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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She is Planned Parenthood’s worst nightmare.

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

Autumn

VS.

pussyhat grandmas

 

We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood Tour Week One Wrap-Up

We launched our spring tour this past week, the We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood tour, which is exactly what the name states – educating students as to why we really don’t need Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion vendor, and telling them about much better options available for real, comprehensive healthcare.

The timing for the tour couldn’t be more perfect. The nation is in a heated battle right now over the defunding of Planned Parenthood. They currently receive more than half a billion dollars in tax money, which makes up 43% of their annual budget. By the way, this ‘nonprofit’ has had over $1 billion in revenue for the past several years, all the while continuing to receive more tax dollars and at the same time cutting their prenatal services, cancer screenings and other preventative care – and increasing the number of abortions.

Students for Life of America is the only national pro-life organization that has an organized tour like this going to over 80 campuses this spring and making sure we educate as many students as possible as to what Planned Parenthood does (abortions) and tell them that those tax dollars need to be redirected to community health centers, which outnumber Planned Parenthood 20-to-1, do not do abortions, and offer a much wider range of care.

This first week was a huge success! Here are just a few of the highlights:

The tour received a lot of media attention
Just in the first week alone of the tour, local television earned media is estimated at about $12,000 with segments having run on 32 newscasts over the course of the week.

You never know who are reaching
At Missouri State University, we found out that it was because of our previous Planned Parenthood Project campus tour that the current treasurer of the Students for Life group on campus became involved with the pro-life group (and she went to our conference too!).

We got to have great conversations with people who disagreed with us.
This girl is doing a paper on Planned Parenthood at Santa Clara University and was able to have a good discussion with the Students for Life group, who were able to back up their arguments again Planned Parenthood.


Students were psyched to sign onto our Pro-Life Generation letter to Congress asking them to defund Planned Parenthood.

Missouri State

 

We got to talk to Planned Parenthood directly
At Western Oregon University, a Planned Parenthood representative paid the students a visit, and they got to inform her about all the services Federally Qualified Health Centers offer in comparison to Planned Parenthood.

Western Oregon U

 

What’s the #ProLifeGen doing this weekend? Protesting PP!

Planned Parenthood is freaking out about losing over $500 million of your taxpayer dollars, which makes up 43% of their annual budget. Sorry, but Americans don’t want their money funding abortions and Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion vendor, one that has been recommended for over a dozen criminal investigations by committees in both the US House and Senate.

The time is right now to defund Planned Parenthood and SFLA has been on the front lines of the fight from the beginning – and we aren’t letting up! In fact, this weekend, SFLA’s team and many of our students will be speaking at several of the #ProtestPP rallies on Saturday.

One of our students in Missouri wrote up a blog on why she is going (read here) and we would love for you to join us on Saturday. Here is where we will be:

Planned Parenthood – St. Paul Health Center – Vandalia
671 Vandalia St, St Paul, MN 55114
Time: 9am
Kristan Hawkins, president, SFLA

Planned Parenthood- Springfield Health Center
626 E Battlefield Road Springfield, MO 65807
Time: 9:30-11am
Bears for Life at Missouri State University

Planned Parenthood – Waco Construction Site
700 W. Hwy 6, Waco, TX 76712
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Jillian Ferguson, Texas Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Columbia Health Center
711 N Providence Rd, Columbia, MO 65203
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Kristen Wood, President of Mizzou Students for Life
Kiana Owens, Lincoln University

Planned Parenthood – Irwin/Martin Health Center
425 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m
Audrey Nitzel, Michigan Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington
1225 4th St NE, Washington DC, DC 20002
Time: 9:00 a.m
Lori Cascio, Virginias Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Georgetown Health Center
8590 Georgetown Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268
Time: 12:00 to 1:30 p.m
Anna Allgaier, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Lafayette Health Center
964 Mezzanine Dr, Lafayette, IN 47905
Time: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Anna Allgaier, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Frederick Health Center
170 Thomas Johnson Dr, Frederick, MD 21702
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Michele Hendrickson, Eastern Regional Director, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Denver Stapleton Health Center
7155 E 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80207
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Bethany Janzen, Rocky Mountains Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Portland Health Center
443 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
Time: 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Katie Lodjic, Northwest Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Bluegrass Health Center
268 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY 40503
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Brenna Lewis, Appalachian Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Knoxville Health Center
710 N Cherry St, Knoxville, TN 37914
Time: 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10
Brenna Lewis, Appalachian Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Winston-Salem Health Center
3000 Maplewood Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m
Ryan Eyrich, Southeast Regional Coordinator, SFLA

Planned Parenthood – Greater Boston Health Center
1055 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215
Time: 10:30am-11:30am
Daniel Gribble, New England Regional Coordinator

Planned Parenthood — BU / Commonwealth Ave
1055 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
(9am with 40 Days) — 2:45-3:45PM lead by Pro-Life Future
CJ Williams, Pro-Life Future Programs Coordinator

Planned Parenthood –West Hartford Women’s Center
1030 New Britain Ave, West Hartford, CT
Time: 9am – 11am
CJ Williams, Pro-Life Future Programs Coordinator

Planned Parenthood – San Francisco Health Center
1650 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m
CJ Williams, Pro-Life Future Programs Coordinator

Planned Parenthood — Margaret Sanger Health Center
26 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Time: 10–11:30am
CJ Williams, Pro-Life Future Programs Coordinator

 

 

So I Attended the SFLA National Conference. Now What?

By Maddie Schulte, Northern Regional Coordinator

When I was 14-years-old, my mom asked me to jump on a bus and head out to D.C. for the March for Life and Students for Life of America Conference. I had always been pro-life but didn’t really know what it all meant. I was blown away. Blown away. How could thousands and thousands of people be marching down Washington protesting the killing of babies? How could our society and government allow this? How come I have never heard about this march or seen it on the news?IMG_0048

My mind was racing with these questions all while chanting “we love babies, yes we do” with thousands of my pro-life friends. The next day our group attended the SFLA conference where I had found my new passion. A kid in a candy shop is the best way to describe my excitement for this movement.

David Bereit, Kristan Hawkins, Jason Jones, and many other pro-life leaders became my equivalent to the typical 14-year-old girls’ obsession with the Jonas Brothers (well I must confess, I loved them too).

My heart had been broken by the horror of abortion but the stories, trainings, and experiences that these pro-life activists shared with us at this conference pieced it back together.

It was then, that day, that I decided to devote the rest of my life to ending abortion.maddie

You may have just attended the March for Life and SFLA Conference and may be feeling some of these same emotions. You may have even just started your first day as a pro-life activist: welcome to the movement. The fire in your heart is burning right now but in a few weeks that fire will burn out.

Here is my advice for keeping that fire alive:

-Contact your Regional Coordinator, they can give you the trainings and resources to help you be the best pro-life activist that you can be  http://studentsforlife.org/staff/

-Find local pro-life events to volunteer at or attend and invite your friends. Check out Pro-Life Future if you are a young adult.

-Meet once a month with other people who attended the March for Life with you and share your experiences with each other and ideas for pro-life activism in your community.

-Start a club at your school, if you already have one, attend meetings and events. Need help doing this? Talk to your Regional Coordinator.

-Pray outside of Planned Parenthood. It’s a surreal emotion knowing what goes on in there.

-Take every opportunity that comes your way to help women in crisis; you may be the only one who cares for the child in her womb.

-Schedule pro-life events into your calendar. If you make this movement a part of your life, it will change your life.

-Have fun. The daunting subject of abortion can weigh you down but this movement is one that speaks life. Smile, you are saving babies lives.

-Start planning and inviting friends to the March for Life and SFLA conference next year. It could change their life.

What the #ProLifeGen Did All Summer

By Reagan Barklage, SFLA Midwest Regional Director

Students for Life of America is the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization in the nation, the home of the Pro-Life Generation. While we may do a majority of our public work during the school year, the summers are really no less busy. Even though school is out, our students are the #prolifegen year-round and worked hard planning out their upcoming school year, participating in SFLA trainings, tabling with us at the Vans Warped tour, and taking to the sidewalk for our National Pro-Life Gen Sidewalk Day.

As the Midwest Regional Director, my work was focused mainly on students in our region, and wow, was I ever impressed. Here’s what we did all summer:

Plan Your Year SessionsReagan traings

My Midwest students were so driven to map out the upcoming year. Throughout the summer, I hosted multiple Plan Your Year sessions. During these meetings, I went through the entire upcoming school year, month-by-month, with students and offered them event ideas and themes. For instance, November is National Adoption Month. I encouraged my students to host an adoption speaker, like a birth mother, adoption agency, or even a student who was adopted. These sessions are great to do during the summer because with the school year already planned, students can hit the ground running as soon as they return to school.

Vans Warped TourReagan Vans Warped

This summer Rock for Life, a branch of SFLA, had a booth at the majority of the secular Vans Warped Tour stops across the country and our students were there to help us every stop along the way. This was the first time any pro-life group had a booth at the huge festival. Despite criticism, our team did a great job reaching young people at this festival and dialoguing with them about human rights.

This was a fantastic way to reach out to hundreds of thousands of young people that we may never have had the opportunity to reach. We had great conversations stemming from our poll, “When should human rights begin?” I personally connected a man to post-abortion resources, something he didn’t know even existed.

National Pro-Life Gen Sidewalk DayREagan National Sidewalk

On August 6th, students across the country took to the sidewalk outside their local abortion facility to peacefully pray, sidewalk counsel, and witness. Students who participated in sidewalk counseling were trained the week before by Lauren Muzyka, President of Sidewalk Advocates for Life.

I was so proud of my students who participated, as it takes a lot of courage to reach out to these women going in for an abortion. Every single student I talked to about their experience said they now plan on regularly making a presence on the sidewalk!

TrainingsReagan trainings text

Students for Life of America offers multiple trainings to help our students make their group as successful as they can be. This summer I took time to train my students on Recruiting and Retention, Planning their Year, and Sidewalk Counseling. These trainings really helped my students prepare for the upcoming Fall semester. With the plan for outreach already completed in the summer, that means more time for tabling, flyering, and pitching their group around campus.

Summer is not a time to take a break from being a pro-life activist. Who needs sleep anyway?

Great Success for Nat’l #ProLifeGen Sidewalk Day!

Over 30 different abortion facilities saw the Pro-Life Generation outside on sidewalks praying for the women and their preborn babies and being advocates for life, standing as a representation for hope and compassion.

For many students, it was the first time they engaged in sidewalk advocacy. Everyone students sidwalk day3was trained by Lauren Muzkya from Sidewalk Advocates for Life and were equipped and educated on how to best speak to abortion-minded women, and others they may encounter on the sidewalk like clinic escorts, and be a loving resource for them.

So what happened? Lots of great things. Here are stories from the field, including a baby save!

In Dallas, Jillian Ferguson, SFLA’s Southwest Regional Coordinator, got to witness her first baby save:

 We were just packing up and getting ready to leave when I noticed a couple came out of the Planned Parenthood facility and got into their minivan. As they were approaching the exit, they rolled down their window and we approached the van. I let Joanne, the other counselor, take the lead as she had much more experience than I as she is out there every weekend.

She introduced herself and gave them literature. English was not the first language of the couple in the van but Joanne took things slow and asked the woman how far along she was. The woman said she was three months along and Joanne had someone grab the fetal model that represented that age. As soon as she handed the fetal model to the woman and said “that’s what your baby looks like right now” the woman teared up and said “can’t do it, that’s a baby.” Their minivan was full of car seats, toys, and books and they told Joanne that this was their fourth child to which Joanne replied she was also a mom of four. The woman seeking the abortion had come today to get bloodwork done and an ultrasound to see how much the abortion would cost – instead she drove away with a smile on her face and a list of other places she could go to get free support.  It was a beautiful thing to see firsthand a life being saved.

In Illinois, Reagan Barklage, our Midwest Regional Coordinator relayed her thoughts:

I was able to stop at Granite City’s [IL] Sidewalk Day and I’m so proud of these students who came out – it was all of their first times being out on the sidewalk and they did amazing. One of the many disturbing things about Hope Clinic is that their escorts leave at 9:45 am. They don’t even stStudents sidwalk day1ay to help the women who are hurting as they walk out of the facility. Shocking huh? They just want to make sure they get into the facility. Hope Clinic was the facility that was shown in the documentary I was in [read about Reagan’s experience in the film here and here]. The documentary followed their abortionist and a lot of their patients. It was kind of emotional standing outside of the facility, when I’ve seen firsthand the hurt that happens inside. I prayed especially for their abortionist, the one I had the opportunity to sit by on the flight home from the premiere.

In Kentucky, Appalachian Regional Coordinator Brenna Lewis had this experience:

Towards the end of our time on the sidewalk at the EMW Women’s Surgical Center abortion facility in Louisville, KY, a woman pulled up next to us, parked her car, and stomped over to our group, visibly angry. Her face was shaking, everything about her body language both defensive and hostile. When she got close enough to speak to us, the first words out of her mouth were “Have any of you ever been pregnant!?” I cringed, thinking this was likely going to be less of a dialogue and more of a shouting match.

WE are here for youShe told me right away that she was a clinic escort for the center behind us, and was entirely fed up with the pro-life presence on their sidewalk, saying how terrible we were, shaming these poor women. Her view on our movement as a whole was extremely twisted. As the conversation progressed, and I explained what Students for Life of America is and how we approach the issue, I noticed her gradually relaxing and becoming more conversational.

She faltered when I mentioned that viability is as early as 22 weeks, asking if she thought it might be wrong to kill them after they are able to live outside the womb. Unfortunately, her stubbornness persisted as she talked in circles about other social justice issues. I got the strong feeling that she had never before had a reasonable discussion with a pro-life activist. By the end of our dialogue, she still supported restriction-free abortion, but my hope is that she left us that day with a renewed perspective on the youth of the pro-life movement, that we are compassionate and peacefully committed to spreading the truth.

In Nebraska, student Alexa got to share a resource for abortion workers:

…Our group then packed up to go to Omahas Planned Parenthood where we spent the remainder of our time praying and counseling the women going into the clinic. The security guard came out to talk to us and tell us about rules of private property (which we were already respecting). Ten minutes later in our conversation, he admitted that he knew what was going on inside the facility was bad. He said he would look Students sidewalkday2at the website abortionworker.com. I truly believe we planted some seeds in that worker on Saturday. We also referred two other workers to the abortion worker website and gave three women literature of our pregnancy centers. The day turned into a road trip, but we saw many graces come out of it.

Marin shared her experience from a Planned Parenthood in Kansas:

We were at the Planned Parenthood in Overland Park. We had about 10 participants with us but other groups were out on the sidewalk as well. We were unable to talk to any women. However, we remained vigilant and prayerful throughout the day. It was difficult to be out there and not get immediate gratification but it was a wonderful learning experience. It has also inspired me and others who were out there to take stock in the pro-life movement. I had friends who came who do not have a pro-life club at their school ask me how to get involved with students for life. I am excited to go out on the sidewalks again and try to speak to women and save children again.