Students for Life of America attends White House meeting to help defund Planned Parenthood

Students for Life of America participated in a meeting and press conference today at the White House with Vice President Mike Pence, HHS Secretary Tom Price, and other pro-life and business leaders, to discuss efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, including the importance of defunding Planned Parenthood.

“Obamacare was the largest expansion of abortion in more than 40 years. The majority of American people, including millennials, oppose taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. It’s time for Congress to repeal this deadly legislation,” said Brendan O’Morchoe, Vice President of Strategy for Students for Life, who was at the White House meeting.

Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins said, “Every day, American taxpayers are forced to contribute $1.5 million to Planned Parenthood, while the abortion chain commits 897 abortions. It’s time for the Senate to deliver on their promises and defund our nation’s largest abortion business.”

O’Morchoe added, “We appreciate the leadership shown by President Trump and Vice President Pence in their commitment to defunding Planned Parenthood and keeping pro-life protections in healthcare reform legislation. Pro-life millennials are eager to see Planned Parenthood defunded so we can move towards real healthcare solutions.”

Students for Life of America is now mobilizing thousands of student leaders on more than 1,100 campuses across America to call upon the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, and redirect those funds to more qualified and comprehensive community health centers.

Students for Life of America is the largest youth pro-life organization in the nation, with grassroots pro-life student groups on more than 1,100 campuses nationwide. 

Judge Gorsuch confirmed to U.S. Supreme Court!

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, has finally been confirmed by the U.S. Senate! This is an enormous win for pro-lifers and a huge accomplishment for the Trump Administration. Judge Gorsuch will be sworn into the Court on Monday morning.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, released the following statement in response to the confirmation:

“Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation is a huge win for the Trump Administration and for the pro-life movement, who is that much closer to having a majority of Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court who interpret the Constitution as written, not as imagined by abortion activist judges. Students for Life commends President Trump for keeping his promise to appoint a judge in the mold of the late Justice Scalia, and we look forward to the day when abortion on demand, in all nine months of pregnancy is no longer the law of the land.”

Gorsuch confirmed

Judge Gorsuch was asked about Roe v. Wade. Here’s what you need to know.

Fireworks were expected during today’s confirmation hearing of Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s replacement for the late Justice Scalia. As expected, Gorsuch was asked about Roe v. Wade – from more than one Senator – and people took notice.

For the record, there is no such thing as “super precedent.” National Review helpfully explains it:

“There is no such thing as “super precedent.” The concept simply doesn’t exist in the law. There is stare decisis, the legal principle that binds lower courts to follow the rulings of superior courts and also traditionally holds that courts should be reluctant to overturn their own precedents. But there is no such thing as a precedent so settled it is irreversible….

To put it plainly, then, the Supreme Court has the power to reverse its own rulings. The tradition of stare decisis holds that it should do so only in compelling circumstances, to correct a legal wrong. This is what Judge Gorsuch is talking about when he speaks to Senator Feinstein of the value of certainty and predictability in judicial pronouncements. Stare decisis is indeed an important part of our nation’s legal fabric. But that does not mean — and has never meant — that the Supreme Court can’t reverse itself.

The article goes on to mention how the Supreme Court has, in fact, “overruled itself dozens of times over the years, reversing some entrenched and culturally important precedents in the process.” Roe v. Wade is bad law and we are hopeful it will be overturned in our lifetime.

Then there was this exchange:

The conservative blog, HotAir.com, analyzed it this way:

Some social conservatives are grumbling about this on Twitter but I’m not sure what answer they were looking for. How could he say he’d have promised the president he’d rule a certain way in a particular case that might end up before him? He would have shredded his credibility on judicial independence. Guaranteeing an outcome when you’re being interviewed for a Supreme Court vacancy would be tantamount to accepting a bribe.

In return for Trump giving Gorsuch his dream job, Gorsuch would be promising Trump in return a very, very valuable political outcome. Quid pro quo. The reason SCOTUS nominees are vetted to within an inch of their lives is partly to spare them from that sort of dilemma while gaining assurances that they would, in fact, vote the way you’re hoping they’d vote.

Looking carefully over his career, noting his Scalia-esque reputation for consistent conservatism and his writings on the sanctity of life vis-a-vis euthanasia, are we confident that Gorsuch would vote to overturn Roe? Pretty confident, I’d say.

 

Look, the idea of nominating a judge expecting a certain vote from this potential Justice is fundamentally opposed to what the Justices and the US Supreme Court is supposed to be. They are given lifetime terms so that they don’t have to worry about “re-election” and stay true to their intended jobs and attempt to stay above politics.

If asked to vote a specific way, and if the Justice complies, that is a clear demonstration of corruption and a breakdown of the checks and balances.

Like HotAir, and many others have said, including us, you have to look at his past decisions and philosophy to render what his views are and how he would potentially write legal opinions for the Supreme Court. In that respect, we urge the US Senate to quickly confirm Judge Gorsuch and applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to nominate a judge in the mold of the late Justice Scalia.

Free screening of VOICELESS at US Supreme Court

For the first time ever, U.S. Supreme Court officials have given permission for a movie to be shown on the public sidewalk in front of the historic building. This is the exact space that we have held protests and rallies, cheered and mourned when Supreme Court decisions were delivered, and prayed for the end of the abortion.

We ask that you join us on this very sidewalk this coming Sunday, October 2nd at 6:30 P.M where there will be a historic, free showing of the pro-life film “Voiceless” – before it even hits theaters next week.

The award-winning film “Voiceless” introduces viewers to a discharged soldier who discovers an abortion facility operating across the street from his Philadelphia church. He struggles to motivate his church to get involved in protecting unborn babies, and eventually must decide whether to risk it all to fight for what is right.
Voiceless_Poster
“Voiceless” challenges every viewer in a powerful and moving way to be a voice for ending abortion and embracing and caring for women with unexpected and challenging pregnancies.

There will also be a candlelight prayer vigil as part of the film presentation. The day after the film’s screening is when the U.S. Supreme Court opens their new session and we want to pray for wisdom and guidance. The direction of the Supreme Court is also of critical importance in the upcoming presidential election.

The nearest Metro Stops are: Union Station and Capitol South and there is ample on street parking. The address of the Supreme Court is 1 1st St NE, Washington, DC.

Please share with all your Facebook friends and on social media and let’s be “a voice for the Voiceless!”

We Won!

What an incredible day today. I am overwhelmed for having witnessed and been a part of this huge victory for religious freedom, women and all Americans.

I got to stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday morning as the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius decision was handed down to shouts of joy. It was amazing and awe-inspiring. After the Justices upheld Obamacare two years ago, I was incredibly disheartened. It was devastating. And then not long after, the Obama Administration, under Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, issued the HHS abortion pill mandate, which forced every employer to purchase abortion-inducing drugs for their employees, regardless of whether or not the employer had strongly held religious beliefs against such pills.kristan

The Supreme Court ruled today against Sebelius and against the Administration, saying that “HHS’s contraception mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion.” This means it goes directly against our first freedoms as Americans, namely the First Amendment and religious liberty.

As soon as the news reached us at the Court steps, a jubilant roar went through the crowd – which was mostly made up of young women by the way. When we knew for sure that the decision was a victory, there was such a huge cry from the crowd that it gave me goosebumps. I got to be right in the middle of our pro-life activists, cheering on Hobby Lobby and the decision that finally went our way.

It felt amazing to stand there with dozens and dozens of pro-life women (and men). Truly, this generation is the Pro-Life generation and, today, we got to show the nation. All the major television networks ran shots of our rally and press conference, many including our “We Are the Pro-Life Generation” and #WomenInControl signs. The visuals were astounding – it was such a great way to witness to the country that it is these young women who are standing up for religious freedom, conscience rights, the right to life and against bossy bureaucrats who want to take away our freedoms.

This was a huge victory for women, both on the political left and right. Thankfully, the Supreme Court’s decision didn’t further exacerbate the abortion industry’s lucrative, false notion that pregnancy and fertility is a disease. I find it demeaning that our President and his administration think that I need free $9 birth control to be equal to a man. Both men and women were made by one Creator and he made us equal.

Statement on Today’s Supreme Court Decision

From SFLA’s President, Kristan Hawkins:

Today’s Supreme Court decisions have major implications for Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. In the DOMA case, the Supreme Court found that the federal government must respect the rights of states to determine their own laws protecting the “rights” of their citizens, citing the ‘equal protection’ clause of the 5th Amendment. This begs the question, “Where is the equal protection for pre-born babies?”

In the Prop 8 case, the Court decided to not repeat the mistakes of Roe. They did not overturn the duly enacted laws of states with a sweeping declaration like they did with Roe. They found that the federal government does not have a compelling interest to make a sweeping declaration on equal protections.

The same logic should be applied to Roe. And the Supreme Court should follow its own principles set forth in these cases to overturn Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton and turn those decisions back to the states to extend equal protections to pre-born babies.

Related Blog: On Gay Marriage and Abortion

Equal Protection

On Gay Marriage and Abortion

By Kristan Hawkins, SFLA President

Update: Read my statement on the Supreme Court decisions

Let me give you something real quick to think about this morning:

“I really think that abortion is at the root — you could do a flowchart — I think abortion is at the root of so much that has and is going wrong in this country. I think that the number of abortions themselves, but what in toto it all means, culturally, in terms of the sanctity of life, how that’s crumbled, I think it’s almost at the root of everything. And if it’s not at the root of everything, it’s clearly had a profound impact on our culture, our society, and our politics, I think in ways that people don’t even stop to consider.” — Rush Limbaugh

EQUALITY-2I have to admit I don’t listen to talk radio that much, but last week a friend forwarded me the transcript of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show and I think he summed up what we are seeing in our nation.

This morning, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decisions in two marriage cases. They decided the bedrock of our civilization — the family — would forever be altered.

Limbaugh has a point. When we forget about something as simple as when life begins, how easy is it for America to throw everything else away?

We live in a world of disposable diapers, disposable razors, disposable marriages, and disposable lives. It comes down to one simple truth: if life isn’t sacred, nothing else can be.

I think it’s a crucial time for our movement to reflect on the immense power 9 unelected Justices on the Supreme Court have and how, despite bad and out-of-touch rulings, our movement has the ability to change our culture, which will ultimately lead to a change in laws and of those very Supreme Court rulings.

Those 9 Justices hold the balance when it comes to abortion as well.

Let’s face it — most Americans refuse to even accept that abortion is what it is. To most people, it’s just a woman’s right to choose, and it’s nobody’s business, and leave it alone,  and don’t talk about it. But it’s really had much more impact on this country than just that. It’s had an impact on the family. It’s had a profound impact on our politics. It is at the root of our cultural rot and decay.

I think there is an easy case to be made that shows how the legalization of abortion over 40 years ago has led our nation to where it is today, divided over gay marriage. But regardless of what the Supreme Court says about gay marriage, we are fighting a battle for the heart of our nation, for our civilization, every day.

And it starts right where our team is at – on our nation’s college and high school campuses. That’s where it happens.

That’s where we are told to believe that there is no objective morality, no right or wrong. That’s where we are fed lies by the taxpayer-funded abortion Goliath, Planned Parenthood, and told that saving sex before marriage is impossible, talking to our parents is unrealistic, and simply using contraception will solve all of our self-esteem and relationship problems and protect us from STDs and cancer.

And yet, college campuses are where we have the greatest chance to change our culture. This is where we can fight back — before it’s too late — against the Culture of Death’s lies and shine the light of truth to every high school and college campus we can get to.

We’ve studied history, and we know that culture proceeds legality. If you want to change our nation’s laws, start with changing our nation’s culture.

…and if we want society to start valuing marriage again, then start by respecting the dignity of human life.

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!