Reversing an Abortion, Saving a Life

By: SFLA’s Student Spokesperson Autumn Lindsey

A few weeks ago, my local pregnancy resource center hosted a fundraiser banquet in the community. They asked me to come and speak for a few minutes about the progress the Pro-Life Generation has made this year. The keynote speaker for the event was a young woman, named Rebekah Buell. I didn’t recognize her, and I had

never heard her story but by the end of the night, I was stunned over her message. She was seventeen when she found herself in an unplanned pregnancy crisis. Her family was angry with her. They were appalled and embarrassed. Despite the lack of support, she chose life. Her decision to keep her baby didn’t keep her from going to school. She went on and studied at a California university, with a promising future.

At the time, she was in an abusive relationship, and after she gained the courage to leave, she found out she was again pregnant. She was terrified of losing her family’s support and ability to go to college, so she searched on her phone for the closest abortion facility.

She visited a Planned Parenthood at eight weeks pregnant and decided to get a medication-abortion. She said that when she was sitting in the chair with the abortion doctors holding a cup in front of her she started to doubt her decision. The doctor asked if she was sure she wanted the abortion, but all she could get out was a nod. The doctor told her that she needed a “yes” or a “no” before she could give her the pill. Rebekah looked up at the doctor with tears in her eyes and said “yes.”

Before leaving the abortion facility, she said, “They handed me a brown paper bag, like one you pack your child’s lunch in, and sent me on my way.”

When she got to her car she lost it. She started crying because of the guilt and sadness she felt. She opened the bag and saw the second abortion pill, birth control, and some information cards. She instantly Googled to find out if there was a way to undo the abortion she had just had, to save her baby.

She found out that if you are able to get progesterone back into your body, the baby can survive. She called her doctor who said there wasn’t anything they could do for her. Then she called a pregnancy resource center who said there was a doctor a few hours down the road who could help her. She drove down to meet him and he told her that if she got injections of progesterone, it may save the pregnancy. She went through with it, and fought every day to save her baby. She carried him to full term and delivered the sweet boy nine months later.

Rebekah now speaks all over the country, works at the Community Outreach Coordinator for her local pregnancy resource center, and brings awareness to the abortion reversal pill, which has now saved nearly 300 children.

At the end of her speech, Rebekah had the child who was sitting next to her at the table come up on stage. The little boy, Zach, was the child she almost aborted. Rebekah’s testimony was not only unbelievable, but one everyone should hear. Seeing that little boy, standing there in his cute little sweater vest and bowtie, was powerful. When she was done talking you could hear a pin drop. It was the most powerful pro-life testimony I have ever heard.

The reason her story is so important is because most people don’t know that an abortion can be reversed. When that banquet ended the message that was at the forefront of everyone’s minds was that an abortion can be stopped after that first pill is taken, if you have right information and resources. So share this blog post to bring awareness to the reversal pill.

More information at: https://www.abortionpillreversal.com/page/9-FAQs/

December Event-in-a-Box: Give the gift of LOVE

When a woman is faced with an unplanned pregnancy, she is faced with many negative opinions and discouraging words. She might be considering abortion because she feels this is the only option to be successful, finish school, or have the future she envisioned for herself before she became pregnant. But this child is a gift, not a crisis.

We want to remind these families that life is a gift, and they are going to receive the greatest gift of all- a child. We want these mommies to see past the uncertainty, the fear, the confusion and experience strength and the joy of raising a child.

Give the gift of LOVE this month. For the month of December, we are partnering with Embrace Grace, Inc. to give the gift of love to mommies-to-be that are facing an unplanned pregnancy. Please take the time to write an encouraging letter to a mommy-to-be. You will find a template in the box titled “Dear Brave Girl” that will be used to write a letter. That is exactly what we want her to understand- that we stand beside her and praise her bravery and courage amid fear.

What is in the box:

  • Template- “Dear Brave Girl,”
  • Pregnant on Campus Material (good for table event)
  • Embrace Grace Brochure and information
  • An envelope with a business reply sticker is in your EIB place all letters to mothers in this, seal it well, and put it in the mail to the Embrace Grace HQ’s
  • Embrace Grace’s Group Leaders- use this to connect with one of their leaders in your region to see how you and your groups can partner up, especially over the holiday season.
    • EG- is Embrace Grace for expectant mommies
    • EL- is Embrace Life for mom’s that have already given birth

How to use the box:

  • We have provided you with the template. You will need to make copies of the template for your group or tabling event.
  • If you are doing this in one of your group meetings, have each person write an encouraging letter to a mommy-to-be.
  • If you are doing a table event- encourage people to come write a letter to a mommy. This is a great way to introduce people to your group and RECRUIT!

Please use stickers, cut outs, markers, etc. to make the letters stand out and bring a much-needed smile to the faces of these women.

*Please review all letters before you send them. Remember these are going to expectant mommies that need encouragement and heartfelt words.

Students for Life Celebrates Queens College Win, Ending Discrimination against Pro-life Students

“Too often, Students for Life groups nationwide face discrimination and denied access because of the biases of school administrators or fellow students, but as this win in our Queens College case shows, we will fight for our students and open doors for them to practice their Constitutional freedoms,” said SFLA’s Kristan Hawkins.

NEW YORK and FREDERICKSBURG, VA – (11-16-17) – Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins announced that a legal settlement this week with Queens College officials means that “discriminatory practices against pro-life students have ended. We are celebrating the change in policy that now allows pro-life students to benefit from their mandatory student fees to support their passion to serve mothers and their preborn children. And we thank Alliance Defending Freedom’s team, including local attorney Joseph Ruta, who fought for the Queens College Students for Life when their rights were violated. As illustrated in this recently released graphic, we are witnessing an epidemic of violations of student free speech rights, but wherever students are denied their rights, Students for Life will defend them.”

As SFLA reported last fall: “Last fall, Queens College Students for Life and other campus groups applied for ‘registered’ status, seeking to join more than 100 student organizations—including pro-abortion clubs—which are allowed to reserve meeting space, invite speakers, and receive funding from mandatory student activity fees. Officials delayed and then rejected Students for Life’s application without explanation but approved the applications of at least two other groups immediately.

“The college gave unlimited power to the Campus Affairs Committee to decide whether a group should be granted official recognition and whether it may receive funding. The lawsuit, Queens College Students for Life v. Members of the City University of New York Board of Trustees, points out that this sweeping authority allows them to deny recognition and funding for any reason, including unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. ADF attorneys explained (at that time) that public universities cannot refuse to approve a student group without justification and must ensure recognition and student activity funding are approved in a viewpoint-neutral manner.”

After the lawsuit was filed, the committee relented, and allowed the SFLA club to form. However, the discriminatory policies remained in place, placing future pro-life students at risk to arbitrary refusal. At the time that Students for Life was denied the opportunity to form a club, the refusal resulted in students being blocked from accessing mandatory student activity fees, more than $1,200 per student over eight semesters.

“Today’s college students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, commissioners, and voters,” said ADF Senior Counsel Casey Mattox, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. “That’s why it’s so important that public universities like Queens College model the First Amendment values they are supposed to be teaching to students.”

For interviews, e-mail khamrick@studentsforlife.org

Now serving cupcakes at the gym!

Should pregnancy resource centers be forced to provide info on abortion? We don’t force weight-loss clinics to post where someone can get fried food, nor do we force drug counseling centers to direct people to where they can buy cocaine. People go to pregnancy resource centers because they are choosing life. No one goes to a pregnancy resource center because they want an abortion.

Imagine this. You finally decide to go to the gym because you know you need to be healthier. You know getting in shape is the best thing for you. You walk in, expecting to be given some weights or a jump rope, but instead they hand you a giant piece of chocolate cake, and a large fizzy coke. They also give you a binder of recipes for future use. Cookies, donuts, lasagna.

This doesn’t fit. This is counterproductive. This goes against the whole belief system and culture of a gym. It directly opposes their message and their goal for the people who walk through their doors.

Now imagine this. You are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. You walk into a local pregnancy resource center to get some much needed support. As you wait for your turn to be seen, you read the flyers on the bulletin board. The most prominent flyer provides abortion information. This also doesn’t fit. And is extremely unfair that the pregnancy resource center is being forced to share about abortion under threat of punishment.

This is why the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) is arguing in front of the Supreme Court about an October 2015 law that requires pregnancy resource centers to post a disclosure to inform clients that “California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care and abortion for eligible women.” The law also allows prosecutors to penalize clinics with a fee of $1,000 for the first offense and $500 for the second offense if they don’t comply.

“The Reproductive Fact Act…mandates that medical pro-life pregnancy centers post a notice in their waiting room in 22 point type or provide written or digital information to their patients on how to obtain a state funded abortion. Non-medical pregnancy centers must also post in 48 point type a statement saying that they are not medical and that they have no physician on staff”, according to NIFLA.

NIFLA claims that the law violates their First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of religion. But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the argument and upheld the law — arguing that the state could regulate professional free speech and the law protects public health interests. On November 13th, the Supreme Court agreed to review NIFLA’s case.

Thomas Glessner, President of NIFLA asks, “Can the government impose and compel a faith-based ministry to proclaim a message that they are fundamentally opposed to with the risk of being fined or shut down?”

If NIFLA wins this case, it would mean that the government cannot force people to share a message that directly goes against their conscience. We should, as Americans be free to speak, or not speak about our convictions.

If  NIFLA loses, then more states will begin to force pregnancy centers to clearly post flyers that provide abortion information.

NIFLA will be represented by the nonprofit, Alliance Defense Freedom. Denise Harle, legal counsel for the ADF, said: “It is unjust for the government to force anyone to speak a message they disagree with — and to punish them if they don’t.” This seems pretty clear cut. This is about abortion politics, yes. But the underlying message here is freedom of speech. And our Supreme Court values that, so hopefully they will overturn this law that wrongly squelches that freedom.

Thomas Glessner stated the following: “This Act is an outrageous unconstitutional violation of the rights of free speech and freedom of religion for our California members. The Act unconstitutionally forces pro-life pregnancy centers, on pain of government penalty, to engage in government disclaimers that they would not otherwise provide, and to provide abortion referral information to their patients/clients. It further violates the federal Coats-Snowe Amendment, which prohibits requiring medical clinics to make referrals for abortion.”

Much like chocolate cake at a workout class, abortion information is out of place and harmful to the cause and the goal of pregnancy resource centers across our country.

#SockIt2PP Rally Recap

By David Cordaro, SFLA’s Upper Midwest Regional Coordinator

Having recently participated in two #SockIt2PP Truck Tour allies, it is clear to see that Americans don’t support Planned Parenthood.

As the Regional Coordinator in Illinois and Iowa, the first rally I attended was outside of the Planned Parenthood in Aurora, IL, the third largest abortion facility in the country. The city of Aurora did not want abortionists to move into their vibrant community, so Planned Parenthood knew they had to keep this on the hush. Planned Parenthood set-up numerous phantom, for-profit companies that slowly purchased the land where the mega-facility now sits. They told Aurora city council that they would be a basic health center, and none of their practices would be considered controversial. Soon after the building was completed, the signs went up and multiple video cameras were installed, and the abortion facility opened shortly after.

While the facility doesn’t sit within Cook County, many women travel to this center from Chicago and Cook County. From the latest CDC reporting in 2015, there were over 22,000 abortions in Cook County alone. Fast forward a few days later when I traveled to Saint Louis for the #SockIt2PP rally outside of the Saint Louis Planned Parenthood, the only abortion facility in the state of Missouri, it was reported that fewer than 5,000 abortions were performed in the state in 2015.

22,000 or 5,000, abortion hurts and betrays women, and we don’t need to look any further than the Saint Louis Planned Parenthood. 67 women have been sent to the hospital via ambulance from that facility in a span of a few short years. 67 women, all having complications from their surgical abortion procedure, being rushed into the emergency room to receive real healthcare to counteract what the abortionist had done to her. Any other medical facility in the United States that had 67 individuals rushed to an emergency room due to complications of a “safe and legal” procedure would be shut down, or at least questioned, but because Planned Parenthood has an extremely large lobby arm and millions of our tax dollars, they can afford to slide this under the table to pad their pockets.

Women are hurting, and preborn babies are dying. We can no longer be silent when it comes to the atrocity of abortion, and I am so thankful that Students for Life of America has been proudly taking a truck filled with over 328,000 baby socks across the country, and making a rally cry that we must Defund Planned Parenthood, and do it now.

Pro-Life Censorship at Christian College

By Brenna Lewis, Appalachian Regional Coordinator

On Saturday, November 18th, Berea College kicked off its BereaFest Homecoming weekend and played host to many visiting alumni from various graduating classes. Berea is a small Christian college about 30 minutes south of Lexington, Kentucky. It’s school motto is: “God has made of one blood all peoples of the Earth.” By virtue of its size, location, and Christian foundation, most objective observers would probably assume Berea is a welcoming place for Christian values, or at the very least, open to the free exchange of ideas.

Quite unfortunately, this was not the case when our “Stop the Violence” display visited the school this past Saturday. In order to reach the largest audience possible, our student leader decided to host the display during their Homecoming weekend. All appropriate procedures were followed, and the space was approved by the administration. About five minutes after finishing setup, an older couple stopped in front of us and asked, “Is this an anti-choice display?” We explained why we were there, to which the woman responded, “This is disgusting. I am a labor hall nurse and I am very pro-choice.” We invited her to dialogue with us, requests which she rudely shot down repeatedly until angrily stomping away.

This behavior was dishearteningly common throughout the day. Not long after this altercation, two administrators approached us, pulled our student leader aside for about 10 minutes, then returned asking us to move our entire display to a back hallway. At a private school, students basically check their free speech rights at the door, and we had no choice but to comply. One of the administrators even helped us move our things.

During the few hours we spent in the back hallway, we had a number of interesting conversations. A current Berea student confronted us saying, “I don’t understand why you’re doing this when so many African-Americans are killed by police every day. And there are women who are here who have had abortions, and you’re telling them that it was violent?” Again, we asked if she would stay and have a conversation with us about it, but she was intent on getting us removed and took pictures of the display to show to “someone in charge.” By the end of the day, we found it refreshing yet incredibly ironic that one of our most productive conversations was with the student leader of the Planned Parenthood group on campus.

During our last half hour of the display, the Head of Alumni Relations approached us and insisted that we needed to censor the portion of our banner that depicts medical diagrams of abortion. She was far less polite than the other administrators from earlier in the day, demanding to know who exactly we all were and questioning our student leader’s right to invite outside groups on campus. She even made a remark that our presence there was grounds for them to re-evaluate their policies regarding which outside organizations are allowed to be invited on campus (can you say discrimination?). Our day at Berea was capped off by a visit by a school Public Safety Officer who was sent over to us – whether to check on our safety, or to assess whether we were threatening others, wasn’t clear.

Receiving this type of treatment from any educational institution that prides itself on being a safe haven for the exchange of ideas (which is to say, all colleges) is disappointing enough without the school also being Christian. One conversation we had informed us that the administration is trying to decide whether or not to remove Christianity from the school’s platform – not surprising considering the school hosts abortionist (and alumnus) Willie Parker annually. We pray for the angriest of the dissenters we met that day who may have been hurt by abortion at some point in their lives, and that the leadership at Berea will respect the free speech of the students on their campus.

The school did not immediately respond to requests for contact.

BYU Unveils New Family-Friendly Study Center

By Erica Smith

Erica Smith is a junior at Brigham Young University pursuing a major in English and a minor in editing.

After months of noisy construction, the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University unveiled a new, family friendly study center. Though the sign outside labels it as a family friendly study room, “room” is an understatement. This multi-room study center contains chairs and tables for studying parents, kid sized tables and chairs, two family restrooms, a nursing room, a giant wooden play castle, a low-fenced play area, a rack of picture books, a dollhouse, several brightly colored cushions, and a lost and found bin for toys. Inside this complex are two group study rooms, walled off from the play area for quiet, with full length windows allowing parents to keep an eye on their children.

The best thing about this study center isn’t its amenities, but its location. No, I’m not talking about the study center being situated right across the hall from the library’s vending machines, although that’s yet another perk. The room is on the main floor of the library, almost at the front of the building, making it easily accessible and highly visible. Before this center was built, nursing mothers had to maneuver strollers into an elevator or bounce them up the stairs to reach the nursing room on the second story. Now it’s one of the first things students see when they walk through the library. While studying outside it the other day, I watched two campus tour guides point it out to visiting high school students. BYU has put student mothers front and center. It’s impossible for any student, be they pregnant, parenting or otherwise, to go to BYU and be unaware of the study center’s existence.

In addition to the amenities in their friendly study center, Brigham Young University has sixteen nursing lounges and eight diaper decks on campus. A new science building, currently under construction, will include a nursing room with a fridge for mothers who use breast pumps. BYU is going above and beyond to encourage student mothers to stay in school, and setting an example for colleges that are not yet doing the same.

The study center sends a message to student parents that they deserve to be accommodated. BYU is proud to be a pro-family school. In 2015, SFLA ranked them among the best school for pregnant and parenting and students, and in 2016, I spotlighted my family studies professor after he told my classmate to bring a baby monitor to class.

2017 October Group of the Month: Loving Activism

Roe v. Wade will be overturned in our lifetime, and when that happens our college campuses need to be prepared to help pregnant and parenting students. A fantastic example of what this would look like is at Central College, in Pella, Iowa.

Located in a city with cultural roots to the extremely pro-abortion Netherlands, it is a beautiful surprise to find such a deep-seeded culture of life flourishing within their community. Central College, a private college loosely affiliated with the Reformed Church of America, has a strong sense of tradition and community. When administration wanted to refer students to Planned Parenthood for health services, our students kindly reminded the college of their Christian roots. Noelle, their President, and Grace, their Pregnant on Campus Director, put together a training and resource binder for all Resident Advisors, and held a special meeting to train RAs on how to work with pregnant and parenting students.

In addition to this fantastic, loving activism, the group hosted the Stop the Violence Tour, having over 60 conversations with students, and received 15 new members in their group within just four hours. They have spent countless hours in trainings, either Plan Your Year, 5 Pillar Trainings, Equal Rights Institute Apologetics Trainings, or attending the Des Moines Leadership Workshop, and will soon be heading to Washington D.C. for the March for Life and the SFLA National Conference.

Central College Students for Life is a fantastic example of what it means to love both mother and child, ensuring resources are present for before, during, and after birth. They aren’t afraid to go onto campus and have the difficult conversations, dealing with controversy for the sake of justice. They are the #ProLifeGen.

Students for Life supports pregnant and parenting students on campus every day through our Pregnant on Campus Initiative. If you would like to learn more, please contact Beth Rahal at brahal@studentsforlife.org

Sockit2PP Tour Baby Save: “We’re Gonna Raise the Kid”

Bethany Janzen, SFLA’s Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator

It was a sunny Colorado day. After speaking at the Denver #Sockit2PP Rally outside of the Aurora, Colorado Planned Parenthood – which won an award for increasing abortion visits in 2013 – I jumped in the Sockit2PP truck for the next leg of its journey to Phoenix, AZ.

It was the late afternoon when we pulled into a gas station in southern Colorado. A car pulled up next to us and began filling up. As I got back in the truck, a guy named Dillion asked if he could sign the bright pink and blue mobile billboard. While he was signing it, he asked what the it was about. I explained to him that Planned Parenthood did 328,000 abortions last year and that we’re calling for their defunding.

Then Dillion told me that his girlfriend is six weeks pregnant and wants an abortion. Dillion was distraught. He wanted his baby, but felt like there was nothing he could do. He was ready and eager to raise his child, but was afraid his girlfriend wouldn’t listen.

I calmly listened and asked questions to find out the whole story. Why does she want the abortion? Has she scheduled it yet? Does she know that you want the child?

Then I looked a up a pregnancy resource center near where his girlfriend was moving to. Our driver and I encouraged Dillion to write a letter to his girlfriend reassuring her that he is there to support her, whether that means choosing to parent or placing the baby for adoption. We also prayed with Dillion and gave him our contact info so that we could stay in touch.

That night, I asked our team and my Facebook friends to pray.

And I waited.

I doubted that I’d ever hear back from Dillion.

But on Sunday night, I got a text from a number I didn’t recognize. A moment later I realized that it was Dillion! His text read:

“We’re gonna raise the kid.”

Do you know a pregnant or parenting student that needs help?
Find help at www.pregnantoncampus.org

Appalachian Region Update: Kentucky and Tennessee Pro-Life Groups Competition!

Brenna Lewis, Appalachian Regional Coordinator

October in the pro-life movement is known as Respect Life Month, and this year, high schools in the Appalachian Region decided to dedicate their efforts to supporting local mothers in need. Holding diaper drives and fundraisers for surrounding pregnancy resource centers is plenty reward in and of itself, but we decided to make a competition out of it for added fun. All high schools in Kentucky and Tennessee were challenged to collect as many parenting resources as they could throughout the month of October. Now that it’s come to a close, we are excited to announce our big winner (and the runner-up!).

Congratulations to St. Benedict at Auburndale High School in Cordova, Tennessee for collecting 306 baby items last month and taking first place in our contest! St. Benedict facilitated their diaper drive by using a “Giving Tree” with tags noting the items most needed by local pregnancy centers. Students took these tags and returned with the necessary items, including everything from shampoo and pacifiers to diapers and clothing. All of the materials collected will be distributed between two local Memphis pregnancy centers. For their victory, SBA will receive a $50 gift card and ten Students for Life of America t-shirts!

Memphis definitely put on their supportive services hats this semester, as our runner-up school is also located in Memphis, Tennessee. Congratulations to our second place winner: St. Agnes Academy! The Stars for Life held a monetary fundraiser instead of a traditional diaper drive, which is helpful all the same to pregnancy centers. They raised $130.25 for local mothers in need. For their hard work, St. Agnes will receive a $25 gift card and ten Students for Life of America drawstring bags!

Thank you to all the groups who participated in such a worthy cause. Being pro-life is a many-faceted thing, and a big part of living our beliefs is supporting parents who find themselves facing unplanned pregnancies. A lack of resources or funds should never be the reason that drives a mother to the abortion facility. We never know whose life may be changed by a simple package of diapers and a warm word of encouragement. My high school groups truly showed what it means to be pro-life.