2016-2017: Saving Lives and Serving Mothers

During the 2016-2017 school year, SFLA groups made a tangible impact on high school and college campuses. Our groups successfully organized scholarship fundraisers, collected necessary items through baby showers, advertised community resources, and worked to increase the number of lactation rooms and diaper decks on campuses.

Some highlights include:

  • Piedra Vista High School (New Mexico): Student leaders helped 5 teen parents choose life, including accompanying several mothers to their ultrasound appointments.
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Wilberforce Fellow Alexa Birkel and her group raised over $25,000 for an endowed scholarship to help pregnant students on campus.
  • Montana State University: Wilberforce Fellow Lindsay Langhals has already raised over $5,800 for a scholarship on campus. The scholarship will help pregnant students on campus.

SFLA activists are making a real impact on college campuses. They are helping to change the tide on high school and college campuses by creating a culture that promotes life. They are on the frontlines of promoting a culture that embraces life and gives women real options!

To read more about the great work SFLA is doing please check out the full newsletter here.

To help fund more positive change on college campuses please donate here!

Our time is now.

By Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America

Our time is now.

America has a pro-life majority government. Everything we have been fighting so hard to accomplish these past several years, despite an entrenched abortion lobby and corrupt politicians in Washington — all of this is now possible.

It’s now very easy to imagine a day when Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton will be overturned and when Planned Parenthood, our nation’s abortion Goliath, will be defunded of half a billion dollars in taxpayer money.

This is possible, now. trump1

If

If we, the pro-life generation, hold President-Elect Trump to his promises.

If we hold the Congress and it’s leaders to their numerous pledges.

If we stand united, focused, and motivated.

There is no excuse.

As you know, our mission at Students for Life has never been dependent on what happens in Washington. This victory helps the pro-life movement immensely. This new pro-life majority has it within their reach to pass and enforce the pro-life laws we need until we reach the day our culture fundamentally rejects abortion. We will save more lives.

…but now the real work begins. We have to finish what we started.

We need to ensure that only pro-life Supreme Court justices are appointed, period. We need to fire Planned Parenthood and defund them of our taxpayer dollars, plain and simple.

We need to mobilize like never before and ensure our leaders in Washington will do what they have pledged.

And I’m going to ask you to do some hard things in the next few months and years.

I’m asking you today to trust our team at Students for Life and to believe in our mission to make abortion unthinkable and illegal in our lifetime. For this will be one of my greatest honors to lead you through this fight…the fight of our lives.

While our pro-life generation may be young, we’ve studied under our pro-life predecessors and heroes. We’re organized. We’re united. And we’re prepared. We can do this.

Please, stand with me. There’s so much we need to do.

This is our chance to appoint the justices we need to overturn Roe and Doe. This is our chance to defund and bankrupt the abortion Goliath, Planned Parenthood. This is our chance, the chance of a lifetime, to abolish abortion.

This is our time.

Bobcats for Life shows incredible dedication to pro-life activism and education

Bobcats for Life, a new student group at Ohio University, has started off with momentum and will effect change on their campus this coming year.

Kicking off the month of September with an Apologetics 101 training from their SFLA Regional Coordinator, they prepared for their busy month of activism.bobcatsforlife

Just 2 days later, the group put their Apologetics training to use and hit the road to Columbus to participate in “Operation Overpass” and pro-life outreach in downtown.

Following their outreach in Columbus, their focus shifted from activism to education. They gathered together with students to talk about the corrupt leadership of Planned Parenthood and held a “Meet Margaret Sanger” event, in which they educated their peers on the disturbing facts behind the founding of Planned Parenthood.

On September 10, Bobcats for life took to the road once again as they joined SFLA and other organizations in Cleveland Ohio to protest the “All-access” event and Pro-abortion concert led by Sia. These students left at 11am for the Women Betrayed rally in Cleveland, and didn’t get home until 1:30am the next day! Talk about dedication!

Only a few days later, Bobcats for Life invited Created Equal onto their campus to participate in abortion victim image (AVI) outreach, and were met with hostility from their student body. Bobcats for Life stood strong in their defense of the pre-born in the midst of large protests and vicious attacks from one of their peers. Regardless of these attacks, the very next day, group held a resource drive for their pregnancy resource center just outside their local grocery store!

Bobcats for life concluded their month by hosting the SFLA fall tour “The Cycle of Corruption”, educating their peers about the relationship between abortion big business and political corruption. Again, they were met with resistance, but this time from their school administration. Bobcats for Life are determined to spread the pro-life message on their campus, and seem fearless in the face of controversy.

Because of their dedication and passion, we are awarding Bobcats for life at Ohio University SFLA’s September Group of the Month. Keep up the good work!

NEBRASKA HIGH SCHOOL DISCRIMINATES AGAINST STUDENTS FOR LIFE CLUB

Can you call the Gretna HS Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Riley, and tell him to approve the Students for Life club so that Bridget can educate her peers on this crucial issue of abortion?

His phone number is 402-332-3265.

School administrators at Gretna High School and the school’s attorneys have received a demand letter from Students for Life of America’s law firm, the Thomas More Society, on behalf of student Bridget Christensen. The letter charges that Gretna High School has unconstitutionally discriminated against Bridget by denying her the right to form a school-sponsored Students for Life club at Gretna High School.

“Pro-life students have every right to form a club as any other student in high school and cannot be discriminated against for their pro-life views,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Bridget’s rights were breached when the high school denied her request to form a Students for Life group in order to educate and inform her peers on the tragedy of abortion and to help those facing unplanned, crisis pregnancies. Just because the school may not agree with the pro-life position, doesn’t give them the right to not allow the club to exist.”

Bridget Christensen, a junior at Gretna High School in Gretna, Nebraska, right outside Omaha, attempted to start a Students for Life club but she met resistance from school administrators. They told her that the club was too “religious”, which is not only untrue of the Students for Life club but also an illegal reason to deny the existence of the group. The school also said the Students for Life club is “controversial,” also an illegal reason to deny the group.

“Instead of dedicating my time to educating my peers about abortion and creating a Bridget Christensonstrong Students for Life group at my high school that could be resource for those students facing unplanned pregnancies, I’ve been forced to argue against my own school administrators and fight for my First Amendment rights,” said Bridget Christensen, a junior at Gretna High School. “My school administration has been treating me and my friends who want to the start the Students for Life club like second class citizens by not allowing us to be a school-sponsored club, even though they allow many other clubs that may be considered controversial. This double standard is discrimination and it’s wrong.”

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Jocelyn Floyd, who serves as lead counsel for Students for Life of America’s high school clubs, noted that the Gretna High School administration response reflects a common misunderstanding of the law.  Thomas More Society attorneys have tackled similar scenarios in California, Iowa, Nevada, North Dakota and Virginia. “Pro-life students are simply asking for equal treatment,” said Floyd, “and this school’s rationale for denying the group is that the club doesn’t tie in with school curriculum—but neither do most of their other clubs. These dismissive bans on pro-life clubs are unlawful and violate the First Amendment.  If the school has a chess club, service club, gay-straight alliance, movie club, or any other extracurricular group, they may not exclude a Students for Life club.”

As Thomas More Society states in their demand letter, the District’s refusal to officially recognize the Students for Life club as a proper student organization constitutes a violation of the students’ rights under both the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Students for Life of America and the Thomas More Society request that the school promptly approve the Students for Life club at Gretna High School.

Link to the demand letter here: LINK

Can you call the Gretna HS Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Riley, and tell him to approve the Students for Life club so that Bridget can educate her peers on this crucial issue of abortion?

His phone number is 402-332-3265.

Situation at Ohio University

Our new Cycle of Corruption campus display, which reveals how Planned Parenthood, a taxpayer-funded organization and the nation’s largest abortion provider, also buys off politicians so that they are free to do as many abortions as possible and rake in revenue, is at Ohio University today and students have already encountered a problem.

The University, which is a public university, is demanding our students not hand out postcards which correspond to the display. They define passing out postcards as solicitation. They are telling our students that they need to stand behind their table (and smile) and are threatening to call the university’s police.

Our attorneys are looking into this but here is the conversation between our Regional Coordinator and the campus representative:

 

The Students for Life group at Ohio University got creative in order to get their information out:

ohio ohio1

New Faith Foundations Program Seeks to Build Pro-Life Leaders in Catholic & Christian High Schools

We at Students for Life of America, the nation’s largest pro-life youth organization, are proud to announce a brand new program aimed at developing dynamic, thoughtful and persuasive pro-life leaders in Catholic and Christian high schools, called Faith Foundations.

Close to half of the pro-life groups that work with SFLA are high school clubs and many are religiously-affiliated. However, this is a tiny amount compared to the number of faith-based high schools in existence in the country, many of whom lack a pro-life group or where their administrators are wary of bringing the pro-life message into their schools.

“Perhaps somewhat shockingly, we have encountered resistance to letting a pro-life group exist at Catholic and Christian high schools because administrators fear controversy or believe that abortion is solely a political issue,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of SFLA. “While these faith-based schools adhere to the pro-life position, they aren’t teaching the pro-life philosophy and theology in a way that they are able to build pro-life leaders, ones who will be knowledgeable and persuasive in their explanation of why they are pro-life. Faith Foundations is going to change that.”

Faith Foundations is partnering with Healing the Culture to provide faculty advisors and student pro-life groups with a dynamic and structured curriculum that presents the logical and natural law principles of the pro-life message in a way that allows students to understand the why of their beliefs. SFLA has also partnered with the Culture Project to identify pro-life students at their numerous presentations at schools on the dignity of human life and chastity.

“We’re excited that our partnership with SFLA will allow thousands of high school students to receive the deep, philosophical formation that can transform them into powerful pro-life evangelists in this culture,” said Camille Pauley, President and CEO of Healing the Culture. “Healing the Culture’s learning program is anchored to principles of logic, justice, ethics and human rights that have been known for many centuries and even millennia, yet we present this using contemporary methods that work for young people who are growing up in a relativistic, post-Christian culture.”

Faith Foundations will work with both Christian and Catholic high schools but will put particular emphasis on Catholic schools during this initial launch of the program as its seeks to partner with dioceses around the country to complement the work they are already doing, and grow the activity of the youth in that diocese.

“There is a huge misconception that pro-life groups already exist at faith-based schools and that all students at these high schools are pro-life and can speak to the reasons why, but that’s not just the case,” said Lauren Castillo, Director of Faith Foundations. “The reality is that there are many Catholic and Christian high schools without a pro-life group and those that have one will only go to the National or local March for Life and not do any other activities that engage their peers. We want to identify those motivated students and activate them to do more to meaningfully reach their peers with the reality of abortion, it’s life-affirming alternatives, and connect them with local pro-life resources like a pregnancy resource center.”

“As SFLA expands and grows and continues to make abortion unthinkable, creating enthusiastic pro-life leaders at faith-based high schools is a natural next step and we are thrilled to be able to launch Faith Foundations, with its own dedicated staff, to grow the pro-life generation,” said Hawkins.

For a Q&A with Lauren Castillo about Faith Foundations, see this link.

Q&A with new Faith Foundations Director

Faith Foundations is a brand new program at Students for Life of America aimed at developing dynamic, thoughtful and persuasive pro-life leaders in Catholic and Christian high schools. Lauren Castillo is heading it up and here is a Q&A with her so she can tell you in her own words about the program, its goals, and why it is needed.

 SFLA: Lauren, can you tell us about yourself a little and why you are heading up Faith Foundations?
Lauren Castillo: I am a wife and mom of two and our family lives in Denver. I went to a Jesuit Catholic High School and Regis University another Catholic school. I believe in the mission of Faith Foundations to help Catholic high schools across the nation build their students into pro-life leaders and grow the number of Students for Life groups at those schools. Having received a Catholic education, I know that being pro-life is at the heart of who we are as Christians. By educating students about the philosophical foundations behind the why of their pro-life beliefs and training them to articulate that message both compassionately and effectively, we are helping put their faFaith Foundationsith into action. That action enables them to tangibly bring needed resources and education to their peers, who are the generation most target by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. I know that be reaching these students in high school we are helping them not only know why they are pro-life from a human rights perspective that is aligned with Catholic teaching, but they are growing as pro-life activists for life who will instrumentally impact the movement and their communities.

SFLA: What is Faith Foundations? Who are the organizations you are partnering with and what do they do?
LC: We are partnering with Healing the Culture and the Culture Project. Healing the Culture is partnering with us to bring their unique curriculum to these high schools around the country. They have a curriculum that has been translated into a kit that our field team members give to students and train them on so they are able to learn more about their pro-life beliefs from a philosophical perspective and put their learning into events that educate their school community. The Culture Project does dynamic presentations at schools to help students see their sexuality in a healthy, life affirming integrated way. Faith Foundations aims to start and grow the activity level of groups at faith-based high schools, therefore increasing the members of the pro-life generation and future college Students for Life leaders. It meets the need for solid Christian theological teaching and helps young people understand the richness of living a life of sexual integrity and virtue.

SFLA: What are the goals of Faith Foundations?
LC: We want to increase the number of Students for Life groups at Catholic high schools across the country. The vision is to have a strong, active, and vibrant pro-life presence at every Catholic high school across our nation.

SFLA: Will Faith Foundations be primarily for Catholic schools or will you be reaching out to Christians schools as well?
LC: Right now we are placing an emphasis on Catholic schools. But we are certainly working with Christian schools as well.

SFLA: Why is Faith Foundations a unique endeavor? What was the inspiration behind founding Faith Foundations? Why is it needed?
LC: Students for Life of America has over the years identified a struggle of building strong pro-life groups at Catholic schools and are answering that with Faith Foundations. Sometimes the struggle is because there is a lack of time teachers are able to talk to their students about abortion. Other times it is a lack of resources or knowledge for presenting in a way that reaches and activates students to do something about it. And honestly sometimes the administration feels this issue is only political.

Almost half of the 1,043 groups we have across the country are high school groups. And the majority of those are religiously affiliated. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We could be reaching so many more students if we had a presence at every Catholic high school. Can you image how much faster abortion will be not only abolished but unthinkable if we are able to educate and mobilize young Catholic students in every state to engage their schools and communities? It is a powerful and yet daunting vision, but we are working towards it. By partnering with Healing the Culture and the Culture Project we are able to reach even more young people who are committed to saving lives and helping others.

 

SFLA: How do you think Faith Foundations will positively impact students?
LC: By reaching these students in high school, we are working with them at a crucial part of their lives. Many are starting to question why they are pro-life or how they will defend their view once they go to college and are asked to defend it by someone who is as pro-choice as they are pro-life. They will receive high caliber education through this program on the philosophical and tangible human rights perspective of the pro-life belief. And this is all aligned with Catholic doctrine. I have no doubt that once these groups are trained, they will educate their peers what they have learned, promote resources, get connected with local pro-life organizations, and many will become pro-life missionaries in their future.

By satiating their craving for truth about this crucial social issue, we are building them up as leaders who not only recognize the largest human rights injustice in our country, are not only bothered by it, but are putting their faith into action to stop it. These young leaders are who will continue to build the important infrastructure that help those in need facing unplanned or difficult pregnancies. Once these students join the pro-life generation, they are in it for life.

SFLA: Is there a large educational aspect to Faith Foundations? How will that be implemented?
LC: Yes, there is. Healing the Culture’s curriculum is a huge foundational element of the program and kit. The students will receive a great informative background of the pro-life view not only from philosophy, theology, but also from the human rights perspective. This enables the students to talk to their peers in a tangible way that makes sense to them. Each week or month at their meetings they will have different ways to learning through this program. It ranges from informative videos, in person trainings from apologetics to leadership, flash cards, and tangible challenges to put together events that ties in all that they have learned to reach their peers.

SFLA: What kind of resources will Faith Foundations offer schools/groups?
LC: In our partnership with Healing the Culture, we have built a kit that the students will receive. Through the kit, our Regional Coordinators are able to give the faculty advisors and students the structure, knowledge, and ideas for events that will last the entire school year. They won’t have to re-create the wheel. It’s all there. Our Regional Coordinators are even available to travel and meet with the students to train them in person at the convenience of the teachers and administration.

Being a resource organization, Students for Life of America is really able to equip these groups with endless resources ranging from education to support and resources.

SFLA: What’s a common misconception people have about pro-life groups in Catholic schools?
LC: Either that they exist or are really active. The reality is that there are many Catholic schools without a pro-life group and many that have one, will go to the National or local March for Life and not do any other activities that engage their peers. We want to identify those motivated students and activate them to do more to meaningfully reach their peers with the reality of abortion, it’s life-affirming alternatives, and connect them with local pro-life resources like a pregnancy resource center.

Another misconception is that these students don’t have to do any education with their peers, because there is a widespread assumption that every student attending a Catholic school is pro-life. That is not a reality. There are students who are not pro-life or who grew up pro-life and start to question why they are pro-life. That is why these students must reach their peers. Every Catholic student at these schools should learn to articulate effectively why they are pro-life and be able to defend their view point compassionately.

SFLA: Will you be working with Catholic dioceses to organize Faith Foundations in schools?
LC: Definitely. Catholic dioceses are already doing amazing work to help educate and gather their pro-life students together for events, most notable local and national Marches for Life. We will be working closely with Dioceses in each region to reach their pro-life students, compliment the work they are already doing, and grow the activity of the youth in that diocese. We have already been able to work with numerous dioceses to meet with the Catholic school’s superintendents and theology teachers to present the Faith Foundations program.

SFLA:  How can people get involved in helping bring Faith Foundations into their schools?
LC: They can contact me! By email at LCastillo@studentsforlife.org. We can get them information about the program, connect them with a local SFLA regional Coordinator and get the kit in their hands to start the program. Once they have a teacher willing to sponsor the students as a pro-life group advisor, everything really flows from there. If you know a teacher or student who might be interested, have them contact us to get started.

 

CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY OFFERS SCHOOL CREDIT FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD INTERNSHIP

A Lifeway Research study published late last year revealed close to 70% of women who have had abortion claimed to be of the Christian faith. Gallup polling showed the number to be just over half. Where is the Christian community going so wrong that a substantial majority of their own are feeling they have to have an abortion? Are Christians not talking about other options besides abortion, are they shaming women who have gotten pregnant outside of wedlock, are they ignorant of resources for women facing unplanned pregnancies?

Where would Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry be if Christian women rose up and said, ‘no more, we deserve better than abortion’? The abortion industry would be in crisis mode if that happened.

But they aren’t because of schools like Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX, a school obviously upfront about their Christian identity.

TCU is offering an internship program at Planned Parenthood in return for school credit. Interestingly enough, it came through an email from the History department and involves “a project highlighting [Planned Parenthood’s] history in Fort Worth since it was established here in 1935.”

TCU email

This may be cheating but let’s give the student a head start. Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (PPGT) was a part of the undercover project from the Center for Medical Progress, which exposed the abortion giant of haggling over the prices of body parts of babies they aborted.

Dr. Amna Dermish is an abortionist for Planned Parenthood in Austin, which is part of PPGT, and she was thrilled to be trained by Dr. Deb Nucatola, the abortionist featured in the first CMP video talking about where she would crush parts of the baby during an abortion to ensure an intact baby body part to sell.

When Dr. Dermish was asked about harvesting a fetal brain, she notes, “I haven’t been able to do that yet,” but exclaims with laughter, “This will give me something to strive for!” Watch the full footage here.

“It is a disgrace for a large Christian university to offer credit for an internship at the largest abortion provider in the nation,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Instead of educating and equipping students on how to persuasively discuss the pro-life viewpoint and help women in crisis, they instead reward students for spending valuable time volunteering for an organization that ends the lives of over 325,000 innocent human beings a year.  And just think of the parents who thought their child would be receiving a valuable Christian-focused education at a private school. They are paying over $53,500 a year to be swindled.”

 

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.