Vandalism at Clemson University

The latest in a string of vandalism of pro-life displays this week, Clemson Students for Life’s Cemetery of the Innocents was completely destroyed and vandals left behind pro-choice signs and criticized the group on social media.clemson1

The display consisted of over 100 small crosses in the ground and a banner for the pro-life group. All of the crosses were taken out of the ground and piled up with signs such as “keep your rosaries off my ovaries” next to it.

One particular sign saw an immediate backlash on social media: “Tragedy – 4 students vs. 4 million babies.” That sign referenced the deaths of four Clemson students this semester. The pro-life student group had nothing to do with that sign even though they were accused of writing it:

“This fourth sign is in no way connected to Students for Life,” Clemson’s SFL president Devin Gibson told Campus Reform. “We believe that all life is sacred, from conception until natural death, and to trivialize the deaths of four classmates is horrific. We would never use the deaths of fellow Clemson students to further our cause”.

The vandalism is a blatant act of violation of the pro-life students’ free speech rights. They had prior approval of Clemson University to put up the display. They filed a police report yesterday.

Earlier this week, a pro-life chalking display was vandalized at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and this semester has seen a slew of abortion advocates destroying pro-life messages on campus.

Let’s Be Honest

Sensationalism always sells and get clicks but it doesn’t mean it’s helpful to a particular cause or to the credibility of the claim itself. When talking about an issue as serious as the taking of a life of another human being in abortion, it’s important to be accurate and present478611913 well-formed arguments that can be backed up with data.

Because of the passion of those on both sides of the abortion debate, sometimes sensational claims are made that don’t have sufficient data behind them. Some pro-life advocates claim that the heart of a preborn baby starts beating at 18 days when in reality, it starts around 22 days after fertilization.  Or slogans like “adoption, not abortion” implies that adoption is an alternative to pregnancy when it’s really not. For abortion numbers, many pro-lifers will say there are 4,000 abortions a day, other say 3,300.  The latest data reports 1.06 million abortions in 2011 which equals 2,904 per day.

The importance of intellectual honesty in the abortion debate cannot be understated.

An article in College Fix claims that there is a trend on college campuses that is showing students are supporting the killing of babies after they are born, mirroring the notorious philosophy of Peter Singer, who has supported infanticide for years and values the lives of animals over the lives of babies and even toddlers.

No data was used to back up this claim other than a video of an older woman who refused to say that killing a child post-birth was murder – the woman wasn’t a college student but only happened to be protesting on the grounds of a college campus.

Students for Life of America has been touring college campuses this fall with our We Care Tour, which focuses on helping victims of sexual assault and talking about abortion in cases of rape, and the Planned Parenthood Project, which reveals what the abortion giant’s true intentions are for college students based on data from their own annual report.

Between the two tours, SFLA has been to 27 campuses already with several more to go before the end of the semester. We’ve talked to hundreds of college students – both pro-life and pro-choice – about abortion, had many of our displays vandalized, and were the subjects of further debate in college newspapers.

Never, not once, not even with the most ardent abortion supporter, have any college students advocated the killing of a child post-birth. At every college and university, our student groups have engaged in civil discourse with students on campus and while the pro-choice side had difficulty justifying their logic in many circumstances, not one of them aligned their ideology with Peter Singer or others like him.

Last year a video was done by Dan Joseph at the Media Research Center where he went to a college near DC and got students to sign a petition supporting the legalization of fourth trimester abortions. The conversations he had with the students showed their lack of knowledge about pregnancy and support more for the overall “women’s rights” language than actually killing a born child. Most didn’t even know how long pregnancy lasted. One woman even signed the petition who had recently given birth. It showed that students were clueless more than anything.

If we were to speculate on a trend regarding thoughts on abortion on college campuses, it would be that students are grossly misinformed about pregnancy, fetal development and the fact that abortion is indeed legal throughout all three trimesters.  But it’s just speculation as we cannot point to solid data.

College campuses are certainly not beacons of pro-life thought and welcoming of pro-life positions. Normally they are hostile to the pro-life message and ardently liberal. But to say that there is a trend of college students supporting infanticide helps no one and certainly doesn’t get us any closer to ending abortion. Neither does any kind of intellectual dishonesty in the abortion debate.

Vandalism: “Life begins at ejaculation”

Vandals struck Oakland University Students for Life’s pro-life chalking display at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Sayings such as “Life begins at ejaculation” and a giant “NO” after the words “Just give me a chance Momma” were written on the students’ pro-life chalkings.
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Instead of having a thoughtful, civil discussion with the pro-life groups, those who opposed the pro-life message used ridiculous slogans and hateful speech to ruin the chalking display.  Here is the account from the pro-life students themselves:

Last night, a small group of students gathered on Oakland University’s campus to chalk positive pro-life messages. While chalking, we were confronted by multiple angry students who were very vocal about their stance on abortion. One student walked up to us and said, “We need to get the pro-choice group out here to stop this.” A student that was chalking with us heard another student say, “I would stop and argue with these idiots but I know that I would win.” Overall, we felt a lot of hostility from students in response to our very peaceful messages. Early this morning, a member of our group discovered some graffiti drawn on our chalk messages. This is the second time this semester that our messages have been vandalized, not including a display that was torn down earlier this semester. Our voices our being heard on campus. Students know who we are, and this has caused a lot of tension. We are unsure of who is doing the graffiti, and there is currently no active pro-choice group on campus. Regardless, we will continue to spread our message on campus and respond with love to those who fight back.

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time vandals have struck pro-life displays on campus this semester. At Portland State University, campus police were called when vandals destroyed part of the Planned Parenthood Project display. At Eastern Michigan University, vandals drew swastikas on the pro-life chalkings on campus.

 

Sign the Pledge!

In the upcoming November 4th election, it will be more important than ever to get our pro-life voices heard. Among all of the issues facing our nation today, none are greater than abortion. You and I know this. However, many in our nation, including those men and women running for office, do not.signthepledge

It is time to show America that we are the pro-life generation and being pro-life matters. Send a message today by signing the pledge to always vote pro-life first at www.ivoteprolifefirst.com. The pledge states simply:

“I pledge that abortion is THE qualifying issue. I pledge that I will never support or vote for a candidate that endorses the killing of pre-born children.”

By signing the pledge, you are telling candidates and politicians that they cannot get away with supporting abortion and still expect to be supported by Americans. If a candidate isn’t right on life and can’t bother to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, how can we trust them on anything else?

There is common-sense, life-saving legislation on the table in the US Senate and in state houses across the country, just waiting for a pro-life majority to sweep them in. By supporting and voting only for candidates who are pro-life you will help save the lives of women and their preborn babies. And we will send a message to candidates nationwide that they will not get our support.

With the pro-life tide turning in our nation, we have the power and the votes to change abortion policy at the local, state and federal level. The vast majority of Americans support laws that ban abortion when the child in the womb can feel pain, that ban sex-selective abortion and that require abortionists to meet the same basic health and safety standards as other surgical centers. These laws save lives and bring us closer to our ultimate goal of abolishing abortion.

Will you join us today and sign the pledge to always vote pro-life first? After you do, forward it on to all of your family and friends and share it on Facebook and Twitter. Remind them of why we have to vote pro-life first and remind them to vote November 4th.

YOU can make a difference that will save lives!

Announcing the 2015 Conference Speakers!

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

Not registered? Go HERE!

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

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

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

Abby Johnson
And Then There Were None
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David Bereit
40 Days for Life
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Josh Brahm
Equal Rights Institute
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Peggy Hartshorn
Heartbeat International and Defender of Life Award Winner
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“I am excited to be in the midst of the most pro-life generation since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973!  Your “light” is shining brightly and providing the hope needed not only for those making a life or death decision but also for those of us who have been ‘fighting the good fight’ for a long while!”

Jason Jones
Movie to Movement
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Check out the full schedule here.

We are looking forward to seeing you in January!

Why Should You Start a Pro-Life Group?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • A registered club has access to more campus resources.

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

  • Structured groups accomplish more.

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

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

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

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

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

Earn money, help pro-life candidates!

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

YOU have the opportunity to change that.

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

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

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

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

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

We Had to Call Campus Security

Lisa Atkins, SFLA Northwest Regional Coordinator

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

But that wasn’t all that happened.

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

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

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

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

You know what they said?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finding Common Ground

Written by: RJ McVeigh, Students for Life Regional Coordinator

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— We Care Tour Stops —

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

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