We Had to Call Campus Security

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

wecaretour

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Defender of Life Award Recipients Announced

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

Not registered yet? Register HERE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Vote Pro-Life First!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November Event-in-a-Box: Adoption Education

AdoptionThere may be times when a mother facing an unplanned pregnancy may feel completely unequipped to parent her child. She may feel her only option is abortion. Pro-life individuals touch lives by helping women place their baby or child for adoption. It is important to show women in your community that adoption can be the answer to all of her fears.

Most women who place their child for adoption faced an unplanned pregnancy and may have considered aborting their pre-born children. Pro-lifers should rejoice with a person who has been adopted…that person’s very life may have been saved because of adoption!

Today, 46% of abortions are performed on college aged women, which means that women on campuses across the country are facing unplanned pregnancies and need to hear the message of adoption.

Click on the links below to find out how you can educate your peers about adoption, this month!

High School

College

When Your Best Friend Has An Abortion

by Lisa Atkins, SFLA Northwest Regional Coordinator

Just recently I found out that my best friend had an abortion a month before I met her.

In that moment, everything hit home for me.

I sat there in silence, stunned. I felt like nothing I could say would suffice. No catchy pro-life tag lines would be enough.

It is easy to be pro-life in front of a crowd of strangers that you may or may not see again. It is easy to be pro-life behind the keyboard of a computer. It’s easy to march for life with hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers marching around you. It is also much easier to dialogue with strangers on a college campus about the injustice of abortion, than it was to hear your best friend tell you that she aborted her child at 7 weeks old

For the first time in my experience of being pro-life, I was speechless.

So I listened.167489174

She had dated her boyfriend at the time for two years when she found out she was pregnant. She took multiple pregnancy tests and after a few weeks of not knowing what to do, she told her boyfriend. His response was simple. He told her he wouldn’t stay around if she kept their baby.

But there’s so much support out there for her, right?

My best friend grew up without her dad around and her mom was hardly home. She didn’t want the same life for her child, so she had the abortion.

I continued to listen.

Her boyfriend paid for the abortion, refused to get any closer than the waiting room while she had the abortion, and drove her home. But that’s not all.

Her boyfriend dropped her off at her house and then she never heard from him again.

So there I was, speechless. I wanted to help her. I wanted to give her post abortive resources (there is a list at the end of this post) and offer her hope even though after all of this time I never knew that she needed it.

But how could I ever truly understand what she went through? How could I assume that she was broken and needed to be fixed? How could I help her without ruining our friendship?

I wanted to ask her why after almost two years of being best friends she wanted to tell me now. I wanted to help her deal with the pain and health problems that have come from her abortion, but I didn’t know where to start.

So I continued to sit there and listen. I cannot ever fully understand what she went through or what I could say to her that would be perfect. But I do understand one thing: I understand that what she lacked at the time was an adequate support system and that is exactly what I can provide for her now.

It was hard for me to fathom that my best friend had an abortion. There was a battle going on inside of me to be loving and offer hope while also feeling disappointed. I was fighting the urge to help her understand what she had done, while at the same time knowing that she needs healing and a sincere support system.

I also found that building a relationship with her and being there for her in more ways than I knew over the last two years was the sole ingredient that kept her around as my friend.

Somehow I was able to be the pro-life ambassador that Students for Life of America equipped me to be, and convey the message of life in such a compassionate and loving way that for two years she stuck around.

We live in such a broken and messed up world. We are surrounded by a relativistic society that believes abortion is the best solution we have to give women facing unplanned pregnancies. All pro-life apologetics aside, we must ask a simple question, “What does abortion solve?” Did abortion solve the fact that my friend’s boyfriend told her he wouldn’t stick around if she kept the baby? Did it give her a support system to help her after the abortion? No.

Our culture needs to stop seeing abortion as a solution.

  • If a woman is in poverty: Did the abortion take her out of poverty and provide her any financial support?
  • If a woman has a drug or alcohol problem: Did having an abortion solve her drug or alcohol problem?
  • If a woman doesn’t want her child: Did having the abortion teach that woman to take responsibility for her actions? Did it fix our foster and adoption systems where thousands of children are “unwanted?”
  • When my friend had no support system: Did having the abortion help her boyfriend to stick around?

The reality? Our culture sees abortion as a solution to a problem: pregnancy.

Abortion does not solve anything. Our culture justifies the killing of innocent human beings for a quick “fix” to a much deeper problem. We as the Pro-Life generation must not only understand that innocent children are dying and that we are being a voice for them, but we must clearly provide the solutions to the underlying problems that exist in our world today, in order to further create a culture of life.

If abortion isn’t the answer, then what is? We should work backwards to get to the root of the issue that has brought a woman to an abortion facility. What is her situation? Once we actively listen to understand where an abortion-minded woman is coming from, we can then understand what resources we have available to provide for her in order that she is able to choose life.

Abortion minded and post-abortive women need all of the love, support, and hope possible in order for them to make life-affirming decisions.

Where our friends and peers are being targeted by the abortion industry, we must equip ourselves to stand up strong in a loving and compassionate manner to answer the question, “What is the best solution for women?” We MUST stand up stronger than ever before.

As pro-lifers, we are not just a voice for the voiceless; we are the one friend and resource that our peers can go to for resources and support regardless of their situations. It’s time to take action, give it all you’ve got, and rise up to the challenge.

Here are a few resources for post-abortive women:

Rachel’s Vineyard http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/

Project Rachel http://hopeafterabortion.com/

Lumina http://postabortionhelp.org/pah/

 

“Sexy Time”

The publicly-funded University of New Mexico is notorious for hosting outrageous and offensive events on campus, and their latest antics are possibly the most ridiculous. The Women’s Resource Center at the school is hosting the first ever Sex Week on campus, with lectures such as “How to Negotiate a Successful Threesome” and promoting an “epic event” which entails learning about perfecting blowjobs. Seriously.

What happened to studying and learning how to obtain skills necessary to get a good-paying job and be contributing citizens to society when students graduate?  UNM should be teaching students how to negotiate a salary rather than a threesome.

The local news in Albuquerque reports that the “money for this event is coming from student fees.”
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This isn’t the first time the University is taking the money of taxpayers and hard working parents who are paying tuition for their kids and using it for questionable “education” events.

For the past two years, the Women’s Resource Center has hosted “I Love Female Orgasm” which promotes empowering women. Or something.

The UNM Medical Center, which receives taxpayer dollars as well, does abortions themselves and is part of the Ryan program that trains abortionists, including late-term abortionists.

The Women’s Resource Center has hosted such events as “Beyond the Condom: It’s Sexy Time!”, Slutwalk Albuquerque 2014, and “Ladies, Let’s Talk About Sex.”

Anecdotally, every time the Students for Life group on campus sets up a display, chalks or tables, they always face rude behavior from the Women’s Resource Center and administration. They have been discriminated against in the past, especially during the late-term abortion ban fight in New Mexico last year.

In November, SFL at UM is hosting the We Care Tour, a display that will give out sexual assault information – including resources to help those who have been sexually assaulted – to students and educate them on abortion in cases of rape.

UNM is unfriendly territory for the message of life, which is the very reason why Students for Life needs to have a presence there. The SFL group on campus is fearless, passionate and ready to help women on campus facing unplanned pregnancies or help students understand the alternatives to an in-your-face “empowerment” sex week.