As our #TheyFeelPain continues its journey around the country, stories about campus interactions continue to pack our inbox. Liana Hollendonner is SFLA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, serving pro-life students in Pennsylvania and Delaware. In a challenging area of the country like the Northeast, it’s not surprising that she had a few exciting experiences to share following some recent tour display stops.
Liana reported this story after visiting Temple University (Philadelphia, PA):
We experienced the most pushback and opposition on Temple’s campus. In addition to the administration being historically biased against all conservative clubs, the culture on campus leans very far to the pro-choice side. One student who voted for late-term abortion warned us that we were the “heathens” on campus. Another student, after lingering at the smoking station behind us, flicked his lit cigarette at us before hurrying away. One woman told us she was a developmental psychologist (and therefore had an advantage of knowledge over us) and insisted we were infringing on her religious rights by saying that the child in the womb is a person. Another adult woman called me a child, telling us to do our research and stop spreading lies. She later came back waving a Mother Jones article at us about all the women who have died from illegal abortion and will die if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The Temple SFL handled the controversy with grace and took the criticism in stride. I was very proud of their determination and refusal to be discouraged by angry people and unkind words.
The guy THREW A LIT CIGARETTE AT THE PRO-LIFE GROUP. It is incredibly shameful how incapable some pro-abortion advocates are of holding a normal conversation. But is it super unexpected? When you’re okay with dismembering babies, throwing flaming debris at people must seem pretty low-key.
With this story, it’s easy to focus on the cigarette part, but can we talk about the two adult women berating the student group? The number of adults (mostly university staff) nationwide who have been screaming at, belittling, harassing, and even vandalizing the work of student pro-life groups is honestly embarrassing. Such mature beacons of knowledge and role models for the youth.
Following her stop at Robert Morris University (near Pittsburgh, PA), Liana shared the following story:
While not a single person voted yes to the “Should late-term abortion remain legal?” question, one conversation stood out. A young man was intrigued by our question and spent more than 30 minutes trying to justify a woman’s choice. Oddly enough, he was disgusted by the idea of killing a baby and could hardly bring himself to look at the fetal models because of how real they seemed. After going back and forth with the RMU SFL president, he left without making his decision, but said that he could never choose to kill his baby. Despite wanting to support abortion for circumstantial reasons, he could not bring himself to say he supported it. We found this interaction interesting because there was an obvious natural feeling of disgust toward the idea of late-term, and even early, abortion. But to commit to being “anti-choice” was equally as unthinkable to him.
It is fascinating to converse with people who are clearly struggling with the reality of what supporting abortion really means. Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry have been so aggressive about pushing their rhetoric of choice that people are downright afraid to cross them for fear of seeming anti-woman. We hope this young man felt empowered to accept that being pro-life is pro-woman and he should lean into his instinct that abortion is disgusting.
There is nothing quite like doing a Students for Life tour display. You are guaranteed a great pro-life topic, rock-solid research and facts, training on the topic, non-graphic content, and a pro-life expert to help you the whole time. There’s no better way to practice your dialoguing skills and let’s face it – even if conversing about abortion isn’t your favorite thing in the world, these campuses sure need to hear your voice. Contact your Regional Coordinator and schedule your SFLA tour today!