Students for Life of America

Students for Life gives award to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

Students for Life of America
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Thursday, July 14 was a beautiful night. Not only was the District thrilled that another impending DC-area rainstorm was avoided, but those that gathered on the rooftop of 600 14th Street NW for Students for Life of America’s 2011 Summer Social were especially pleased.

This year, SFLA decided to do something a little differently when presenting their 2011 Wilberforce Leadership award. Thanks to the unyielding efforts of Maria Ciarrocchi, SFLA’s Development Director, the 2011 Summer Social went off without a hitch, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and his family graciously attended to receive the award.

The Wilberforce Leadership Award, which is presented annually by SFLA to a prominent pro-life leader, activist or politician, is named after the British social justice pioneer William Wilberforce, who was a key figurehead in the movement to abolish slave trade.

The Attorney General thanked Students for Life of America and Executive Director, Kristan Hawkins, for acknowledging his tireless efforts to protect the unborn.

“We often forget the most recognized words from our Declaration of Independence,” Cuccinelli said. “’We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator – their Creator - with certain unalienable Rights, [of] Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ And that ‘Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed’. We don’t have any other rights if we don’t have that first one.”

Cuccinelli went on to emphasize the need to garner strength in the face of adversity, and to rely on the pro-life community for support.

Before the Attorney General accepted his award, Representative Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1) addressed the attendees.

“I come from a small town of Nebraska farmers,” Rep. Fortenberry said. “Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli isn’t a farmer, but he has those same small-town ideals. The same emphasis on family.”

Event hosts included the Hon. Mike and Maureen Ferguson, Dr. Michael New, Peter Singleton, John Stewart, Ed and Deborah Whelan, Bob Adams, League of American Voters, Alliance Defense Fund, Bonnie K. Arthur, Colin and Pricie Hanna, Nancy Tanner and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth J. Wolfe .

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A fantastic semester for Students for Life of America

Students for Life of America
Students for Life of America
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The Fall 2011 semester has ended, and what a semester it has been!

The Northeast is a rather hostile area for pro-lifers compared to other parts of the country, but that hasn’t stopped students across the region from boosting their pro-life involvement these past few months.  It’s a trend that has been mirrored nationwide, as we’ve tracked more events this semester than any in the past, and the number of pro-life student groups has increased to a whopping 678 unique organizations in operation!!

In New York and New Jersey, the number of student groups qualifying for our highest activity ranking has almost tripled, and I fully expect that number to triple again by the end of the next semester!

There have been some fantastic achievements that individual groups made, and I thought I’d take the time to highlight a few of them.

• Fordham University hosted a pro-life conference in October that drew students from nine schools in the region, and organizers remain determined to quadruple attendance next October!

• At Houghton College, almost two hundred students have taken part in the L.I.F.E. group’s activities.

• Pro-life students at Hofstra University and Felician College started their efforts in October, and since then have performed or hosted almost 40 activities and events between the two of them!

• University of Buffalo’s Students for Life group expanded from a few people to dozens of interested pro-lifers, most of whom are international students!  UB SFL received national media attention when their pro-life “Cemetery of the Innocents” display was vandalized by not one, not two, but twelve abortion advocates!

• Rebecca Purdy and her merry band of activists at The College of New Jersey faced an uphill battle as Planned Parenthood has a clinic right there on campus.  This hasn’t deterred them, though, and the group (which is just now turning one year old) had sixteen pro-life actions this semester alone!

I had the pleasure of visiting 22 colleges and universities these past few months, and witnessed the birth of thirteen new pro-life student groups at schools across New York and New Jersey – including six high school groups!
I’ve also had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people that are involved in their local pro-life movement, and want to thank several of them for their support this semester:

Betty and Neil from Life Education Council; Cheryl Calire in Buffalo; Nancy Monette and Mary Skillan in Plattsburgh; Celeste Broyles on Long Island; Natalie and Laurie at NYS Right to Life; and Christine DiNovo and the entire CNY Network for Life team (especially Lisa Hall!) in Syracuse.

A fitting finale to my semester in the field was spending Monday afternoon canvassing at New Jersey Institute of Technology with Rebecca Madrigal.  She’s a junior at NJIT, and her passion for life has spurred her on to form a new pro-life group there on campus.  I remember telling Rebecca beforehand that chances are most of the people signing up would be female, but she reminded me that the campus is mostly male….well, according to Wikipedia the school’s male to female ratio is 4:1, but 4/5ths of the students that signed up were women!

This was a rough semester for everyone in the Students for Life family, after a violent car crash took the lives of Jon, Kortney, and her baby Sophy.  But it’s been heartening to hear so many people tell us that even though they may never have met Jon or Kortney, they still took inspiration from them, and I think that inspiration has been key to the successes the pro-life student movement has seen these past few months.

So take some time to rest up this holiday season, because we’re going to keep this momentum going into the next semester.  I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be the year that the pro-life student movement makes monumental gains in the Northeast!

 

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Never waste any opportunity to share your pro-life views

Sheri Krotzer
By Sheri Krotzer
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Note: Sheri Krotzer is Students for Life of America’s South Mid-West Regional Coordinator

I must admit that when I first began working for Students for Life of America, I didn’t like saying my job title. It had nothing to do with what I do for a living – it had everthing to do with the fact that I could never just say “I start pro-life groups on college campuses and travel all over helping and training the next pro-life leaders”….. because of course, a simple answer would turn into, at the very least, a 10-15 minute conversation. I was tired of meeting new people because that was part of every conversation…. the dreaded “so, what do you do?”

For a while, I felt guilty about this feeling I had. I was never ashamed of the work I partake in, but I wished I could just hand people a paragraph of my job description and answers to every possible FAQ I could imagine. It was the same conversation over and over. The reactions were often priceless – I mean, who would think that asking a simple question like “what do you do for a living?” would lead in to a political discussion? People get way more than they bargain for when they meet me.

I’m a living, breathing, walking, talking pro-life advertisement.

Join a Facebook page to end abortion here

I have come to accept this… and completely embrace it. I now OWN my job title and proudly go into great detail about what I do. I have made more genuine friends than I could have ever imagined. I get volunteers without even trying. Who knew that being open, honest and matter-of-fact about my job would have such an incredibly positive effect?

This past weekend I flew home to see my family. It had been a long time, so I was very excited to take this trip. After an enjoyable weekend (and some not-so-enjoyable sickness), I was headed back to St. Louis. Once I got to my gate, I was drowsy (I had just taken Dramamine), feeling quite sick and ready to go home and sleep. What I didn’t know is that I would not be going to St. Louis as soon as I thought. My flight had been overbooked by at least 10 people. Nobody was volunteering to take the next flight and despite my internal opposition, I sucked it up and volunteered.

By making this decision – I was able to meet this wonderful young woman who also offered to volunteer. Maxine and I started talking and the “dreaded question” came up. I gave her a brief summary of what I do and she gave me a look of surprise. I couldn’t tell if she agreed or disagreed, so I continued explaining and tried to read her. Eventually, I figured out that she was somewhat on the edge of the issue. We ended up having dinner together and talked for a good hour. Come to find out – she would be moving from St. Louis to Washington DC this week. This excited me (because she told me she had just graduated law school and was hoping to find a job where she could help people), and so I gave her my card and we now plan to discuss this more. She was so open to everything I had to share with her; I noticed true compassion in her eyes for those affected by abortion.

I’m not sure what will come of this meeting, but I can only hope that this conversation has given her something to share if she comes across someone considering abortion. You never know where the next domino will fall. Never hold back on any opportunity to share your pro-life views. I have an easy step-in since it’s in my job description, so I now take every chance I get to share with a listening ear.

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How to talk to those pesky pro-life relatives about abortion during Thanksgiving: Planned Parenthood

Students for Life of America
Students for Life of America

By Jackie Anderson

Picture Thanksgiving. Thankfully (pun intended), we don’t have to think back any farther than last Thursday to remember a house full of family members we rarely see outside the confines of the holidays, dirty sweatpants that serve as the only tangible trophy from backyard family football, and a turkey the size of the dinner table.

Thanksgiving serves as our reminder to appreciate and hold dear to our hearts the many blessings we’ve received. It also serves as one of the handful of days throughout the year that eating too many courses of homemade food, watching a dog show and a football game on the same day, and waking up early to watch for Santa in daylight are all completely forgivable.

And at my dinner table, after thanking God for my indelible appreciation for Life, my wonderful family, a day off, and the many successes our team has shared at Students for Life, I couldn’t imagine the beautiful scene in front of me being tarnished by an attempt to pass pro-abortion rhetoric across the table after the first round of mashed potatoes.

But, not surprisingly, that’s exactly what Planned Parenthood was pushing on their Facebook page on Thanksgiving, as a shameless plug for its multi-million dollar abortion ring.

Sign a petition to defund Planned Parenthood here.

Just in time for the holidays, America’s number one abortion provider wanted to make sure you didn’t scathe by another family gathering without bringing up their name in conversation. And following suit with its regular fare of lies and propaganda, their holiday showdown is chalk-full of just that.

The title of their Thanksgiving article, Talking Turkey: 8 Easy Steps for Discussing Reproductive Health and Justice at the Holiday Table, is absurd in itself. My family and I are quite comfortable basking in each others’ company, reliving fond memories, and passing the seconds without having to bring up battle strategies for conversation. We don’t have to – our lines are drawn in love, support, respect, and dignity. But for an organization that makes its millions stomping out these rights by eliminating our very first, Constitutionally-guaranteed right to live, it’s a bit more understandable as to why they felt the need to capitalize on the opportunity to play table-side preacher.

In the article, the disillusioned author runs down a list of “tips for surviving those awkward conversations” and touts points that, ironically, reflect Planned Parenthood’s completely evasive and dishonest business model.

“Remember the big picture. Debating when life begins or whether or not abortion is federally funded may get you nowhere.”

What a serene Thanksgiving image.

The concept of the beginning of life isn’t important to you, Planned Parenthood? Is that why you embark on your annual abrasive fight to continually receive over $300,000,000 in taxpayer money while performing 332,000 abortions every year? As the number one provider of life-ending, surgical and chemical abortions in our nation, this makes total sense. Cloud the definition of when life begins in order to continue raking in the funding for your biggest cash cow yet. Brilliant.

“Create a space for the listener. Ambivalence is normal. Reproductive health is not a black and white issue, and there is no one right or wrong way to feel. Be open and accepting of other people’s personal views, and instead focus on the distinction between your personal beliefs, and what should or shouldn’t be imposed on others.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to the very definition of the word, “indifference”. It’s indifference that causes us to believe that we have no business in the moral fibers that make up the world we share. It’s indifference that clouds our judgment and makes it acceptable for legal injustice to continue in order to avoid stepping on the toes of others. And its this indifference that every statement, article, and piece of literature Planned Parenthood shoves in the hands of our youth is dripping in that allows them to serve as the number one proponent of social injustice via a lack of accuracy, knowledge, and morality. Ambivalence - like slavery, genocide, and terrorism – is not normal.

And if the agenda of Planned Parenthood isn’t transparent enough through the indifference and ambivalence that they pride themselves on, let’s examine a few bold-face lies:

“Question: ‘I don’t want my tax dollars going toward abortions.’

Response: ‘Actually, because of the Hyde Amendment, tax dollars can’t go toward supporting abortion.’”

… But Planned Parenthood continues to receive over $300,000,000 in taxpayer money each year and serves as the number-one provider of abortions in America… at the same time.

So, yes, Planned Parenthood, our tax dollars are going toward supporting abortion.

“Know your facts, but keep the conversation more global. It’s good to clarify misinformation — for example, the misconception that emergency contraception ends a pregnancy.”

Planned Parenthood is so delusional when it comes to this fact that they felt the need to mention it in this article twice. The fact is, emergency contraceptives, like ella, block progesterone receptors in 3 areas, causing hormonal changes within the mother’s uterus that can terminate an already implanted embryo.

So, yes, Planned Parenthood, emergency contraception does end pregnancies.

From a standpoint that respects and supports all life - from conception to natural death, pre-born and outside the womb, from the smallest of us to those who have generations of wisdom to share – dethe argument seems simple to diffuse. Proper sex education means promoting and glorifying what purpose sex really serves, not diluting our right as citizens to stand for a moral and ethical upbringing for our children, and taking a stand against social injustice. As I engage in more and more battles to uphold the sanctity of Life, I become more and more grateful for the gifts of my life, the lives of my family, all of us at SFLA, and the many blessings we celebrate daily. And I am reminded through Gunner, our Executive Director’s oldest son, whose every day battle against cystic fibrosis is overshadowed by his unceasing joy, laughter, and insurmountable fulfillment in the lives of his parents and family, that we live in a world where over 90% of pregnancies involving physical or mental disabilities are terminated.  Yet I never stop praising God for our many blessings, and I never stop fighting the good fight for Life.

I ask that women who support Planned Parenthood’s misguided “health care” facade ask themselves whether or not they think it’s important that an organization that prides itself on providing “accurate” and “knowledgeable” care avoids pinpointing when exactly life begins. Or whether Planned Parenthood’s obvious scientific “oversight” that emergency contraceptives can terminate a pregnancy is important or not. Or whether or not a claim that they provide breast exams but don’t actually include a mammogram or cancer-screening procedures and stop short of what you can do in the privacy of your own home is enough to delve into these issues further.

This holiday season, I’m thankful for the strength and courage to continue fighting for Life. And for people like Gunner, who, because of a disability that brings out the strength and courage in him every day, shares a bracket with over 90% other children aborted every day. Above all, I am thankful for the good that will prevail in the continued days after Roe v. Wade and the tide in America, which continues to turn on every street corner and in every piece of pro-life legislation. We are the pro-life generation, and our momentum is gaining.

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