Announcing Our New Regional Coordinators

We are excited to announce our newest additions to the Students for Life of America team, Ryan Eyrich, Jake Simon, and Brenna Hartwell!

Ryan Eyrich grew up in Augusta, GA and plans to graduate in May of 2016 with a BA inUntitled History and a double minor in both Government and Economics. Ryan has always been an adamant advisory for the Pro-Life cause. Even as a young boy he knew that abortion was wrong and that every life was special and worth defending. Once Ryan started at Belmont Abbey College, he soon became Belmont’s Pro-Life club’s president. Ryan remained president for his Freshmen and Sophomore year. Besides leading Belmont Abbey’s Pro-Life club, Ryan has participated in the annual March for Life and other Pro-Life events.

Ryan will serve as the Students for Life Southern Coordinator, working in NC, SC, GA, and FL.  He can be contacted at reyrich@studentsforlife.org if you need help in his region.

Jake Simon was born and raised in Southern California. He attended Clemson University to study economics and history, where he helped to get Clemson University Students for Life off the ground, before transferring to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2009. While at NAU he continued to work with the pro-life movement in any way possible, from assisting with events to support local crisis pregnancy centers to leading classes aimed at educating students on how to better communicate their pro-life convictions.

Jake will work alongside Lauren Castillo in the Rocky Mountain Region. Email Jake at jsimon@studentsforlife.org for help with your group in AZ, WY, CO, UT, and NM.

Brenna Hartwell is an English major set to graduate from Xavier University in May of 2016. She has been involved with the pro-life community of Cincinnati since she was a freshman at Archbishop McNicholas High School. In her 8 years as a pro-life student, she has attended 8 Marches for Life in Washington, D.C., organized teams for a local annual pro-life 5k, collaborated with Pregnancy Resource Centers around Cincinnati, and organized many events hosted by Xavier’s Students for Life group, such as their annual Pumpkin Memorial. As a new member of the team, she looks forward to using her experience working with other pro-life students along with her skills as a writer to help Students for Life of America to empower the Pro-Life Generation.

Brenna will be working as the Students for Life of America Appalachian Regional Coordinator in KY, TN, and WV. Contact Brenna at bhartwell@studentsforlife.o

Never Thought We’d Be Here

By Nicole L. Dice, former president of Bethany for Life

My head was spinning as my mind reeled over what the doctor was telling me. “This is fatal.” “It’s a severe form.” “Your baby won’t survive.”  My baby won’t survive. How could that be?  I’m having a great pregnancy and everything has been fine.  How is this happening?  I looked into my husband’s eyes as we both wept.  We never thought we’d be here, yet here we are being told to make a choice.

I always proclaimed myself pro-life and never imagined any situation where I would be left to choose whether my baby lived or died, yet here it was.  The medical specialist explained that our baby had a chromosomal mutation and diagnosed our son with thanatophoric dysplasia.  We had been trying to have a baby for almost three years and finally on March 30, 2015 we saw that double line, but now this life is being taken from us.

We are 20 weeks along and they’re telling me I have to make a choice.  The doctor explained that I should consider terminating the pregnancy since the baby won’t survive.  My mind cleared and I thought, I can’t believe she is recommending for me to kill my baby.

I looked at the doctor and said, “That’s not an option.”

She continued to explain that I would most likely miscarry so I need to take some time to consider my options.  I looked into her eyes and replied, “I don’t need time.  God will decide when my baby’s life is over.  I will not kill my baby so tell me what we can do to help my child.”  She looked at us stunned, then began explaining where we go from here.  Nothing could be done to reverse his mutation so we were determined to carry out the pregnancy with extra monitoring until we delivered or miscarried.  I fell to my knees at God’s mercy every night asking that He provide my baby with life.  I researched as much as I could find, but found little hope.

We began treating our son as though he was already here making memories with him since we didn’t know if tomorrow existed.  We read to him daily, I sang to him children songs and church hymns, and we prayed together every night as a family.  My husband read children’s Bible stories to our son each night and I often sat in his nursery telling him about all the details of his room that he would never see.

One week went into another and each week when we visited our local doctor we heard a strong, beautiful heartbeat.  Every time I heard his heartbeat I praised God for giving us another week of his life.  I loved feeling him kick and watching my belly push out as he adjusted his body inside mine.  I sat on the couch for hours staring at my big belly and telling my son how much we loved him and that we would always protect him.  I went back to the specialist every six weeks and each time they would say the same thing.  “He’s still alive but you need to be prepared that you could go in one week and not have a heartbeat.”

I knew in my heart that God would give us his life and told the doctors that my God will grant life and I will deliver my son alive.

At 36 weeks, my husband and I welcomed our son, Daniel John Dice, at 8:38am at our local hospital. Daniel let out a beautiful little cry just before he was born and he was alive.  The doctor laid him directly on my chest and I thanked God for granting him life.  My husband and I prayed with Daniel, sang him “Happy Birthday”, read him books, told him how deeply we loved him, and held him with so much joy.  We sang some hymns to him and prayed with him again as he passed away in my arms, 89 minutes after his birth.

We wept for sorrow and joy.  We were so sad that his life was short, but we were so joyful that we were blessed with time to spend with him.

I reflected on the option my doctor gave me to terminate my pregnancy at 20 weeks and while looking at Daniel felt peace that I chose life for him.  I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I did not have all the time with him making memories during my pregnancy.

I chose to give Daniel a chance and give him life, but Daniel is the one who gave me life.  He opened my heart with a depth of love I can never fully explain.  I was able to spend 36 weeks with him growing inside me and 89 minutes with him in my arms alive.  I reflect on all the memories we made with him and how precious those minutes with him after birth were to our family.  I never imagined my son would have a short life, but I feel so blessed to have sustained his life and given birth to him.  By us carrying out Daniel’s life, it has provided hope and faith for us as well as others.

Getting a fatal diagnosis does not have to end in termination.  By carrying Daniel, I was able to spend weeks with him and make memories that I will forever cherish.  Knowing that I gave him life has helped me grieve his death.

Although he’s gone, I know I did everything to provide a life of love and grace for Daniel which sustains me.  As a tribute to my son’s life, I have dedicated a website in his memory to help other families find hope.  Please visit Daniel’s website and my blog at www.OurAngelDaniel.com.

How to Dress for the March for Life

by Missy Martinez, National High School Coordinator

Being from lower Alabama, I had my fair share of culture shock when I transplanted to the D.C. metro area. The pace is much faster, the tea is unsweet (no, I do not want to “sweeten it myself”), and I didn’t have to wave to everyone I saw. The first Sunday I attended church, I was shocked by the casual dress and the fact that guys took all the chairs in Sunday School and girls were sitting on the floor (gasp!) – true story.

But there was one thing I was completely unprepared for: WINTER.

In the South, we have “winter” but it’s more like a slightly chillier fall. It will get down to 20 degrees in the middle of the night (maybe). Sometimes, there’s ice. And rarely, there is snow. During my undergrad in the southern part of Mississippi, the entire school was shut down because it was sort of sleeting. It was more like a really really cold rain. Nonetheless, school was canceled and the town was deserted as everyone hid in their homes for safety. There are no such things as salt trucks (remember the Atlanta ice debacle last year), and more importantly, we do not own real winter clothes.

Why is this important? Because every year, come January 22, hundreds of thousands of people descend on Washington D.C. to march on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in the bitter, wet cold, and the individuals, especially from the southern area of the U.S., are not adequately prepared. How do I know? Because I was that woefully unprepared individual two years ago.

The 2012 March for Life

The 2012 March for Life

Three years ago, I was more concerned with fashion than warmth. Most of my clothing was thin and from Target. It was not real, durable, water-proof clothing. And guess what… I was FREEZING. I spent the entire day being completely miserable and numb.

When you attend the March for Life, you have to be prepared to be outside for hours, in the cold, wet, snowy weather. I met multiple students last year (all from the same region) who were wearing flats, didn’t bring gloves, or just simple pea-coats. You will freeze to almost death and potentially get frostbite.

Two years ago, I threw fashion to the wind and went for warmth. I looked crazy but I was cozy. It was 10 degrees for the majority of the day with a wind-chill of zero. Yes, ZERO.

The 2014 March for Life

The 2014 March for Life

Here are a few tips when packing and planning for the March for Life.

  • Wear clothing that is waterproof – if it snows (or even rains), you will get wet. Your clothing will get wet and then you will be significantly colder
  • Wear clothing that is extremely thick, or lined – If you can find a down feather coat, or ski-jacket, that is best. A pea-coat or pleather jacket will not keep you warm.
  • Layer, Layer, Layer – Especially if the wind kicks up, you will be miserable. Find clothing that you can layer and put on as many as you can.

How to Dress –

Bottom half, layer:

  • Tights (preferably fleece lined),
  • Under armor or long johns
  • Wool socks (do not wear multiple pair. Invest is one pair of real smartwool socks or other socks made for cold weather
  • Jeans (no holes)
  • Snow pants (optional but recommended if it’s wet)
  • Thick, lined, waterproof boots with traction on the bottom. The taller, the better.

Top Half, layer:

  • Undershirt or cami
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Wool sweater or turtleneck
  • Sweatshirt or pull-over
  • Thick, lined, waterproof coat (the longer the better).
  • Heavy scarf (or two)
  • Wool hat or beanie
  • Gloves (not the cotton ones from Target. Real waterproof, lined, snowgloves)

When in doubt, wear more! You can always take layers off, but it’s always best to be prepared.

A few other tips –

  • Bring hand and foot warmers that you can put in your pockets. Activate them before you go outside and purchase them before you get to DC because once there, the hundreds of thousands of other pro-lifers will want to buy them as well at the one CVS closest to the March route.
  • Bring an external phone charger or extra battery. The cold will kill your phone battery in 5 minutes.
  • Find gloves that allow use of your cellphone without taking them off – you don’t want to expose bare skin for too long
  • Bring a light backpack with snacks and drinks
  • Use the restroom before you leave and as often as you can because most places will not let you inside to use the restroom.
  • Use public transportation and plan for things to take longer than expected. Remember, 600,000 more people are in the area than usual and it will be packed!

If you have any other questions regarding preparation for the March for Life of SFLA National Conferences, please contact info@studentsforlife.org.

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Livestreaming the Conference!

Can’t come to the SFLA National Conference? No problem, we are livestreaming it!

The largest pro-life youth conference in the world is happening really soon in Washington, DC – the Students for Life of America East Coast National Conference on Friday, Saturday 23rd. Are you going? We would love to see you but we also know that so many people who want to come just can’t make it for one reason or another.

This is why Students for Life is making it easier than ever to experience the conference without being there in person: we will be livestreaming the conference at www.SFLALive.org and want you to tune in!

This conference is too important to miss and we want to make every opportunity available for you to learn about educating your peers on abortion, helping pregnant students on campus, knowing your legal rights and a host of other key tips that you’ll need on campus this year to abolish abortion.

And this year SFLA is offering a special incentive to watch the livestream: one lucky winner who streams the conference will receive a trip to next year’s conference and March for Life for FREE!

On Saturday, January 23rd, tune into www.SFLALive.org and register to watch the livestream as the East Coast Conference takes place in Washington, DC.

Speakers include Abby Johnson, Trent Horn, Stephanie Gray, and Lila Rose among so many others. You don’t want to miss this, even if you can’t attend in person.

Tweet us at #SFLA2016 and let us know what you think!

NATIONWIDE EVENTS & SFLA NATIONAL CONFERENCE INFO!

Have you ever wondered what your life’s calling may be, what your purpose is?  We believe that you were born to win – born to win your generation for Life and be a voice for the most vulnerable so that we can see an end to abortion.

Our theme for our 2016 National Conferences is Born to Win:  Abolishing Abortion in Our Lifetime.  The pro-life movement has been working for over 40 years to end abortionBorn to Win - Theme Logos and our generation is now poised to build on the accomplishments of those who came before us, to learn from their strategies, and usher in an age where abortion is unthinkable – and ultimately abolished in our nation.

You will not want to miss this chance to be with hundreds of your pro-life friends as we to come together to network and get ready to effectively impact your peers and your community for Life. Check out our incredible list of speakers here!

Lila Rose in emceeing our East Coast Conference and David Daleiden, who founded the Center for Medical Progress and released the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood last summer, is the keynote speaker for the West Coast Conference.

Whether you are planning to travel to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life or San Francisco for the Walk for Life, there is a SFLA National Conference for you. The SFLA National Conference is the largest pro-life conference in the entire world. Make sure you register NOW so that you can be a part of a life-changing experience!

Register here: www.sflalive.org.

Other events you won’t want to miss:

 

Wednesday, January 13th

9:00am – Stand for Life Prayer Life, Richmond, VA

 

Friday, January 15th

6:00pm – 9:00pm – Youth Rally and March to Celebrate Life, Denver CA

 

Saturday, January 16th

11:00am – Northwest Walk for Life, Spokane, WA

11:00am – Denver March for Life, Denver, CO

11:30am – Bozeman March for Life, Bozeman, MT

11:30am – North Texas March for Life and Rally, Dallas, TX

 

Sunday, January 17th

2:00pm – 4:00pm – March for Life, Chicago, IL

2:30pm – 3:30pm – Portland Walk for Life, Portland, OR

2:30pm – March for Life 2016, Farmington, New Mexico

 

Tuesday, January 19th

9:30am – Washington State March for Life, Olympia, WA

 

Thursday, January 21st

9:00am – 12:00pm – March for Life Exhibit Hall, Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hall

9:00am – 12:00pm – March for Life Conference: “Pro-Life and Pro-Woman Go Hand in Hand”, Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hall

9:00am – 12:00pm – Geaux Forth, Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, Alexandria, VA

7:00pm – 9:30pm – OneVoice DC, Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hall

 

Friday, January 22nd

8:00am – 10:30am & 4:00pm – 7:00pm – March for Life Expo Hall, Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hall

7:00am – Youth Rally & Mass for Life, Verizon Center

8:30am – 10:30am – 22nd Annual Memorial for the Preborn and their Mothers and Fathers, Constitutional Hall

8:30am –  ProLifeCon, webcast

11:00am – Saint Francis March for Life, Loretto, PA

12:00pm – 1:00pm –  March for Life Rally, on the grounds of the Washington Monument, near the corner of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue

1:00pm – March for LifeConstitution Avenue between 15th and 17th Streets

4:30pm – 6:30pm – Pro-Life Future Happy Hour, Barrel Bourbon Bar

6:00pm – March for Life Rose Dinner & Cocktail Hour

 

Saturday, January 23rd

10:45am – West Coast Walk for Life

12:00pm – One Life LA, Los Angeles, CA

5:00pm – 9:00pm – West Coast Youth Rally & Movie Screening, St. Mary’s Cathedral

 

Sunday, January 24th

8:00am – 7:00pm – Students for Life of America West Coast National Conference, St. Mary’s Cathedral

 

Saturday, January 30th

9:30am – MidWest March for Life, Des Moines, IA

 

Monday, March 7th

4:30pm – Maryland March for Life, Annapolis, MD

Other local events can be found on the Official Abolish Abortion App for iOS. —>

DEFENDER OF LIFE WINNERS ANNOUNCED

10 Years of Millenial Leadership (2)Celebrating 10 years since launching full-time in 2006 and the growth of the youth pro-life movement, Students for Life of America will be awarding their annual Defender of Life Award to 10 Millennials from various niches within the pro-life movement who have made incredible strides throughout the past decade to advance the pro-life message of love and compassion for women and their children.

“We are thrilled to mark our tenth year with honoring ten incredible Millennials, an age group that trend more pro-life than their parents and grandparents and who are passionate about their pro-life beliefs,” said Tina Whittington, executive Vice President of Students for Life of America. “These ten individuals are a great representation of the students we work with and the many pro-life organizations that we partner with in order to bring about a culture of life and make abortion unthinkable.”

The ten individuals receiving the Defender of Life Award as a whole are:

  • David Daleiden, Center for Medical Progress
  • Lila Rose, Live Action
  • Abby Johnson, And Then There Were None
  • Christina Bennett, National Black Coalition
  • Kelsey Hazzard, Secular Pro-Life
  • Stephanie Gray, Love Unleashes Life
  • Christina Barba, The Culture Project
  • Josh Brahm, Equal Rights Institute
  • Kristina Garza, The Vida Initiative
  • Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life of America

Past award winners of the Students for Life of America Defender of Life Award have been Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Professor Robbie George, Heartbeat International president Peggy Hartshorn, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, David Bereit for 40 Days for Life, and Chai Ling of All Girls Allowed.

SFLA NATIONAL CONFERENCE INFO!

Have you ever wondered what your life’s calling may be, what your purpose is?  We believe that you were born to win – born to win your generation for Life and be a voice for the most vulnerable so that we can see an end to abortion.

Our theme for our 2016 National Conferences is Born to Win:  Abolishing Abortion in Our Lifetime.  The pro-life movement has been working for over 40 years to end abortionBorn to Win - Theme Logos and our generation is now poised to build on the accomplishments of those who came before us, to learn from their strategies, and usher in an age where abortion is unthinkable – and ultimately abolished in our nation.

You will not want to miss this chance to be with hundreds of your pro-life friends as we to come together to network and get ready to effectively impact your peers and your community for Life. Check out our incredible list of speakers here!

Lila Rose in emceeing our East Coast Conference and David Daleiden, who founded the Center for Medical Progress and released the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood last summer, is the keynote speaker for the West Coast Conference.

Whether you are planning to travel to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life or San Francisco for the Walk for Life, there is a SFLA National Conference for you. The SFLA National Conference is the largest pro-life conference in the entire world. Make sure you register NOW so that you can be a part of a life-changing experience!

Register here: www.sflalive.org.

Other events you won’t want to miss:

 Pro-Life Future Happy Hour, Friday, January 22nd (register here)

West Coast Youth Rally & Movie Screening, Saturday, January 23rd (register here)

7 Reasons Why We Are Looking Forward to 2016 as Pro-Lifers

While 2015 has been an incredible year for the pro-life movement (see reasons why here) as we continue to move towards making abortion unthinkable, defunding Planned Parenthood and overturning Roe v. Wade, Students for Life of America is looking forward to an even better 2016. Here are seven reasons why:

1. The March for Life and Walk for Life in January

These two annual events are packed with young pro-lifers ready to show their support for moms and preborn babies. Everywhere you look, you see the next generation of pro-lifers ready and willing to stand up for life. It’s so encouraging to see this and to know that this is the where the pro-life movement is heading. At last year’s March for Life, over 70 Millennials dropped what they were doing after marching for life and headed over to Rep. Renee Ellmers’ office to tell her that Millennials are pro-life and that they can’t be used for political footballs. Recall that Rep. Ellmers blamed Millennials as her reason to stop the vote in the House on a bill that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks.

march

2. The Students for Life of America National East and West Coast National Conferences

Our annual conferences are beacons of hope and encouragement for pro-life students to get trained and educated before they head back to school. We host the best leaders in the pro-life movement to talk to students on apologetics, media, their legal rights, and how to help pregnant moms on campus. Our attendees tell us every year that this is their favorite event of the year and that they always leave so much more excited and ready to go out to college and abolish abortion. Register here!

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3. Continuing to expose Planned Parenthood on campus

This past semester, Students for Life of America brought our Planned Parenthood Project display to 78 college campuses, exposing the abortion giant for their shady businesses practices and giving students the opportunity to talk to their peers about the Center for Medical Progress videos. SFLA is planning to continue to expose Planned Parenthood on campus this year and make sure we get to their target clientele before they do.

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4. Supreme Court hearing on the Texas abortion law

This is going to be the biggest abortion case that Supreme Court will hear in recent memory. They will decide the constitutionality of admitting privileges of abortionists and whether or not abortion facilities have to meet the standards of all other outpatient facilities. The abortion industry is up in arms about the case because the law has already closed many Texas abortion facilities who refuse to make their facilities safer for women. SFLA will be there at the hearing and we are looking forward to making our voices of young people heard on the case.

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5. The #WomenBetrayed Cross-Country Bus Tour

Planned Parenthood has betrayed women and sold their babies for parts. They cannot be trusted and the last thing they care about is women’s health. It’s all about the bottom line for them and SFLA is taking that message across the country in the Spring on a national bus tour from California to Washington, DC! www.womenbetrayed.com

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6. Record number of pro-life legislation

Pro-life legislation introduced on the state level continues to rise and we expect 2016 to be no different.  New laws against aborting babies based on a diagnosis of Down Syndrome is expected to be introduced in Missouri and a bill regulating the disposal of fetal tissue will be introduced in Ohio. Other states are likely to follow suit.

7. Electing a new pro-life president

Every election matters but this election, after eight years of the Obama Administration – the most pro-abortion president the nation has ever had, is crucial. At the end of this year, the US Senate used a process called Reconciliation to defund Planned Parenthood of nearly 90% of the taxpayer dollars they receive every year. This was a huge development since the Senate has never voted to defund the nation’s abortion giant. By using the same process, both Houses in Congress can pass the bill again and defund Planned Parenthood – and with a pro-life president, that ends a significant amount of tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood. Every pro-lifer needs to Vote Pro-Life First this election!

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Merry Christmas from Students for Life of America!

Christmas is a time of peace and joy. Students for Life was overjoyed to get this note below from Purdue Students for Life, especially during this Christmas season.

“I think it’s really important to give feedback as soon as possible when something happens. I wanted to personally let you know, and not wait until break was over, that someone else contacted our new pregnancyhelppurdue email address last night. I’m not going to divulge her details, however, I want you to know that she is keeping her child, is six weeks along, and is in a lot of pain in many ways we cannot fully understand. She reached out to us for help, and that’s what we’re here for. I’m meeting her later this week, and we’ll see where we go from there.

I just wanted to thank you all, because it’s your work, your flyering, your drop cards, everything that allowed this young woman to feel safe contacting us. We have no idea how many hurting women and men are on this campus, and we have no way of knowing exactly how she saw the email. The important thing is that you need to know that everything you’re doing is reaching people, making a difference, and worth it. If we can only help one person, just a little bit, we’re doing what we’re here to do. Thank you for all you’re doing for this club! Please keep this young woman in your thoughts this week especially.” 

Merry Christmas to all, especially the pro-life students working to make our world more welcoming for babies and their mothers!

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