Staying motivated to abolish abortion

By Katie Lodjic, Northwest Regional Coordinator

Motivation. It comes in so many forms, especially when working in the pro-life movement. I see student groups motivated by exciting events like baby saves, a changed mind, or a successful campus display.

Last week I saw another form of motivation. I was meeting with a new high school pro-life club in the Northwest and they were extremely excited to change hearts and minds on their campus.  While brainstorming how to do this they found out that a student had confided in a teacher that she was pregnant and planned to keep her baby. institute

Here was the perfect opportunity to provide love and support to a fellow student and introduce their club to the school!  The students planned to throw the student a baby shower, and host a school-wide baby item drive just for her.

The student group and I walked down to the teacher’s classroom to get all the specific details, and to find out exactly what the girl needed. We were shocked as the teacher, holding back tears told us, that the girl’s mother had found out about the pregnancy over break, and had quickly taken her into Planned Parenthood for an abortion.

It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. And looking around, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.  The question in every one’s mind was, “If she had known there was a new club at her school that would support her and accept her, would she have been stronger in her resolve to keep her child? Would it have made a difference?”

Although it was a heart-breaking experience, it was incredibly motivating to this student group to find out that there are students in their school who desperately need their help, love and support. That they, as supportive peers can create a culture of life and acceptance which in turn will save the life of a preborn child and spare the mother from lifelong pain.

After this experience, the group is more determined than ever before to abolish abortion in their high school community and to make abortion absolutely unthinkable for their peers.

It goes to show how important Students for Life groups are on our high school campuses. These students are changing hearts and minds at their schools, and sometimes they are the only life-affirming support a young woman has when deciding whether to choose life for her child.

Please pray that this young woman will find healing, pray for her preborn child, and pray for this new student group, that they are successful in creating a culture of Life at their high school.

February Event in a Box: We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood has been in the news a lot lately, especially after the election. We want to help you understand and address commonly heard concerns regarding the nation’s largest abortion vendor.100yearsofabuse

Some of you may be wondering “Why Planned Parenthood?”

You may have heard arguments about the services Planned Parenthood provides. You may have heard their defenders argue that if we stop funding Planned Parenthood, we’re assaulting women’s healthcare.

Wondering how to respond?

This month’s Event in a Box will help you address why we don’t need Planned Parenthood, and give you practical tips for responding and addressing this topic at your school.

What’s In the box:

  • Pens
  • Post-its for tabling
  • Recruitment sheets
  • Social media graphics to post
  • “We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood” Guide
  • SFLA “We don’t Need Planned Parenthood” postcards
  • SFLA “We don’t Need Planned Parenthood” stickers
  • SFLA “Join us” postcards for recruitment
  • We don’t need Planned Parenthood flyers

To order the November Event-in-a-Box, contact your Regional Coordinator today.

November Event-in-a-Box: Celebrate National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Awareness month, where we celebrate the courageous mothers, open families, and treasured children all impacted by adoption. This month, we want you to bring the message that adoption saves lives to your school!adoption

Women need to know that if they choose to place their child for adoption, there will be a loving family ready to adopt their precious child. According to a representative w from the National Council for Adoption, “There are parents who wait years to adopt an infant. There are always more parents waiting than infants available to adopt.” This statement contradicts what many women believe. This is a selfless, courageous decision that should be affirmed by her family, friends, and peers.

Foster care is also a crucial part of caring for children who desperately need a home. It’s also another way to go through the adoption system for many parents.

The latest data on foster care indicates that a child enters care every two minutes and there are over 400,000 children in foster care. Half of children in foster care return to their parents but over 40% are adopted by their foster family.

To help combat the common misconceptions about adoption and foster care, your group can spread the truth through hosting a local adoption speaker and raising awareness on your campus. Personal testimonies have the profound ability to break through misinformation that students on your campus may have about adoption.

For more information and adoption statistics go to: https://www.adoptioncouncil.org/

For more information on foster care statistics go to: https://www.fosterclub.com/article/statistics-foster-care

Whats in the box?

  • Event in a Box Planning Guide
  • Post-its
  • Markers
  • Talk About Adoption pins
  • Talk about adoption bracelets
  • Adoption Saves Lives Stickers
  • Rock for Life Adoption T-shirt coupon
  • Adoption & Foster care Awareness flyers
  • Adoption speaker promotion flyers
  • “Positive Adoption Language” flyers

To order the November Event-in-a-Box, contact your Regional Coordinator today.

If you are a student in CA or NV, contact Camille Rodriguez.
If you are a student in OR, WA, ID, MT, HI or AK contact Katie Lodjic.
If you are a student in CO, NM, WY, AZ, or UT, contact Jake Simon.
If you are a student in MI, IN, or OH, contact RJ McVeigh.
If you are a student in VA, MD, PA, DC, or DE, contact Michelle Hendrickson.
If you are a student in KY, WV, or TN, contact Brenna Hartwell.
If you are a student in NE, IA, KS, IL, or MO, contact Reagan Barklage.
If you are a student in OK or 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  to  use  the  box?

Educate your group

Use one of your group meetings to go over the Adoption Saves Lives Planning Guide. Educate your group on the differences between foster care and adoption, appropriate adoption language, and tabling set up information.

It is incredibly important to use correct adoption terminology. You cannot speak accurately about adoption if you do not have the proper language.

Host a table event

In order to hold a table event, you will need to use the provided tabling materials that come in the box. Obtain butcher paper (any color) from the art department or Students activities center at your school for free roughly 6’ long. Use the provided markers to write “Did you know?” across the top. You can lay this across the top of your table, or tape it on the wall behind your table if one is available.

Make your table fun! Give out cupcakes, candy, and hot chocolate to students who engage with your group at your table. Use the provided “Adoption and foster care” awareness flyers to educate students on the facts. Then, give them a post it to write one fact or statistic that they learned, and stick it to the butcher paper. By the end of the day, your poster will be full of facts and statistics from fellow students.

Be sure to wear your Rock for Life “Adoption saves lives” t-shirts and stickers. Give out the Talk about adoption pins, postcards, info flyers, and wristbands at the table.

If you would like to purchase an Adoption Saves Lives t-shirt, use the included Rock for Life coupon for a great discount on awesome adoption apparel at http://rockforlife.org/.

Host a speaker

As a group, use the Adoption Saves Lives Planning Guide to plan an adoption speaker event. Two weeks before your event, post the adoption speaker flyers (get approved by administration if needed) all around your campus. Give your speaker at least 45 minutes to share and then leave room at the end for the speaker to answer questions. You can use your table event as an opportunity to invite students to the speaker event as well.

Help Support Courageous Student Leaders Like Sam

Let me tell you about a girl named Sam, and why she needs your help.

Sam came to us in the Fall of 2012 excited to start a pro-life group at her high school in Branford, CT. You see, Sam’s mother had her when she was 17 years old. And she has courageously decided that she wants to make sure that other young, pregnant high schoolers have the resources they need to chose life the way her mom did.  After Sam contacted our team, we sent her our “Get Started!” Activism Kit for free, met with her and her mom when they came to our 2013 SFLA National Conference, and strategized with her to help Sam make a plan for starting the first pro-life group at Branford High School.

But a month later, we received a disturbing email from Sam. A parent had complained to the Branford Board of Education that Branford Students for Life “gets its directive from an extreme base of hate and intolerance” with “with tactics of killing doctors, assaulting women, blowing up clinics and is terroristic in nature and has a total disregard for law and woman at large.” She also claimed she feared for her daughter and other students’ safety at the school because of Sam’s group, concluding, “Don’t let hate groups infiltrate our educational system.”

All this for a group of high school students who just want to educate their peers about the evil of abortion and save babies from death by helping pregnant women in need!

But did this harassment and bullying from an adult deter Sam? No way! Right after we received her email about the controversy Sam was in the middle of at Branford, Brendan O’Morchoe, our National Field Director, and I made plans to travel to Connecticut to visit Sam and train her new Students for Life group.

In preparation for our visit, Sam started hanging flyers around her school advertising for the next Students for Life group meeting we were to attend. However, the flyers were vandalized within hours  with messages like: “Requirements: White, Catholic, Ignorant,” “Be pro-life; kill a doctor,” and “The new terrorist organization.” (See the pictures of the vandalized flyers below!)

In just a day, Sam became the target of her classmates’ hate, being yelled at and sworn at in the hallways, and even having binders thrown at her head.

And her school administration did nothing to protect her rights!  In fact, they have and continue to fight her every step of the way.

Sam’s school vice principal actually told her she needed to take flyers down because one had a picture of an unborn baby in the womb.  A simple picture, that was not graphic and could have been in the students’ biology textbooks, was said to be “disturbing to the atmosphere” at the school.

But, it gets worse.

After Brendan and I’s visit to Branford High, Sam’s group set up a table at their school’s freshmen orientation club fair where they displayed their 12-week fetal models and showed fetal development pictures. Before the fair even started, the school principal told Sam to take down the display of fetal development pictures because they were “inappropriate,” though he declined to say how or why. Sam put the pictures back up when the club fair started, and the school’s vice principal soon came over in a rage, yelling at Sam and her pregnant mother to take the “inappropriate” pictures down. She then threw the poster board with the pictures and the fetal models on the ground and stormed off. What a great example of tolerance for the students!

Soon after the freshman orientation club fair, Sam was told, yet again, by her principal that she had to take down two more flyers –this time because they directed students to outside resources for information on pregnancy help centers and gestation, abortion, and adoption.  The principle said it’s not the students’ job to provide these resources, but it’s the school based health center and Planned Parenthood’s!

Since she first stepped up to lead, Sam has faced constant pressure from her school administrators to censor her life-affirming materials and new group. Every step of the way. Yet, her pro-life group has carried on courageously forward: raising funds for the pro-life St. Gianna’s center in CT and stepping up their campaign to educate their peers about abortion, most of whom have never heard the pro-life message before and don’t know that there are free resources available if they are pregnant.

Sam is truly leading the way in changing the abortion culture at Branford High School.

Next month, Sam will be continuing her training with SFLA as one of our inaugural Thaddeus Stevens Leadership Fellows. Our new Fellowship is modeled off our highly successful William Wilberforce Leadership Fellowship for college students and will train the top high school pro-life students throughout the year, helping them to become the best leaders and activists in their schools and, ultimately, in the nation.

Student leaders such as Sam need your help!  They are at war every day against the abortion industry, hostile administrations, and sometimes violent opposition.  But where others might get discouraged, Sam continues to carry our pro-life message — and in places you and I might not be able to reach.

I want to be able to show Sam there is an army of pro-lifers ready to support her mission.  For $25, or whatever amount you can, will you sponsor a student leader like Sam?

This July, Sam and several other Stevens Leadership Fellows will fly into DC for a weekend-long training program with our team to launch their year-long program.  Only $25 will pay for one student’s meals for the weekend.  $68 will cover the cost of a hotel room for a leader like Sam. $150 will cover half the cost of a round-trip plan ticket.

Courageous student leaders like Sam are the reason I know that abortion will be abolished in our lifetime. With your prayers and support, they will abolish their generation’s greatest social injustice, abortion.

Announcing Our First-Ever SFLA Thaddeus Stevens Leadership Fellowship!

As part of our new Students for Life High School Initiative, our team is so excited to announce the Thaddeus Stevens Leadership Fellowship! Like its college counterpart, the William Wilberforce Fellowship, the Stevens Fellowship has been developed to raise up the next generation of pro-life leaders. We want to help high school students become the best leaders and activists in their schools and, ultimately, in their communities!

For our first-ever Stevens Fellowship, we’ve invited high school students from all over the nation, who have shown exemplary leadership and passion for the pro-life movement, to join with SFLA so that we can take them to the next level!

Here’s what our SFLA Thaddeus Stevens Fellows will do during the 2013-2014 academic year:
– Attend an SFLA intensive training weekend, July 19-21, 2013, at the National Students for Life Headquarters in Manassas, VA
– Learn what it takes to be a leader by reading various books and participating in bi-weekly webcasts for discussion and guest speaker lectures
– Apply the skills they learn to their school’s existing pro-life groups by organizing at least 2 community service events (fall and spring) with their groups
– Assist Students for Life of America in its mission of equipping the pro-life generation
– Work with a National Stevens Mentor (a leader of an existing national pro-life organization) who will help them network with the national pro-life movement and assist in the completion on their Stevens Fellowship Projects

Why Thaddeus Stevens? Thaddeus Stevens, a Pennsylvanian Representative in the 1800′s, was a fierce opponent of slavery. He was one of the most influential members of the Republican Party in the history of Congress. The abolition of slavery became his primary political and personal focus, resulting in the defense of runaway or fugitive slaves consuming the greatest amount of his time. Stevens was actively involved in the Underground Railroad by hiding slaves under his office in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He even refused to sign the new PA state constitution of 1838 because it did not give the right to vote to black citizens. Thaddeus Stevens was a key player in abolishing slavery in our nation, just as we hope our Stevens Fellows will be key players in abolishing abortion!

We are honored to work with such outstanding students. We believe, just like Stevens, they will abolish our generation’s greatest social injustice, abortion.

New High School Pro-Life Initiative Launched

Students for Life of America is proud to announce the launch of our newest initiative for high school and homeschool students.  For the first time ever, pro-life teenage students will have specialized training, programming, guide books, and a website dedicated to meet the unique issues and challenges the comes with being pro-life in high school. With a new full-time SFLA team member, Missy Martinez, coordinating these efforts, quick growth of this program is expected.

Students for Life High School and Homeschool new outreach program includes trainings on topics such as: Abortion Apologetics, Leadership, Sidewalk Counseling, and Sexual Risk Avoidance. SFLA has created step-by-step guides on how to start pro-life group sat high schools and in home school communities. Public or private, big or small, every high school can be reached with the pro-life message.  The new website for high school and homeschool students is live now at http://highschool.studentsforlife.org.

“With the wild success of our college Students for Life program in starting and growing over 700 pro-life groups across the country, we saw a great opportunity to extend our focus to high school age students, too. High School is where Planned Parenthood first targets young girls to build, what they hope, will be a life-long financial relationship,” said SFLA President Kristan Hawkins. “This new website, as well as the addition of a full-time staff member in Missy Martinez, will enable us to offer dedicated resources that fit the lives of high schoolers and homeschoolers. We are now developing programming catering to high school aged students, including a Sexual Risk Avoidance Program, that are specific to them.”

“We want to engage students as soon as possible and help them establish a solid pro-life worldview before they go to college,” said Missy Martinez, SFLA National High School and Home School Coordinator.  “Abortion isn’t just a college student issue, unfortunately, it’s happening in our high schools as well. We want high school students to be equipped to stand for Life, in their schools, youth groups, and communities, reaching out to their peers, and helping those peers facing unplanned, crisis pregnancies.”

This initiative is the first of its kind in the nation for homeschool students.  To find out more go to http://highschool.studentsforlife.org or email Missy to start or train a high school pro-life group at mmartinez@studentsforlife.org