Scholarships for Pro-Life Course

ERI_CourseProductWe have exciting news to share for our clubs! Equal Rights Institute is a pro-life apologetics organization we’ve partnered with since Josh and Timothy Brahm launched it in 2014. As many of you know, ERI published the Equipped for Life Course last year. It’s designed to help SFLA clubs get trained in dialogue skills and the most persuasive pro-life arguments so they can change more minds and save more lives during their outreaches.

If you haven’t heard about the positive impact the course had on the University of Michigan club, you can check out their report here. (Short version: Their most timid members were begging for weekly outreaches after only completing the first two modules of the course!)

For those of you who are overwhelmed by the thought of fundraising, there is now another way you can get the course. ERI president Josh Brahm spent the last two months asking his donors to pay for scholarships so some SFLA clubs could take the course without spending a dime. As of today he’s raised the funds for 70 scholarships!

If you’re interested in getting the Equipped for Life course for free, and you’re willing to commit to getting your club through the course and doing at least one outreach within three months, go to EqualRightsInstitute.com/Apply and fill out the quick application.

For those of you who would prefer to fundraise for the course or just have your group members split the cost, ask your Regional Coordinator how you can get 10% off.

We can’t recommend this course to you enough. Lead your club through this course and work with your Regional Coordinator to bring one of SFLA’s outreach displays to your campus to spark productive conversations about abortion!

Want to host a screening of HUSH?

ACS_facebook_email_banner_2017_02_06

Students for Life of America is excited to announce the March Event-in-a-Box, a complete package of all the materials your group will need to screen the International award-winning documentary HUSH (Best Documentary, Los Angeles, Silver at Worldfest Houston, Gold at the World Documentary Awards)!

Please take a few minutes and visit www.hushfilm.com for more information on the film and to watch the Trailer. You’ll see, this film is revolutionary because it’s unbiased, non-religious and completely honoring of women. It takes a refreshing, non-threatening position that is neither pro-life or pro-choice but rather, pro-information. People will be talking about HUSH on your Campus!

Before you host your screening, be sure to participate in a webinar led by Students for Life and the Producer of HUSH on Monday February 27, 2017. This is a phenomenal opportunity to hear more about why it’s important to host a screening on your campus and learn a few great techniques on how to promote the film. To sign up for the webinar, contact your regional coordinator today.

Why Screen HUSH?

A message from the producers of HUSH:
Screening HUSH not only comprehensively presents life-saving health information to people who are in an age group where abortions most frequently occur, but because students are impressionable and vocal about issues of injustice. Our generation wants the truth; we demand transparency and we want to be treated with respect, as thinking people. Being manipulated, or lied to, does not sit well with us! And when we hear and see a comprehensive presentation of material that uncovers falsehoods and lies, we will be on our cell phones faster than you can say “Pro-Information”. And we will be e-mailing, Facebooking, Twittering and Instagramming like there’s no tomorrow.

Let’s not forget that the students of today are the doctors, nurses, scientists, researchers, lawyers and politicians of tomorrow. We are the ones who will be making determinations and decisions about the direction of women’s healthcare in the future.

The “earth-shaking factor” in this strategy is focused on how universities and colleges represent institutions are centers of knowledge, information and truth. Born of a foundation and mandate to honor God in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, universities and colleges hold a pivotal place as gatekeepers who carry authority. We are a key, in terms of the agreement, to release the truths that are contained in HUSH that will be shared with young women and men across America!

Let’s start a healthy conversation!

What’s in the box:

  • HUSH Screening Guide
  • HUSH documentary DVD
  • Sample Press Release
  • Sample Facilities Request
  • Sample Screening Invitation
  • 3 Campus Administration digital download cards
  • 3 One Sheets (for presenting to campus administration or press)
  • 25 posters for campus promotion
  • 25 Promo postcard coupons for 25% off DVD and Download purchases
  • Other promotional materials including health teaser posters, handbills, E-Banner and Facebook Banner

To order the March Event-in-a-Box, contact your Regional Coordinator today!
• If you are a student in CA, contact Camille Rodriguez.
• If you are a student in OR, WA, ID, HI, or AK contact Katie Lodjic.
• If you are a student in AZ, contact Jake Simon.
• 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 students in IN or OH, contact Anna Allgaier.
• If you are a student in MD, DC, or DE, contact Michelle Hendrickson.
• If you are student in VA or WV, contact Lori Cascio.
• If you are a student in PA, contact Angelica Corridoni.
• If you are a student in KY or TN, contact Brenna Lewis.
• If you are a student in NE, KS, IA, IL or MO, contact Reagan Barklage.
• 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 MN or WI, contact Maddie Schulte.
• If you are a student in a state not listed, contact Lisa Stover. 

How my unplanned pregnancy changed me forever

By Rebecca Downs, via Live Action News 

I have been attending every March for Life since 2010, when I first came as a freshman with Fordham University’s Respect for Life. This year, my daughter turned five months old in time for the special occasion.

I had the privilege of speaking at Humans of the March for Life, an event put on by Life Matters Journal. As executive director, Aimee Murphy explained that the theme of the event was “sonder,” which is “the idea that every other person is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” In sharing my testimony, I like to think that I touched on that idea, having gone through an unplanned pregnancy. My unplanned pregnancy changed me forever. Here is my story:

I conceived my daughter in November of 2015, but failed to find out until January 4, 2016, just days before my 25th birthday. From the start, abortion was mentioned to me, though I quickly let the well-intentioned doctor know it would not be an option. It turns out I would be tested over how much of an option it was or wasn’t for the weeks to come.

Although I was together with my boyfriend when we conceived in November, we had broken up in December. The pregnancy was unplanned and quite frankly, a shock. Multiple people I knew mentioned, suggested, and even hoped for abortion. They figured that abortion would be the easier route — for me and for others.

The easier route isn’t always the better route, though. I knew that the child inside my womb was a human person, and that she had been since conception, since before I even know she existed.

Many would think that abortion would have been easier because I was single and facing an unplanned pregnancy. I was living in a separate state from my family and my daughter’s father. I was still working on my obtaining my degree, and I had not factored in if my job at the time would support a baby. Toughest of all was figuring out the relationship with the father. I began to wonder what it would be like if I wasn’t pro-life. I began to wonder if that meant I would have had an abortion.

Fortunately, I am pro-life, and this is a belief I apply in the difficult times of life. I knew that abortion would have ended the life of my daughter. She would never get to know this world, and people would never have the privilege of knowing her if I took her life in abortion. Because she had her own set of unique DNA since the moment of conception, there would never be another one of her ever again, whether she made it to birth or not.

I also knew how she would meet her untimely end if I had an abortion, since I myself have written about abortion procedures before, and have seen the non -graphic abortion procedure videos from Live Action. (Check them out here.)

I knew that abortion would wound me personally as well, because I was aware of how women have suffered emotionally from their abortions and how they’ve been dismissed. Having an abortion wouldn’t change that I had gotten pregnant and was single when I found out.

The only thing it was guaranteed to do was end the life of my daughter.

It’s possible an abortion wouldn’t have been so easy after all, then. I believe I was blessed with knowing all of this to keep me from having an abortion, no matter how angry and confused I felt.

I struggled, wondering if my thoughts meant I was less than pro-life. How could I let even the thought of abortion ever cross my mind? I found peace when I came to see it as a test of my values and my beliefs. I’ve heard that having doubts can strengthen your views, and I can say that is the case now from personal experience. My daughter, Sophie, was born in August, and I’m still advocating on behalf of the preborn. I’m happy to say I passed that test. Passing it has also given me quite a new perspective.

A friend said to me that she knew why women had abortions. In my situation, I knew, too. I felt even more deeply for women who have made that tragic decision because they let themselves get talked into it or because they weren’t blessed with the knowledge I was blessed with. I don’t mean that I’m any better than them. I don’t consider myself better than anyone. I just have a kind of empathy now along with my new perspective, and my drive to share the reality of abortion and the truth with women is stronger than ever.

I know just how important it is to encourage women facing unplanned pregnancies because of my own experience. I’m pro-life because life begins at conception and because abortion ends the life of an innocent, vulnerable, and defenseless human being. Abortion also hurts women. I’m pro-life because it’s pro-woman, too.

I won’t say that everything about pregnancy and parenting is easy. It’s hard. Post-partum depression is hard, and it doesn’t discriminate based on race, religion, political party, or socioeconomic status. Raising a child can be hard. I’m back together with Sophie’s father, but trying to work through relationships can be hard.

Abortion, though, is far worse.

As I have written before, the pro-life movement is not looking to judge women; it looks to help people. I’m right there with those women who have faced unplanned pregnancies, and I want them to know that they have help beyond abortion and the lies the abortion industry sells to them. There are people who love them and want to help them, even if they start out as strangers. Saying yes to life even in difficult circumstances is worth it. This is something I’m learning every day. 
Crisis pregnancy centers have done wonders for women during and even after their pregnancies.

Editor’s Note: If you are making a decision about abortion, see Clinic Quotes10 Reasons Not to Have an Abortion, Abortion Procedures, and What to Do if Your Boyfriend (or Anyone) is Pressuring You to Have an Abortion. You can also check out Stand Up Girl and Option Line or Pregnancy Line to find local resources, help, and trained people to talk to in your area. If you’ve begun an abortion and are regretting your decision, the 24-hour, nurse-staffed hotline at Abortion Pill Reversal may be able to give you information on reversing your abortion. Men involved in a pregnancy situation can check out Abortion and Men and Abortion Exploits Women.

This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

This is Autumn. She’s Planned Parenthood’s worst nightmare.

Teen Vogue recently ran a story on supposedly great ideas for a friend who just had an abortion. In reality, there were no good ideas, only ridiculous suggestions that were overtly political (an F-U-terus pin and a coloring book of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg). SFLA did our own slideshow in response, which contained actual helpful advice, no politics involved.

Then Autumn came along. She had something to say about that Teen Vogue story.

Autumn is in high school. She’s passionately pro-life. And she’s smart, engaging, and is about to become Planned Parenthood’s biggest nightmare.

Why? Because this is what the next generation looks like on the issue of abortion – and the abortion industry is going to have real problems facing that down.

If we were Planned Parenthood, we’d be terrified of Autumn and the pro-life generation she represents: an educated, articulate and passionate one. A generation that cares deeply about human rights and equality of all people, which extends to the preborn. A generation that has successfully incorporated the mission to help women facing unplanned pregnancies into the mainstream pro-life movement through the Pregnant on Campus Initiative. A generation that is truly fearless in the face of Planned Parenthood and their allies. A generation where the majority believes abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances. A generation that believes where abortion is promoted and celebrated, that’s where they need to be, spreading their message of compassion and love, and telling women that they do have another choice.

This is the generation that Autumn represents and that the abortion lobby saw coming years ago.

Outgoing NARAL president Nancy Keenan said in 2012 that she saw an “intensity gap” among young pro-lifers versus young pro-choicers, whereas those young pro-lifers were more passionate about their position than their counterparts in the pro-choice movement. In 2010, Keenan told Newsweek that she was shocked by the number of young people at the March for Life:  “I just thought, ‘My gosh, they are so young.’ There are so many of them, and they are so young.”

Students for Life of America surpassed the 1,000 group mark last year, our 10th year in existence. Planned Parenthood celebrated 100 years last October and do you know how many groups they have? 275.

If you still have doubts this generation is winning, think of the Women’s March. Planned Parenthood was a main sponsor. They had a speaker wear an entire dress as a political statement about her love for abortion. And marchers spit at us, tore up our signs and screamed at us because we dared to hold signs that said “Abortion betrays women” and “We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood.”

Then look at Autumn. Listen to what she says and how she says it. She is firm but compassionate and confident. She knows without a doubt what she says is the truth and she’s fearless in proclaiming that truth. And she is so young!

She is Planned Parenthood’s worst nightmare.

This is the generation that they are going to have to contend with: an educated, articulate and passionate one versus an army of p*ssyhat-wearing grandmas.

Autumn

VS.

pussyhat grandmas

 

After abortion reversal that saved her son, Amy says: ‘Every time I look at him, I’m just so thankful’

Reprinted with permission from Live Action News. Original link here.

A Colorado woman, Amy Mendoza, shared her amazing story of abortion reversal with Denver’s Channel 7. After initially believing it wasn’t the right time in her life to have a LAN blogchild, Amy regretted her abortion decision. She heard her son’s heartbeat and recalled seeing something about abortion reversal on Facebook. Amy quickly searched online to find a way to save her son. She found a health center, Bella Natural Women’s Care, that was able to reverse her abortion. Amy describes the joy that her son, Cruz, brings her: “Every time I look at him, I’m just so thankful.”

Mendoza came forward to share her story when State Representative Justin Everett (R-Littleton) and State Representative Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs) sponsored a bill, the Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act, that would have required abortion clinics to inform women about the reality of abortion reversal.

Three women, including Amy, shared their stories of giving birth to healthy children after going through an abortion reversal. Amy stated that the abortion clinic she went to — a Planned Parenthood in Boulder, Colorado — specifically told her that reversing her abortion would not be possible and that she needed to take the second pill. That was false information, as Amy’s son Cruz demonstrates. The bill proposed by Rep. Everett and Rep. Nordberg would have ensured that women are given accurate information instead and given the opportunity to preserve their relationship with their child.

Mendoza is not the only woman who has been misinformed by abortion clinics that insist a medication abortion must be completed. After giving birth to Baby Finley, Summer shared what a Planned Parenthood clinic told her when she sought out abortion reversal:

Jason [Summer’s husband] called Planned Parenthood to inquire if there was anything they could do to stop the abortion. But the clinic told him it was too late and that if they didn’t go through with the next two pills the baby could have serious birth defects.

Not only is that statement proved false by the healthy existence of Baby Finley, but it is also decried by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In a 2014 bulletin, the ACOG stated that “no evidence exists” to suggest that the first pill in the medication abortion process, mifepristone, causes birth defects. Planned Parenthood also exaggerates the risks of abortion reversal to women, as progesterone — the hormone used in reversal — has been safely used in pregnancies, including to prevent miscarriages, for more than four decades.

Shashana, another Colorado woman whose story was shared at the hearing, explained that the abortion clinic refused to give her information on abortion reversal, so she was forced to find out information on abortion reversal herself:

I did my own research after leaving the abortion clinic; however, my process would have been a lot easier and much less scary and stressful had this option been alerted to me when I had called the abortion clinic back asking about what I can do since I have changed my mind about going through with this abortion. Or even being alerted to the option at the clinic. … I would not be here today with a happy, healthy five-month old boy if this option did not exist. I simply ask you to make it a more well-known option by letting others know it is there.

As another witness at the hearing in Colorado testified:

If centers like Planned Parenthood only give women half the information on things like the abortion pill, while leaving life-changing information like the abortion pill reversal option out, then there is a serious lack of true options being given to women. Abortion clinics should not be allowed to give women only half the information or scare women into continuing with the second set of abortion pills by using faulty information about abortion pill reversal. They should be giving women all the information so she can…preserve the mother child relationship…

At the end of the day, only a woman can carry a child and give them life, and nothing should stand in the way of that.

The hearing on the bill was held on February 9, 2017, where a committee controlled by legislators who have historically supported abortion on demand shut the informed consent measure down. Despite testimony from multiple medical professionals who gave the facts surrounding the reality and success of abortion reversal in hundreds of women, the bill was killed on a 6-5, party-line vote.

Rep. Nordberg presented an amendment that would have informed women of a simple statement from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and let them know that, if they took the first abortion pill in the RU486 or Mifeprex regimen and regretted their choice, they did not have to follow through with the second pill and should seek medical care for alternatives to continue their pregnancy. The chair of the committee, Rep. Joann Ginal (D-Ft. Collins), refused to take a vote on the amendment.

Editor’s Note: Abortion reversal is possible for some women who have begun an abortion. Doctors have saved nearly 300 babies with abortion reversal. If you or someone you know regrets taking the abortion pill, help is available at AbortionPillReversal.com or by calling the 24-hour, nurse-staffed hotline at 1-877-558-0333.

We asked the University of Michigan to stop buying baby parts

By Audrey Nitzel, SFLA Michigan Regional Coordinator

My adventure on the University of Michigan’s campus was an interesting one to say the least. Around thirty students, alumni, and other community members woke up early on a beautiful Saturday morning to protest the trafficking of aborted baby body parts at the University of Michigan.UM fetal trafficking2

With the weather on our side at a sunny 65 degrees, we began to set up. More and more people began to gather with homemade signs, and we began our rally.

We had Lynn Mills, Monica Miller, Sandie Weathers, myself and many other students speak out against this horrific act. We presented evidence of the school’s role in fetal tissue trafficking, including invoices from Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, obtained through a MI state FOIA request. ABR charges double if you order two fetal eyes instead of just one…as if extracting the baby’s second eyeball costs an extra $340 on top of the first one. View the invoices here.

About halfway through a man began yelling profanities and calling us “fascists” and telling us that we did not have the right to free speech. He was yelling “woah” as loud as he could to simply create as much noise as possible and block us from raising awareness about the trafficking.

Monica Miller was speaking at the time and she tried to ask this man what his argument was and he just did not have one, and he continued screaming.

I calmly went up to him and said that campus police was on their way (we had given them a quick call) and that they were prepared to fine him with harassment charges. I told him that if he didn’t leave immediately and allow us to continue on with our free speech I would take a picture of him and give it to the police when they arrived. He said one last nasty comment and walked briskly away.

Shortly after, another protester joined us, and he claimed to be of the Christian faith. He argued with pro-lifers as speakers tried to convey their messages, and began getting louder and louder. He spilled his drink (presumably coffee) on himself, and was acting very obnoxious.UM fetal traficking

I asked him if he could consider discussing with us after the event was over, as it was disrespectful to the speakers and he said “Hell no, I don’t have to listen to this shit.” Well obviously he did not have to listen, but he remained and continued to cause a ruckus anyway.

A woman from the pro-life movement removed him from the crowd (second time a woman had to try to remove from the pro-life rally) and finally calmed him down and we believe he is more open to the pro-life side now.

During the rally, we learned that Norma McCorvey  – the ‘Jane Roe’ of Roe v. Wade – passed away. She was the first pawn that the pro-abortion movement used to claim its right to an abortion through the US Supreme Court. Ms. McCorvey publicly converted to become pro-life and then became a Christian and worked the rest of her days to reverse the damage of the infamous court case.

Many tears shed and Monica Miller led a beautiful prayer in remembrance of her.

We had collected signatures during the rally for a letter to the University of Michigan’s president, demanding that the school stop their role in the fetal trafficking industry. We had around thirty signatures and Rachel Crawford, president of the Students for Life group at the University of Michigan will deliver it to the President of the University of Michigan on Monday morning.

Norma McCorvey, ‘Jane Roe’, dies

Norma McCorvey, the ‘Jane Roe’ of Roe v. Wade, passed away today at the age of 69. Here is the Washington Post obituary.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said the following about her death:

“Norma McCorvey will be greatly missed from this world but is no doubt rejoicing in heaven with the lives she has helped to spare over her lifetime. She was one of the first women that the abortion industry publicly betrayed, using her to fill the position of ‘Jane Roe’ in the infamous Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy for any reason. She never even had the abortion but went on to place her child for adoption. Eventually Ms. McCorvey had a public conversion to Christianity and became one of the most widely-known and effective advocates for the preborn of her generation. We cannot thank her enough and pray that she rests in peace.”

 

UNM SFL Demands School Stop Fetal Tissue Harvesting

By Bethany Janzen, SFLA Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator

The University of New Mexico Students for Life group was the first group to host a rally demanding their school stop engaging in fetal tissue harvesting – and that the criminal referrals to the New Mexico Attorney General from the Select Panel on Infant Lives in the House of Representatives be immediately carried out.

At noon we were all set up outside of the Student Union Building on campus and started the rally.

I emceed the event which included David Rodriguez – president of UNM Students for Life, Elisa Martinez – New Mexico Alliance for Life, Dauneen Dolce – Right to Life Committee of NM, and Laura Rosecrans – Founder & Director of Surrendered Hearts Abortion Recovery Ministries New Mexico.UNM rally4

During the speeches, students and community members had the opportunity to sign a letter to the president of UNM calling on him to cease UNM’s participation in the harvesting of aborted baby parts.

See the letter here.

From personal experience on the sidewalk outside of late-term abortion facility Southwestern Women’s Options (the abortion facility implicated in Congress’ investigation because of their relationship with UNM), Rodriguez shared his personal story: “I have seen women crying. Girls holding teddy bears.” He focused on how UNM is taking advantage of women in difficult circumstances.

Elisa Martinez has been directly involved with much of the research that Congress’ investigation built on, and an invaluable asset to helping SFLA put together this event. She spoke about the technicalities of the laws that have been broken including a valuable exchange of services for aborted baby parts and women who did not give proper consent for research to be done on their babies’ bodies:UNM rally5 - elisa

“A journal from UNM’s lab records five years of information about the body parts obtained from aborted babies. ‘Intact pancreas [smiley face]. Twins, one with clubbed feet. Intact 30-week-old. Did not dissect.’”

Rosecrans shared her own story. She had an abortion at a young age and now deeply regrets her decision.

All of the speakers called for the harvesting of baby body parts to cease.

Some students listening to the rally choose to sign the petition to the UNM President (it included over two dozen signatures when delivered on Thursday after the rally, including campus student organizations such as UNM Students for Life and the College Republicans).

Although there was no organized opposition, some students shouted things like “you’re lying” during the speeches, yet others respectfully inquired into the facts and found the answers to their questions.UNM rally1

As students and concerned community members, we implore the UNM president to cease the illegal harvesting of aborted baby parts for research and call on the AG of New Mexico to lead an investigation into UNM and the Southwestern Women’s Option late-term abortion facility.

Similar events will be held in the next couple weeks at other universities who have been involved in fetal tissue harvesting and trafficking.

 

90% Growth at Life139!

The mission of Life139 is “to promote the awareness of the injustices of abortion, inspire positive action, and equip students to defend the value of human life.” In the months of January and February, this student group certainly fulfilled their mission at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee!

Life139 training

Life139 exemplifies what it means to be an effective pro-life group, providing an ever-peaceful presence at Union that is always open to dialogue. Although they are well educated on the life issue, they are always eager to learn more and sharpen their apologetic’s skills. In addition to having peaceful conversations with others about the pro-life message, Life139 also arranged and/or participated in the following activities:

  • 2017 March for LifeLife139
  • SFLA National Conference
  • Evangelicals for Life Conference
  • Defund PP call hosted by David Bereit
  • Spoke at the SFLA Supreme Court Rally
  • An Instagram contest in order to increase followers, gaining them a 90% INCREASE in the number of followers and awarded a Starbucks gift card to a random winner!
  • A spring semester kickoff event called “Friends ‘n Floats: Have a float, make friends, and hear what Life139 is all about!”. They announced the winner of the Instagram contest at this event.
  • A Sidewalk Counseling Training
  • Protest PP Rally in Memphis and were seen on the local news

Life139 is incredibly organized, with a strong following that meets regularly. They designed and produced their own beautiful group t-shirts, and are incorporating a Life139 Historian Role into the group so that future members can learn from their mistakes and succeLife139 newssses. This group continues to show high momentum through flyering to educate their campus about life, and they have scheduled a stop in March for the WDNPP tour.

But their plans for exposing the truth about Planned Parenthood and spreading the pro-life message don’t just stop there! Life139 President, Andrew Edmiston, has a passion for sharing his knowledge and experiences with other nearby colleges in order to encourage them to start their own pro-life groups on campus. This is definitely showing the leadership needed to continue the rise of the pro-life generation!

4 Reasons to Attend a Local March for Life

By Erica Smith, student at Brigham Young University in Utah

Last month, hundreds of thousands of people attended the Washington D.C. March for Life, and many more marched across the country and around the world. The March for Life is the most important pro-life event of the year. But most of us don’t live in the DC area, so it’s up to us to find local opportunities to make our voices heard.

Abortion has a small presence in my native Utah. The state contains two abortion centers, a Planned Parenthood and an independent clinic. Still, over 3,000 abortions are performed in Utah per year. Pro-Life Utah, the state’s first citizen advocacy group focused specifically on the pro-life cause, was founded less than eighteen months ago in response to the viral Planned Parenthood baby parts videos. Salt Lake City’s first March for Life took place last year, when PLU vice president Deanna Holland discovered there was none. The night before, she gathered thirty-five friends and marched on the state capitol with signs hand painted by her children. This year, theirErica Smith BYU UT MFL second and my first, the turnout swelled to several hundred.

The Pro-Life Generation may also be the social media generation, but sometimes we have to move from Twitter to the public square.  We know the DC March is a commitment of time and money. Plane tickets are expensive and math homework is important. Come on, we’re students here. If your school has a pro-life club that will sponsor a road trip to Washington, great, but on campuses where the pro-life culture is less strong, we’re left to our own devices. Not everybody has the means to make it to the official march. But your participation is just as important-and arguably more so-at small rallies. Here are four reasons to attend (or start) your own March for Life next year.

1) Think globally, act locally

Salt Lake’s March for Life doubled as a diaper drive, raising funds and materials for a nearby pregnancy resource center. Donations went to help mothers and children in our own communities.  Of course, you can donate to national pro-life charities with the click of a button, but it’s more rewarding to hand over gifts you know will benefit local mothers.

2) Keep up with local laws

Marches for Life usually consist of two parts: the March itself, and an informative session before or after where pro-life speakers address marchers. You’ll hear stories from local experts in the pro-life world and learn about abortion issues in your home state. At Salt Lake’s March, I learned that Utah is considering a bill which would require abortion providers to inform patients about the possibility of abortion pill reversal. Attendees were instructed on citizen advocacy tactics they could take to help this law pass. Local Marches educate and empower citizens to combat abortion on the home front.

3) Make news in your own backyard

If Utah hadn’t held their own March for Life, Utah media coverage of the day probably wouldn’t have extended beyond, “Hey, look, our girl Mia Love gave a speech today. Good for her.” And most states don’t have a representative appearing at the DC March for Life. National news usually has consequences for the entire country, but it’s still something that happens “back in Washington”. Hometown marches make it relevant. Get pro-life news featured in your local papers.

4) Make Friends You Can Take Home

Finally, a March for Life is the perfect space to meet like minded people. My favorite part of the day was hearing stories from the women who marched alongside me. I was struck by their raw honesty and feminine solidarity. The question “What brought you here?” yields surprising results. I watched women who had met only minutes ago shared personal stories of miscarriages and childhood abuse when describing how protecting unborn lives became important to them. I made a friend who taught me how to shout messages of love in response to the hissers and booers we passed in the streets. And these are women I get to see again.

The Washington, D.C. March for Life is the crowning pro-life event of the year. I hope one day I’ll be able to make it back East to join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of women, children, and men raising their voices for the unborn.

But until then, I have work to do at home.