting in solidarity for those who have been silenced forever. We are remembering those who were lost and hurt by abortion by giving up our voices and remaining in solidarity. Will you join us?

Please note: Some schools will allow you to participate but not allow you to duct tape your mouths because of safety concerns. This is a legitimate concern so please adhere to their policy if this is the case for your school. If you have an assignment in class where you have to speak, your teacher can require you to participate. If you have a speaking assignment that day, ask your teacher if you can reschedule it.

For more information on Silent Day, contact your Regional Coordinator today! 

If you are a student in Southern CA or AZ, contact Camille Rodriguez.

If you are a student in WA, contact Katie Lodjic.

If you are a student in CO or NM, contact Bethany Janzen.

If you are a student in MI, contact Audrey Nitzel.

If you are a student in MD, PA, DC, or DE, contact Michele Hendrickson.

If you are a student in KY or TN, contact Brenna Lewis.

If you are a student in NE, SD, or KS, contact Savannah Falter.

If you are a student in TX, contact Jillian Ferguson.

If you are a student in NY or NJ, contact Keri Landeche.

If you are a student in NC, SC, GA, or FL, contact Ryan Eyrich.

If you are a student in VT, ME, RI, NH, CT, or MA, contact Abby Young.

If you are a student in VA or WV, contact Lori Cascio.

If you are a student in Northern CA, contact Anna Arend.

If you are a student in OR or ID, contact Nichole Bentz.

If you are a student in OH, contact Morgan Getts.

If you are a student in IN, contact Anna Allgaier.

If you are a student in IA or IL, contact David Cordaro.

If you are a student in MN, contact Maddie Schulte.

If you are a student in MO, contact Reagan Barklage.

If you are a student in a state not listed, contact Brielle Heraty.

Great opportunity to attend March for Life…on us!


Students for Life of America is still accepting applications through its March for Life Pilgrimage Grant Application until October 13th! The grant program is a great offer for a diocese or a larger church. If selected, your diocese or church will be awarded free registration (includes attendance, food, and materials for students) at either our East Coast Conference or our West Coast Conference, plus money up to $1,000 towards travel costs.

It’s easy to apply too! To apply, simply fill out the form at this link or contact Lauren Castillo at lcastillo@studentsforlife.org We just need to know a few things, such as past participation in the March for Life/Walk for Life, past attendance at our National Conference, and how many students you expect to attend.

We know that trips can be expensive and that students and their families may not always have extra money to spend for trips. That’s why we are here to help. We know attending the March for Life and SFLA Conferences can ignite the fire in these students to return to their schools, churches, and communities and positively transform the culture.


At our conferences this year we will have great national pro-life speakers and workshops. Students and adults will have the chance to network with fellow pro-lifers, meet leaders in the pro-life movement, and learn how to best promote life back home! 100% of the grant recipients last year said it was worth attending and that they would encourage other dioceses and churches to apply so they can experience this transformative weekend!

Thanks to the grant offered by Students for Life, we were able to send high school and university students from Phoenix to both the East Coast and West Coast conferences. They were encouraged by amazing speakers, networked with other passionate youth, and were equipped with many tools to effectively dialogue with their peers regarding this important issue. Our students have spoken highly of their experience, and I would recommend that every diocese take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to form their young people! – Diocese of Phoenix, AZ, Office of Marriage and Respect Life

“When we heard about the SFLA Conference we were super excited and had many students who were interested in going. But being a small church, we really couldn’t afford to take a group. But then I heard about the grant opportunity! The process was simple and it enabled four adult leaders and ten students from our church to attend! The conference was fantastic and the students are excited to go back next year! Our students have since become more involved in the Pro-life movement and they are impacting their families, friends and peers. You don’t want to miss out on the next conference!” – Connections Church, Maryland

Introducing: Abortion is Violence Tour

Students for Life of America (SFLA) is visiting dozens of states and more than 90 college campuses this fall, showing Americans just how violent abortion is and how Planned Parenthood is the biggest perpetrator of violence in our nation. Planned  Parenthood and other abortion facilities commit violence against women and the preborn every day through abortion.

The educational displays will include abortionist tools, banners containing information about abortion and violence, and a non-graphic video describing how an abortion is performed. To view the videos, click here.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America said: “Students deserve to know the truth about the violent nature of abortion. Abortions have been proved to cause physical and mental health issues for women around the globe, but Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby frequently cover-up this inconvenient truth. We want to empower students with options like the thousands of Federally Qualified Health Centers, providing health care that doesn’t harm women or their preborn children.

Planned Parenthood tells young women that they can’t be mothers and pursue their education and then sells them an abortion, which only helps the billion dollar industry meet their sales quotas. We want women to know we are here to tell them the truth and support them, through our Student for Life groups and our Pregnant on Campus initiative. We believe they can.”

Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for regular updates!

Three Free Apologetics Webinars This Fall!

We have some exciting news! Josh Brahm from Equal Rights Institute is hosting 3 course webinars each semester this school year for Students for Life leaders and groups.  After registering for the events, you will receive reminder and follow-up emails and even be able to participate in interactive Q&A sessions!

Josh is the founder and president of the Equal Rights Institute, a group that trains pro-life advocates to think clearly, reason honestly, and argue persuasively. He has been active in the pro-life movement since was 18. Josh is an active blogger and has publicly debated leaders from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Georgians for Choice. Josh is passionate about training pro-lifers to argue more effectively. This means embracing arguments that hold up under philosophical scrutiny.

Here is the schedule of webinars you can attend and what will be covered during each event, you aren’t going to want to miss any of these! Stay tuned for registration info on upcoming webinars!

Fall
Webinar 1:  September 28, 2017 at 9pm ET (event closed)
Webinar 2:  October 26, 2017 at 9pm ET
Webinar 3:  November 30th at 9pm ET

Spring
Webinar 1:  March 1, 2018 at 9pm ET
Webinar 2:  April 5, 2018 at 9pm ET
Webinar 3:  May 3, 2016 at 9pm ET

Webinar 1: Practical Dialogue Tips and Trotting Out a Toddler

Josh talks about the virtue of open-mindedness and clarifies what it means and distinguishes it from wishy-washiness. He argues that open-mindedness is a good trait for pro-life people both for principled and pragmatic reasons.

What will be covered:

– Be Intentional With Your Body Language: Learning to Create a Relaxed Environment for Dialogue
– Ask Good Clarification Questions: You Cannot Change Someone’s View if You Don’t First Understand What it is
– Don’t Make Arguments with Question Marks: We encourage people to make arguments with statements, not questions. Use question marks for clarification questions.
– The ERI Approach to Trotting Out a Toddler

Webinar 2: The Biological and Philosophical Case for the Unborn

What will be covered:

– The Ten Second Pro-Life Apologist: Introduction to biological arguments for the unborn, including a ten-second soundbite.
– Living, Human Organism: Evidence that the unborn is alive, human species, and a distinct organism.
– The Last Resort Response to the Skeptic: Brief discussion on when it’s the right time to appropriately appeal to scientific authority and an explanation of how to do that well if a person is stubbornly insisting that the unborn is not biologically human.
– The Equal Rights Argument: Argument for the unborn being a person, with the starting point of asking why anyone deserves equal rights. What do we have in common that grounds equal rights? Seems like the right answer is that we are human, or something like that.
– Responding to Alternative Explanations: This next section responds to pro-choice attempts to explain equal rights, by showing that they either exclude newborns or include lower mammals.

Webinar 3: Understanding and Refuting Bodily Rights Arguments

(about 45 minutes of video content)
What will be covered:

– Understanding What Pro-Choice People Really Mean: What are bodily rights arguments and why is it important that pro-lifers understand them.
– The Sovereign Zone Argument: The first type of bodily rights argument, that women’s bodies are sovereign zones, they can do anything they want with anything inside their bodies.|
– Right to Refuse Arguments: Responding to arguments like the violinist argument, that women have a right to refuse the use of their bodies to anyone that wants to use them.

Call Governor Rauner now: VETO HB 40

Illinois’ legislators have passed a dangerous, pro-abortion bill and have now sent it to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk. Rauner has wavered on his opposition to the bill, and now pro-life groups in Illinois are asking people to call the Governor’s office and ask him to support pro-life values and VETO HB 40.

The phone numbers for his office are:
Springfield Office: (217) 782-6830
Chicago Office: (312) 814-2121

According to Illinois Federation for Right to Life, the bill promotes the abortion agenda in several ways:

“ -Removes a provision prohibiting the non-contributory portion of a program of health-benefits from including the expenses of obtaining an abortion. (If passed, the State Employee’s Insurance would cover the expenses of an abortion.).

-Removes a provision excluding abortions or induced miscarriages or premature births from the list of services provided under the State’s medical assistance program. (If passed, public aid would cover abortions or “induced miscarriages”.)

-Removes language providing for the adoption of rules to prohibit a physician from providing medical assistance to anyone eligible for medical assistance benefits if the physician has been found guilty of willfully and wantonly performing an abortion procedure upon a woman who was not pregnant at the time of the procedure. (If passed, a doctor would not be stopped from performing medical services including an abortion even if he/she had been found guilty of performing an unwanted abortion procedure.)

-Removes other provisions concerning abortion restrictions. (If passed, this would remove the requirement for a physician statement the procedure used for an abortion when requesting reimbursement for the abortion, “induced miscarriages” or premature births.  This also removes the need to include the physicians opinion regarding the abortion.)

-Removes language prohibiting the Department of Human Services from making grants to nonprofit agencies and organizations that use such grants to refer or counsel for, or perform, abortions. (If passed, the Department of Human Services would be allowed to provide money or grants to organizations or companies that perform abortions.)

-Amends the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975.

-Provides that it is the intention of the General Assembly to reasonably regulate abortion in conformance with the legal standards set forth in the decisions of the United States Supreme Court of January 22, 1973.  (If passed, this would keep abortion legal if the Roe Vs. Wade Decision is reversed)”

-Removes language concerning the General Assembly’s declaration that the unborn child is a human being from the time of conception and is, therefore, a legal person for purposes of the unborn child’s right to life. (If passed, this means that an unborn child would NOT be considered a human being and so the unborn child does NOT have the right to life.)”

October Event-in-a-Box: 1 in 5

School is in full swing again, and as all avid pro-lifers know, October is one of the biggest months for pro-life events. Whether your group has already used September to do some awesome events or you’ve waited until October to kick things off, you won’t want to miss the October Event-in-a-Box from Students for Life!

Abortion has claimed the lives of 16% of our generation, babies are aborted at a ratio to live births of 1:5.

What will you do to stop the injustice?

The theme of the 2017 October Event-in-a-Box is “1 in 5” and it includes everything you’ll need to remind peers that this is personal. Abortion is responsible for missing friends, family members, and classmates. We’ll never know how different our lives would be had abortion not wiped out 16% of this generation.

This Event-in-a-Box will provide you with all the training and materials you’ll need to educate your peers about the tragic truth. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much abortion affects us all; use these materials to remind your campus that this is personal.

What’s in the Box?

  • 2 “1 in 5” Themed Flyers (including a yearbook-themed one)
  • List of Sample Sidewalk Phrases
  • 20 “1 in 5” Topic Cards
  • Guide for Using “1 in 5” Topic Cards
  • 10 “Overpopulation” Topic Cards

*You will need to purchase sidewalk chalk

Order the October Event-in-a-Box by contacting your Regional Coordinator TODAY!

If you are a student in Southern CA or AZ, contact Camille Rodriguez.

If you are a student in WA, contact Katie Lodjic.

If you are a student in CO or NM, contact Bethany Janzen.

If you are a student in MI, contact Audrey Nitzel.

If you are a student in MD, PA, DC, or DE, contact Michele Hendrickson.

If you are a student in KY or TN, contact Brenna Lewis.

If you are a student in NE, SD, or KS, contact Savannah Falter.

If you are a student in TX, contact Jillian Ferguson.

If you are a student in NY or NJ, contact Keri Landeche.

If you are a student in NC, SC, GA, or FL, contact Ryan Eyrich.

If you are a student in VT, ME, RI, NH, CT, or MA, contact Abby Young.

If you are a student in VA or WV, contact Lori Cascio.

If you are a student in Northern CA, contact Anna Arend.

If you are a student in OR or ID, contact Nichole Bentz.

If you are a student in OH, contact Morgan Getts.

If you are a student in IN, contact Anna Allgaier.

If you are a student in IA or IL, contact David Cordaro.

If you are a student in MN, contact Maddie Schulte.

If you are a student in MO, contact Reagan Barklage.

If you are a student in a state not listed, contact Brielle Heraty.

If you don’t have a pro-life group on your campus, but are interested in starting one, please contact us. We’d love to help you get started!

Email info@studentsforlife.org for more information.

Save the Date: 2017-2018 Leadership Workshops

Mark your calendars for this year’s SFLA Leadership Workshops! A Leadership Workshop is a great opportunity for you to network with pro-life students and to connect with other pro-life leaders in your region. SFLA provides highly specialized training for group leaders and all pro-life students for everything that you face at your school.

Our goal is to bring as many leaders (and future leaders) as possible together for training and to strategize on how to grow the pro-life student movement and abolish abortion in your area.

Each workshop is personalized for each region and for the different groups attending, and we create new sessions based on the needs of the pro-life students in your region. This year our workshops will be incorporating our new 5 Pillar program!

Below are the dates for this school year’s workshops. Mark your calendars and look for details soon:

  • October 14, 2017: Santa Clara, CA
  • October 14, 2017: Lexington, KY
  • October 21, 2017: Des Moines, IA
  • October 28, 2017: Boston, MA
  • November 4, 2017: Denver, CO
  • November 4, 2017: St. Louis, MO
  • November 11, 2017: Indianapolis, IN
  • November 11, 2017: Mount Pleasant, MI
  • November 11, 2017: San Antonio, TX
  • November 11, 2017: St. Paul, MN
  • November 18, 2017: Washington, DC
  • November 18, 2017: New York, NY
  • November 18, 2017: Phoenix, AZ
  • February 17. 2018: Charlotte, NC
  • February 24, 2018: Portland, OR
  • February 24, 2018: Los Angeles, CA
  • February 24, 2018: Omaha, NE
  • March 3, 2018: Albuquerque, NM
  • April 7, 2018: Chicago, IL
  • April 7, 2018: Columbus, OH
  • April 14, 2018: Seattle, WA

Introducing the 5 PIllars

Students for Life of America (SFLA) strives to create effective and well-rounded student groups that are fighting abortion on multiple fronts. Since SFLA’s existence, we have seen the impact our groups have in their efforts to actively engage in all fronts of the pro-life movement. The most successful of these groups are those who find balance in seeking out opportunities to converse, convert, confront, advocate, and support.

It is certainly easy to fall into the habit of single-minded pursuit of one type of pro-life activism. For example, some groups find comfort in focusing heavily on pregnancy support services and shying away from political engagement. Others are gung-ho in their involvement in controversial engagements (like abortion victim imagery or political lobbying), but they fail to address supportive services and resources for women.

While we encourage groups to enthusiastically embrace their passions, we believe that it is also necessary that each group and leader explores opportunities outside of their comfort zone. Instead of being focused on one area that your group is most comfortable with, challenge your group to try several types of pro-life activism. Diverse activism will foster a more dynamic impact on your campus and in your community. You will also see an increase in membership because you are reaching more people and providing more opportunities for potential members to get involved with your group.

There are five areas of engagement that are crucial to abolishing abortion in which effective groups should be participating. These “5 Pillars” are Effective Education, Industry Impact, Public Policy, Rapid Response, and Supportive Services.

What are the 5 Pillars?

Effective Education: Within this pillar, we want to make students aware of the abortion crisis and recruit them to join our mission in confronting the crisis. This pillar also includes educating the members within your group, so that they can successfully go out and educate the student body about abortion. Some examples of engagement for this Pillar: hosting a local pro-life speaker, SFLA training or display, attending SFLA’s Leadership Workshops or our National Conference.

Industry Impact: Over the years, a culture of abortion has been pushed by abortion industry leaders such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW. The abortion industry is not only responsible for committing the abortions in their facilities, but they are working to further its acceptance and normalcy in our communities and schools. Systematically exposing the abortion industry and reducing the supply of abortion is essential to abolishing abortion in our lifetime. It is important that we always remember it is all about the approach. We believe in compassionate, peaceful, and non-violent interactions outside of abortion facilities. Some of the many events that groups participating in Industry Impact can do is join their local 40 Days for Life campaign, exposing Planned Parenthood on campus, sidewalk counseling outside of local abortion facilities, and reach out to abortion workers.

Public Policy: We want to assure that we are doing our best to legally protect women and their preborn children. To do so, we need to secure and enforce pro-life legislation and eliminate pro-abortion legislation. We also want to ensure staunch pro-life people are in office passing life-affirming laws. Public Policy can be intimidating, but it can be super easy! Make sure to keep up with your state pro-life laws, and develop a relationship with your state RTL chapter. Anytime there is an abortion bill coming up, your group should send a few representatives to testify on behalf of the bill. Lawmakers want to see young people participate in public policy.  After all, abortion affects our generation more than any other. Other things your group can do are door to door campaigns, your State Pro-Life Lobby Day, and calling campaigns to urge your local elected officials to vote yes/no on an upcoming abortion bill.

Rapid Response: Rapid response is historically very important in social movements. We must always be prepared to respond to those who oppose equality of the preborn. There are many instances on campus and in our community where we need to effectively identify, expose, and counter the abortion agenda. Rapid Response requires your group to be quick and constantly keeping an eye on what the abortion industry is up to on your campus and in your community. If you find out that an abortion advocate is coming to your campus (Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, Wendy Davis), you need to send a pro-life presence there. If your school hosts a “Real Sex Week” it is your job to counter with the truth and alternatives.

Supportive Services: The pillar of “Supportive Services” aims to provide resources directly to those targeted and affected by abortion so that students can choose life for their children and pursue a hopeful future for their families. “Supportive Services” projects address both serving the needs of individual pregnant and parenting students and actively supporting local life-affirming organizations (e.g. pregnancy resource centers, adoption agencies, maternity homes). To serve individual pregnant and parenting students, student groups are encouraged to discuss ways in which they can meet the needs of their peers- such as by advocating for life-affirming resources in their school, referring students to life-affirming resources, offering to drive pregnant students to appointments at the local pregnancy resource center, hosting a baby shower for a pregnant student, or even starting up a scholarship fund for pregnant and parenting students. In support of local life-affirming organizations, student groups become their advocates on campus by advertising these center’s resources, inviting centers onto campus to speak, organizing donation drives, and volunteering at the center’s events. “Supportive Services” is facilitated through our two levels of the Pregnant on Campus Initiative– Building a Better Future (high school) and Pregnant on Campus (college).

5 Pillars’ Success Stories

Effective Education

  • Each year, students from all across the country attend the March for Life in Washington DC and the Walk for Life in San Francisco. Many of these students feel some sort of pull or desire to work towards abolishing abortion after attending. What happens all too often though is that they are unsure of how to go about pro-life work. That’s why it is so vital to attend the Students for Life National Conferences. Each year, nearly 2,000 students attended the East Coast conference alone! The conferences play an important role in the development of students as leaders in the movement. Students have the unique chance to hear from some of the most prominent pro-life names on a variety of topics. Workshop sessions allow students to work on more focused areas, such as the Pregnant on Campus Initiative. Throughout the entire conference, many pro-life organizations set up booths providing connections and networking. SFLA is committed to raising up the pro-life generation to be strong leaders and carry the future of the movement. Through the conferences we seek to continue the inspiration that stems from the March for Life and Walk for Life and show students concrete steps they can take to development their leadership style and abolish abortion in our lifetime.

  • One of the most impactful things that Students for Life of America does is equip our Regional Coordinators with educational tabletop displays. These displays cover a wide variety of abortion topics, provoking students to consider questions such as, “When do Human Rights Begin?” and “Should Abortion Remain Legal Even When a Fetus Can Feel Pain?” Because of their purposeful thought-provoking nature, our tabletops are always sure to create deep and meaningful discussion among the student body when our student groups bring them to campus. Another benefit we see from these displays, is the way in which they incite confidence in our student leaders as they do outreach to their peers. Every time our student groups host a tabletop display, discussion is spurred, confidence is built, and more young people are recruited to our cause. It’s hard to pass such a captivating table without at least stopping to see what it’s all about. We can’t get enough of the meaningful and convincing conversation that our SFLA tabletops create!

Industry Impact

  • Every August, students across the United States, stand outside of abortion facilities in solidarity with the pro-life movement during our National Sidewalk Counseling Day. Outside of abortion facilities, mothers make the final decision about the preborn child in their womb. The decision can be fatal, and can end their child’s life, or the decision can be the beginning of a hopeful future for their child. Through a peaceful and compassionate approach, hearts and minds can begin to realize the tragedy of abortion. Through the distribution of literature regarding fetal development, we witness women think about choosing life. Our efforts are seen and heard as dozens of women turn around, leave the abortion facility, and chose life.  We are able to direct these women to Pregnancy Resource Centers where they will find a more comprehensive list of services.  This day is always a victory for the pro-life generation, and we are thrilled that we can make a difference in the lives of these women. Without our efforts, more babies would have been aborted, and more women would have been let down by the poor “health care” that abortion facilities provide. We truly have had a great impact, and we hope you can join us out on the sidewalks next August!

  • Western Washington Students for Life hosted SFLA’s Planned Parenthood Project, and it was one of the most impactful events that they hosted all year! It drew so much attention that they were protested, and the local Planned Parenthood director came out to talk to them. The event ended up being discussed in most of the classes on campus. One of their members was in a four-hour Women’s Studies class, and they talked about Planned Parenthood for an entire class. When she told her professor that she was a part of their group, the professor told her that she could debate her classmates the following day who were interns at Planned Parenthood. That night the SFL group got together, and brushed up on their Planned Parenthood knowledge, so that she would be ready for the debate. When she got to her class the next day, the Planned Parenthood interns stood up, and said that they had researched Planned Parenthood all night, but they couldn’t debate her because all our information was true! Displays like this are so important because they educate our campuses about Planned Parenthood’s abortion business, and in turn, prevent students from going into Planned Parenthood in the first place.

Public Policy

  • #Sockit2PP. Our goal was simple: to put pressure on our leaders in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood of our taxpayer dollars. With a mountain of 196,543 baby socks, we were hard to miss. Pedestrians stopped dead in their tracks to ask what was happening. We explained that each little sock represented a baby aborted by Planned Parenthood, and our taxes are giving them over half a billion dollars annually. Senator Ben Sasse, Kristan Hawkins, Maddi Runkles, and student leaders spoke. After the press conference, we took 100 laundry baskets with 888 socks each to Speaker Paul Ryan’s office to show them the price of Congress’ in-action during the first 100 days of the Trump administration. His staff was in shock! It was so important for us to put this pressure on our nation’s leaders. Through the event we were able to not only remind them, we also educated spectators and gain media attention.

  • Missouri Students for Life groups participated in SFLA’s Fetal Pain Mobilization in order to urge the state to ban abortions after 20 weeks, when we know the preborn child can feel pain. Over fifteen schools participated by hosting SFLA’s Fetal Pain tabletop display and collecting signatures on campus for the petition. Students also called their state senators and representatives, urging them to vote to protect these preborn children. Some groups spoke at local churches and collected signatures after services. This was a very influential event on campuses across the state, because students were dialoguing with their peers about the inhumane nature of abortion, while also using their outreach to influence their state’s law. Student groups were very active on social media, providing facts on fetal pain and encouraging their supporters to call their state officials and sign the petition. Thousands of signatures were collected and were presented by 50 students to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro-Tem, when Reagan Barklage, SFLA’s Western Regional Director, spoke at the Pro-Life Lobby Day at the Capitol. (Read the full story here.)

Rapid Response

  • In the summer of 2013, the pro-life community came together in one of the most memorable mobilizations in the past decade. At the time, Texas pro-life politicians were fighting to advance legislation that would protect pregnant women from the dangerous and predatory abortion providers in their state. House Bill 2 (HB2) proposed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks (which is the point of fetal pain) and included new health code regulations of abortion facilities to bring them up to the standard of ambulatory surgical centers. The bill was met with fierce opposition from pro-choice advocates, including TX Democrat Wendy Davis and Planned Parenthood’s CEO Cecile Richards. Thousands of pro-life and pro-choice activists poured into the state capitol to debate and rally. Seeing the need for a student presence, Students for Life of America (SFLA) coordinated a student mobilization and connected with all local TX pro-life groups to determine where our students could best serve. With barely a week of planning, the #Stand4Life Bus Tour headed into the action! We picked up 60+ students along a 30-hour route, and as soon as we arrived in Austin, our students were rallying, handing out flyers, praying in front of clinics, protesting Cecile Richards, and meeting with pro-life politicians to voice our support. The week-long mobilization brought unity to the pro-life community and emboldened student leaders to become life-long activists. Just ask our Regional Coordinators Lori Cascio and David Cordaro! (Read accounts of the trip here, here, and )
  • Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, 2016, was brought forward to the Supreme Court last June. This court case is an incredible example of how the pro-life generation is always there. Students for Life of America was on the front lines for the decision of this case. We mobilized students from all over the Washington D.C. area to be there in hopes of changing culture for women and babies. We quickly put together boxes of t-shirts, signs, banners, and mega phones to head out to the Supreme Court; we did this three times before the decision was made by the Justices. On June 26, 2017 the pro-life gen had to go even bigger. We mobilized students to be at the Supreme Court the night before the decision to join together in prayer, meditation, and community. We packed up our sleeping bags and snacks, knowing that we would be the first people in attendance to stand for the mothers and babies that we care so deeply about. The night consisted of little sleep but a lot of memories- this is what the pro-life generation does best. The next morning came around and Planned Parenthood supporters starting filling the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court, it was not long before we learned that Planned Parenthood had shipped buses of supporters to this event. They had to bribe their supporters to be there! On the other hand, although out numbered, we had a strong group of young people ready to speak life. There were many powerful conversations that happened this day. Although the WWH v. Hellerstedt was decided not in our favor this was motivation for us to push forward. To stand up stronger and taller, and with more compassion. Despite our loss, we received lots of media attention in our favor for being there, including the front page of the Wall Street Journal!

 Supportive Services

  • In January 2017, SFLA’s Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator, Bethany Janzen, received a call from a Colorado community college student. The young woman was the mother of an 11-week-old child, and she had received Bethany’s contact information from the new Students for Life group on campus. She had recently learned that her financial aid would not be renewed for the upcoming semester because she had failed to complete the requirements of her Fall classes (due to pregnancy-related absences). Bethany noticed that something sounded off about this situation, and she immediately contacted the Pregnant on Campus Director, Beth Rahal, regarding the situation. Together, the SFLA team was able to determine that this parenting student had not been rightly informed of her Title IX rights and was not appropriately accommodated during her pregnancy. We were able to provide her with points for appeal, and within two weeks, the student had her financial aid reinstated! The Student for Life group continued to support and celebrate her with a baby shower. (Read the full story here.)
  • The power and impact of one person speaking up is incalculable, and few stories match the international reaction to Maddi Runkles’ story. Maddi was a pregnant high school senior at a small Christian school. Having broken her school’s pledge of abstinence, Maddi honestly approached her administration about her situation, and she humbly accepted her administration’s decision to remove her from her leadership positions and to assume a 2-day period of unofficial suspension. However, things went too far when the school continued to discipline Maddi beyond what was the typical disciplinary actions for students who had broken this same pledge. The administration proposed a school-wide assembly to announce Maddi’s pregnancy, and they also recommended banning Maddi from campus for the remainder of the year and banning her from walking at graduation. Maddi chose to make her pregnancy announcement. She publicly acknowledged her sin, and she asked for forgiveness and support. While she was allowed back in school, she was banned from walking at graduation. With the support of Students for Life groups nationwide, Maddi shared her story publicly to address the Christian communities’ response to unplanned pregnancy and to offer hope to other pregnant students who may be facing discrimination. Maddi’s story spread across the United States and beyond– reaching as far as Italy! She will be attending college next year, and she hopes to continue to advocate for pregnant and parenting students. (Read Maddi’s story here.)

FREE Consultation and Trainings

Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator for a free student group consultation to determine the best ways for your group to incorporate these five pillars into your group’s goals. Your Regional Coordinator can offer free trainings on each pillar and provide valuable support, resources, and more! Email info@studentsforlife.org to be connected to your local SFLA Regional Coordinator.

Town Hall: Invited in, But Silenced

Bethany Janzen
Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator

It is 6 pm, outside of a Fort Collins, Colorado bar. A couple pro-life Colorado State University (CSU) students enter to attend State Representative Joann Ginal’s Town Hall on “Sex, Politics, and Conversation.” Several of us gather outside with “I AM THE PRO-LIFE GENERATION” t-shirts and signs.

A moment later, Rep. Ginal introduces herself, mentioning that she’s pro-life too, just sees the issue a little differently and strongly encourages us to join the town hall and engage in the discussion.

Twelve of our team accepted the invitation, leaving six outside to be a pro-life presence.

Inside, it wasn’t quite as welcoming. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, CO Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Population Connection Action Fund, and a community individual made up the panel. “Being pro-choice is actually more pro-life than being ‘pro-life,’” stated one of the panelists. After listing to the avidly pro-abortion speakers for an hour, we were ready to join the dialogue.

“A couple times during Q and A we were the only ones with our hands raised, [but Rep. Ginal] waited until a pro-abortion person had a question and chose them,” Christina Coffman, Denver Pro-Life Future President shared.

However, one CSU student was allowed to ask a question. Ben Jenkins simply asked for the source of stats that sited during the event. Rep. Ginal didn’t answer his question, brushing it aside as a statement.

After the event closed, we had some good conversations, including one with seven pro-choice university students. They were surprised to hear about the resources and support offered at community health centers and pregnancy resource centers and engaged in meaningful dialogue with us.

“A few abortion supporters came up to me, eager to hear what my questions were,” Coffman stated. Her main question was, “How can Planned Parenthood consider themselves pro-choice, yet be here partnered with the Population Connection (formerly called Zero Population Growth) on the panel, the largest abortion provider partnered with an organization aiming to end reproduction of future generations?”

Meanwhile, outside the event – around 6:50 pm, over halfway through the Town Hall – someone posted “I Stand with PP” and “Pro-Choice” signs, smothering the bar’s outside windows. Why the signs showed up an hour after the Pro-Life Gen did, I’ll let you decide.

Pro-Life Chalkings Targeted

Recently, the Students for Life group at University of Idaho saw its pro-life chalking vandalized on Friday, August 25.

The group chalked pro-life messages on Thursday, August 24, including “Pro-Woman, Pro-Life”, “Abortion hurts women”, and the names of pro-life feminists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Mary Wollstonecraft. The chalking was at the Commons Plaza on campus; the following day the school had FEMFest scheduled for the plaza, a ‘feminist fair.’

A post on the Women’s Center  Facebook, which organizes the event, states, “Come join us on this commons plaza for Femfest from 11:00-1:00! Learn about 20 awesome organizations that serve women on campus and in our community! We’ve got free popcorn and ice cream sandwiches! You could also enter to win one of the many raffle prizes we’re giving away today!”

While there was not a list of the organizations for this year’s event, a past post from 2012 listed the following organizations: “Women’s Center, LGBTQA Office, Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Moscow Women’s Giving Circle” and a post from 2013 included more groups, such as “Gay Straight Alliance, UI VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood, Violence Prevention Programs, Women’s Studies Program.”

The vandalization of pro-life chalkings is not new; this week as well University of New Mexico Students for Life were targeted for writing pro-life messages.”

A chalked heart had water dumped on it on campus this week. According to a Facebook post, “This happens almost every time we chalk on campus, even though UNM has a policy against defacing other’s chalk.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America strongly condemned the vandalism; “Students being targeted for their pro-life beliefs is becoming increasingly common. University administrators should condemn the vandalism and ensure the free speech rights of all students are protected.”