Religious Liberty Thrown in the Trash

A letter by SFLA Executive Director, Kristan Hawkins

Dear Friends,

Today marks the beginning of the end of religious and conscience rights in America.

As of today, employers, just like myself, will be forced to make a false choice between providing a vital service to their employees and violating their consciences and values.

No matter what your faith or view of abortion may be, the HHS Abortion Pill Mandate is an egregious attack upon the rights of all people of values and faith in America.

Today, the religious liberties of all Americans have been thrown in the trash. And it’s the same trash can where the 3,300 precious babies that will be legally aborted today will be thrown.

While the courts have given a momentary reprieve to one family business in Colorado, today, all other businesses that employ more than 25 employees across America have been given the false choice of abandoning their conscience or religious beliefs or being taxed and fined out of business. And the clock has started ticking for Houses of Worships and other religious institutions to apply for an exemption before their deadline on August 1, 2013. Unfortunately, the requirements are so narrow that many who will apply will be not be exempt. Even Mother Theresa’s Order, the Missionaries of Charity, will not qualify for an exemption.

How many times have you heard news pundits and policy experts talk about how abortion and other social issues aren’t important when it comes to elections and the happenings here in Washington, D.C.?

Yet, time and time again, here we are – when abortion has become a fundamental issue and division line for our nation.

Friends, polls show that the majority of Americans are now pro-life and understand the importance of religious liberty and conscience rights.

And we know that HHS Abortion Pill Mandate isn’t about equality for women, and those of use who oppose it aren’t waging a war on women.

We are waging a war for the soul of our nation, for the very beliefs that this nation was founded upon.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry has proposed the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. If passed, this simple piece of legislation will stop the HHS Abortion-Pill Mandate and any other mandates like it “dead in its tracks.”

Congress is leaving Washington this Friday for their August recess and will be returning to their districts until Labor Day. Because it’s an election year, I guarantee you that your Members of Congress will be out and about during this month of August campaigning for job in Washington.

Today, please take 3 minutes and click the above image to personally email your Members of Congress and tell them to pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.Then tomorrow, please work on these important action steps:

  • Call your House of Representatives Member and Senators’ District Offices (You can find their phone numbers at House.gov and Senate.gov) and ask if there will be any town hall meetings or public events you can attend.
  • Attend an event this August and encourage them to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act.
  • If they are already supporting the legislation, thank them immediately and ask them to ask House and Senate leadership to allow it to come to the “floor” for a vote.
  • If they are not supporting the legislation, ask them why and share your concerns.
  • If there are no events you can attend, ask for a meeting with your House of Representatives Member and Senators and organize a group to join you.

And don’t be afraid to email me personally if you have any questions during this process!

America was built on the idea of preserving and protecting our deeply-held beliefs. We must not comply with this direct affront to our liberty. Please take a stand today and let your Members of Congress know that you will not stand for this injustice!

Channeling Frustration Into Energy

Channeling Frustration Into Energy

By: Leslie Bosslet. Students for Life of America’s 2012 Missionary for Life

With the result of the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of ObamaCare revealed to all last Thursday, needless to say it’s been a rough week for conservatives and pro-lifers alike. Not only will the PPACA provide federal assistance to pay for abortions, but the protection the Constitution is supposed to provide for Americans seems to have been thrown out. For example, many are is a little confused about what a “tax” is supposed to be. Before you argue against the abortion claim, or simply want more explanation, I will refer you to this source: http://www.heritage.org/ research/reports/2011/01/obamacare-and-the-ethics-of-life-weakening-medical-conscience-and-the-protection-of-life. I’ve got more sources on this topic if you want them.

Being outside the Supreme Court on Thursday was quite an experience, and as one Students for Life staff member pointed out, it is definitely something I can tell my grandkids about. Seeing people literally jump for joy that “their” healthcare passed frustrates me for many reasons. If you are opposed to my opposition to ObamaCare, let me make clear that I am not frustrated that people who need healthcare will get it. Obviously I want everyone to receive proper medical care and coverage as they need it. I do not want anyone to suffer because they cannot afford to keep themselves healthy. However, I do want it to happen in the way that is best for everyone, and ObamaCare is not the way. Whenever I hear a snarky comment about how anti-ObamaCare folks do not understand that this Act will help people and we want to take that away, I want to snarkily reply, “Yes. I am anti-woman, anti-human rights, AND anti-health.” Come on now.

Back to being on the Court steps on Thursday. While one pro-life leader made statements over the speaker about her reactions to the decision, she said the word “abortion.” One pro-ObamaCare sign-holder yelled, “Yay abortion!” This very loud response was difficult to ignore. Whether she was mocking our concerns about the issue, which wasn’t funny, or whether she was seriously that excited about her abortion rights, I was fuming.

On the metro ride home, I found what I needed to channel my anger. Across the aisle sat a young father and his two children. The youngest was a little girl, probably 3 years old, who chatted with anyone who sat near her. Her dad was just as talkative back to her. She sat on his lap while she observed and commented on her surroundings. Dad was clearly proud to be holding his daughter. Wow. After more than 5 hours on the Supreme Court steps being crowded by protests, rallies, yelling, bullhorns, and sign-holding, this father and daughter was a sight for tired, sunburned, and discouraged eyes. THIS is why I’m working for the pro-life cause. THIS love that was radiating from the father and his daughter is why I must keep doing what I can to protect the rights of the unborn. It is so that all preborn can grow up to charm people with their innocence and wonder like this little girl was doing.

After that experience, I was reenergized. I will shamelessly plug ivoteprolifefirst.com to encourage all those who need some real hope and change for the rights of the preborn of this country to voice their opinion in November. For those who are too young to vote, stay informed to let your friends know what is right. Because we need government leaders who will protect the dignity of all human beings, including the preborn. As cheesy as it sounds, we’re doing it for the kids.

No Rest for the Abolitionist

No Rest for the Abolitionists

By: Shara Guengerich, Students for Life’s 2012 Missionary for Life

This has been an incredibly busy and historic week for us in the SFLA office. Leading up to the Obamacare decision was, of course, a busy time of preparation, but the day itself was even more of a whirlwind experience.

Thankfully, I was prepared. As the rest of the SFLA team was on location in front of the Supreme Court, making sure that our pro-life message was visible and effective as possible, I stayed behind, not only because getting around with my injured ankle would have been very difficult, but I needed to have a strong internet connection. Why? Because as soon as SCOTUSblog announced the decision, there was a lengthy task list of things for me to complete online as soon as possible. Youtube videos, pictures, emails, and website updates all needed to be done, and within 45 minutes of the decision I had everything uploaded, published and sent. I had hardly any time to reflect on the outcome of the decision itself until I sat back after 45 minutes of hurried work. But it was certainly worth the effort – it was wonderful to know that SFLA was fully prepared to respond to the decision immediately as it came down, so that we were reporting on the decision as quickly as mainstream news sources.

Then I had some time to see the reaction at the Supreme Court, and see the outcry on social media as well. I was and am outraged at the decision, and was sorry that I had to communicate the lamentable news that the mandate  had been fully upheld by the Court.

While SFLA’s presence ran rather smoothly with only a few minor hiccups, about an hour after the decision our Ivoteprolifefirst.com website went down. After working with the server company we were still not able to restore the website, but needed to turn over the restoration of the site to the server and hosting companies. It has still not been ruled out whether or not this was because of malicious intent, but it is sad to think that someone might have worked to directly thwart our efforts of joining people in pledging to vote for the pre-born and women first!

Yet none of this will keep us from working relentlessly to insure that we see the end of legalized abortion in our lifetimes. This experience has certainly shown myself the level to which I can push myself, making me glad that I have another month to work for SFLA before returning to the academic grind. With outrage must come a response, otherwise we’re simply sideline complainers. Here’s to hoping that SFLA won’t be alone in its efforts to bring the abortion mandate down!

Reaction to Supreme Court Obamacare Decision

 

We are extremely saddened by the profoundly wrong decision of the Supreme Court on the new health care law, and disappointed that they have endorsed the government’s unconstitutional ability to force all Americans to not only purchase a product they may or may not want but subsidize abortions. The decision today is truly this generation’s Roe v. Wade. We will continue to fight to repeal this unprecedented expansion of government abortion funding because we respect the rights of conscience, whether or not they are defended by those charged with their protection. We call on all pro-lifers to sign SFLA’s I Vote Pro-Life First pledge at www.ivoteprolifefirst.com, which says that a candidate’s stance on the life issue will be the most important issue when casting their votes in November. This is the only way we be able to ensure that this injustice will not happen again by electing those who will only appoint and confirm future Supreme Court justices who will uphold the God-given rights of every American, born and Preborn.

Recapping yesterday’s “Where’s the Freedom?” press conference and rally

Yesterday was truly incredible.

The morning started early, as we beat the sun to the Supreme Court to make our presence known at a Planned Parenthood/NARAL rally and held our own “Where’s the Freedom” pro-life youth press conference and rally. We had over 30 TV cameras pointed at us while I laid out our case for why Obamacare should be ruled unconstitutional and why it restricts the freedom of all Americans, born and pre-born. Click here to read my speech.

At the end of our press conference, as a symbolic gesture, our students ripped up pages from the 2,000-page Obamacare bill. It was quite a sight!

From there, clad in our bright purple “Where’s the Freedom” t-shirts, our students marched the halls of Congress educating Members of Congress about Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR 1179), which could overturn the recent HHS Mandate that forces all employers and universities, regardless of religious or personal beliefs, to pay for abortion-causing drugs in employee and student healthcare plans.

In just under an hour and a half, our team of dedicated students was able to visit over 20 targeted Congressional offices, and we heard many staffers tell us how refreshing it was to hear from young, pro-life students.

After we finished lobbying on the Hill, our team spent the afternoon rallying both at the Americans for Prosperity Hands off My Healthcare Rally and at the Supreme Court, amongst a large group of pro-abortion advocates.

I am so proud to say that at one point, thanks to my trusty bullhorn, we had a majority of folks outside the Court chanting, “Hey Hey, Ho Ho Obamacare has Got to Go!”

All of our students felt that today was an overwhelming, positive experience for them, and they are eager to do more lobby days in the future. They asked me to let you know how much they appreciate everyone’s thoughts, prayers and support, which allowed them to get to Washington yesterday.

If you were watching the news last night, I hope you saw or heard us in front of the Supreme Court! We are already hearing and seeing some great coverage from yesterday. In fact, I just watched a clip of myself on NBC News and a picture of me and my bullhorn appeared on the front page of the Washington Post website. We also heard that this photo was seen on the cover of the Wall Street Journal in Europe! Our Assistant Director, Tina Whittington made it on Fox News’s “On The Record” with Greta Van Susteran! The media coverage has been amazing! I wonder if we weren’t out there this morning would there have been a pro-life voice in the media speaking out against ObamaCare?

Please visit our Facebook Fan page and our Twitter page  for more photos and media coverage from yesterday. Please check our social media accounts out as soon as you can!

Thank you again, we wouldn’t of had such an amazing day of getting our message out through the media nor would we of had such an amazing Lobby Day without you and your support.

For Life,
Kristan Hawkins

National Pro-Life Lobby Day Next Tuesday, March 27th

Next Tuesday, March 27th is going to be a MASSIVE day for the Pro-Life Movement. Next Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will finish its hearing on the constitutionally of ObamaCare, the massive federal take over of the health care system and reason why the Obama administration can now force every pro-life American to pay for abortion causing drugs!

With so much at stake for the future of our nation, we are thrilled to announce that SFLA will be hosting an important “Where’s The Freedom?” National Lobby Day next Tuesday, March 27th in Washington, DC! And I want YOU to join me!

We need you to meet with your U.S. Congressman and tell him/her that YOU will not stand for this – that you will stand up for the conscience rights of all Americans!

 

After we are finished lobbying, we will join a star-studded line up (Con. Michelle Bachmann, Sen. Pat Toomey, Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. Rand Paul, Con. Paul Ryan, others) at the Americans for Prosperity Hands Off My HealthCare Rally from 1 to 2:30pm on Capitol Hill to make sure the pro-life movement’s voice is hear loud and clear before the Supreme Court, President Obama, and the U.S. Congress!

If you live in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, or North Carolina – WE WILL EVEN HELP YOU GET THERE! SFLA will be able to provide charter busses or reimburse your gas expenses for your one-day trip to Washington!

We will make this as easy as possible for you! All you need to do is dedicate ONE DAY, one day of traveling to Washington, D.C. to stand up and make a difference. ONE DAY to tell our nation that we will stand to defend the conscience rights for all Americans and for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Will you join us for one day on Tuesday, March 27th?

If you say YES!, e-mail us right now or go to studentsforlife.org/freedom and sign up – give us your name, contact info, which school you attend and if you need help getting down here. WE WILL CONTACT YOU within 24 hours to help make arrangements.

See you then!