Click here to read my Spring 2017 Newsletter!
As 4 of us ladies from SFLA spent today unwinding from the Women’s March yesterday, we decided to document 10 of the top things we were told. Gotta love “feminism”
WARNING: OFFENSIVE CONTENT BELOW. READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION
- “7 out of 10 of you will have an abortion”
- I doubt that.
- “If you found out the baby was gay you would abort it? Muslim?”
- No. We actually are consistently pro-life.
- “Have you adopted a kid with AIDS?”
- as if you can’t speak out against the injustice of abortion if you haven’t adopted a kid with HIV/AIDS
- “I hope you get raped and have to have an abortion”
- “You aren’t welcome here.” -from a man
- that’s awkward
- “Just wait until you have an unplanned pregnancy, then you will have an abortion. I have seen it happen a million times.”
- Make that 57 million times 🙁
- “MY BODY MY CHOICE!” -from a man
- Dude, you’re a dude.
- “YOU BETRAY WOMEN”
- We are women.
- “We should start burying our menstrual blood.”
- please stop.
- “BIRTH CONTROL FOR MEN!”
- Men consistently take birth control…pshhh right.
Click here to read my 2016 Christmas Newsletter!
Merry Christmas everyone 🙂
Click here to read my Fall 2016 Newsletter!
On August 6, students across the country participated in SFLA’s National Pro-Life Gen Sidewalk Day. Students peacefully prayed and sidewalk counseled at their local abortion facility. In the Midwest, we had students in Bellevue, Lincoln, Des Moines, Aurora, Granite City, St. Louis, and Overland Park. Read some of our students’ recaps of the day below!
We arrived at our local Planned Parenthood at 7 am to find that it was closed, we were expecting to have around 30 people there to pray throughout the morning. After seeing it was closed, a group of five of us went to Bellevue, Nebraska abortion facility. There was another group out there and we prayed with them. After about 45 minutes of no cars coming into the parking lot, I called to see if it was open. They were not taking any appointments that day. I thought it was ironic how it was so difficult to find a facility that promotes easy access. Our group then packed up to go to Omaha’s 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). 10 minutes later in our conversation, he admitted that he knew what was going on inside the facility was bad. He said he would look at the website abortionworker.com. I truly believe we planted some seeds in that worker on Saturday. We also referred 2 other workers to the abortion worker website and gave 3 women literature of our pregnancy centers. The day turned into a road trip, but we saw many graces come out of it. – Alexa B.
Overland Park, KS
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. – Marin B.
The pro-life gen was on fire at the Aurora, IL Planned Parenthood! We began at 6:30 in the morning and were chalking while the workers arrived. Throughout the course of the day we had about 10 young people (in addition to the regular sidewalk counselors) come out to pray, sidewalk counsel, and witness for life.
There was a family, with a 4 year old boy named Isaac, that came out to sidewalk counsel on Saturday. Isaac’s presence really kept us going. Even though he barely had any clue where he was or what his family was doing, he was so energetic and happy. We even recruited him to help with our chalk!
I found Aurora to be insanely difficult to sidewalk counsel at because it is so closed off. Planned Parenthood has planted trees around nearly the entire facility and the parking lot and entrance are private property. They also play loud music to try to distract from the pro-life presence. It makes it very hard to reach out to the women entering the clinic; but, I think that just illustrates why it’s so important that the pro-life gen is out there and ready to be a loving presence! – Brie H.
Granite City, IL
On National Pro-Life Generation Sidewalk Day, five students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Edwardsville came together to stand in peaceful and prayerful counseling outside of Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, IL. While there, they were able to spread a message of love and support through contact with patients, family members, and clinic workers. When a confrontational family member approached them, the students were able to vocalize their purpose through a respectful conversation that led to the gentleman thanking them for their offering of resources. Because of the training received from SFLA and Sidewalk Advocates for Life, the students were able to influence lives and spread their belief that pro-life is pro-love. – Kasey Schwartz
So it shouldn’t be a shock that the Midwest has some pretty stellar students…and I talk about my students like a proud grandma #noshame.
At the end of each semester, SFLA’s Regional Coordinators go through all the work our groups have done. I thought this would be a great time to share with you JUST A FEW of the HUNDREDS of amazing things the Midwest SFLA groups completed this Spring!
Awesome event ideas!
- Willows Academy in Illinois collected over 4,000 diapers for their local PHC!
- Mizzou SFL placed a flyer on every 4th seat in the big lecture halls on campus in order to show students ¼ of their generation is gone to abortion.
- Beckman Catholic had a pizza party because the Planned Parenthood they regularly prayed at closed!!!!
- University of Kearney SFL hosted a free babysitting night
- Quincy University held a SWOS tabling event to find ways to better pregnant/parenting resources on campus
- Multiple groups hosted a Cemetery of the Innocents display (Pictured: Wheaton Voice for Life, Maverick Students for Life, and Concordia Students for Life)
- Duhawks for Life at Loras College made Pregnancy Resource Folders for RA’s on campus
- Creighton University SFL hosted a Shoe Display to represent the lives lost to abortion
- Fort Hays State Students for Life made blankets for their local maternity home
- Multiple groups take advantage of our Event in a Box each month. Jan/Feb was a Movie Screening and our college groups received 3801 Lancasater, which is about Kermit Gosnell. UNL SFL hosted the movie screening in their campus’s auditorium and had a great turnout!!
- Ravens Respect Life at Benedictine placed a Memorial of the Unborn on Campus
- And of course…Praying at Planned Parenthood…March for Life…Cupcakes…and Chalking were the main events across the board! (Pictured: Eureka College SFL, University of Iowa SFL, and Joliet Catholic Academy Respect Life)
How they raised money
- Multiple groups raised money by selling Puppy Chow…I don’t know what it is with my students and Puppy Chow, but I like it.
- Students for Life at Dowling Catholic hosted a Skate for Life
- Pro-Life Club at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart raised money for Project Rachel by hosting a bake sale
- SLU SFL organized a Run for Their Lives 5K!
Kansas City Leadership Summit
- Our first ever KC Leadership Summit was hosted in March. We trained 14 groups (50 students)! Woohoo! Shout out to Eureka Students for Life for driving the farthest!
- In March I traveled with the Women Betrayed and We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood Tour to 11 schools. 11 groups went through the training and then hosted the display in order to spread the truth and engage in conversation with students on campus. Groups were able to recruit members for their group, promote their group and of course the truth to PP and where women can go for comprehensive help!
In April, I attended the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City for the premiere of the documentary,Abortion: Stories Women Tell. I was followed for this documentary, along with two other pro-life women, and was shown in my everyday life working for Students for Life of America.
The documentary also followed the pro-abortion side, including an abortionist that performs abortions at Hope Clinic in Granite City, Illinois. I was disappointed, but not surprised, to see that the documentary was heavily biased towards the pro-abortion side- showing the difficulties in getting an abortion in Missouri due to the 72-hour waiting period. So for obvious reasons, the three pro-life women followed in the documentary were rarely shown.
The film portrayed the abortionist as a sort of “hero” for these women who had to drive an extra whopping 13 miles (distance from the St. Louis Planned Parenthood) to obtain their abortion. The Hope Clinic unfortunately has some angry protestors and the documentary took advantage of the opportunity to portray the pro-life side as loud, unstable, unloving, and harassing people. In fact, these protestors received at least twice the amount of air time as the three pro-life women who were filmed received…combined.
The scenes including the protestors showed them yelling at the women walking into the facility – telling them to repent. It also showed them holding graphic images of aborted babies right outside the facility.
I personally agree with the use of graphic images, however, not outside of an abortion facility. When women are in the biggest crisis of their lives and scared and filled with fear, do you think they are going to want to listen to the protestors standing outside the facility calling them horrible names? No. The film proved that. The women basically ran into Hope Clinic for “safety.”
It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating because there are so many pro-life organizations that work boldly and compassionately on ending the stigma that all pro-lifers yell and scream at women entering abortion clinics.
It’s frustrating because I see the hurt and fear that women have going into abortion facilities and the anger that passes their faces when they hear the names they are being called, like whores and murderers.
The majority of us are not like that and when the media has the chance to show the pro-life movement in action, they will take every opportunity to show the ones that are in the minority, that are the loudest and sometimes, most hurtful to the movement itself.
So what are the chances that I sat next to the abortionist on the flight home? (I knew there was a reason I was in the documentary.) If I had been one of the protestors she sees every week, the ones that yell and scream at her and her patients, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to talk to her.
Going into the film, we probably both had a stigma attached to the other. I was terrified of being in a room with her, and she most likely assumed I was someone who would call her a murderer and tell her to repent.
It was refreshing for her to see someone who wanted to get to know her instead of condemning her. She acknowledged that the protestors outside of Hope are in the minority and said she appreciated how I genuinely want to help women, especially those that feel they have no choice but abortion while in school.
I’ve been asked many times if I think the film is worth other pro-lifers seeing. My answer is yes. People need to see that there are still pro-lifers out there that truly do harass women outside of the abortion facility. These people are not compassionate and do not approach these women in love by showing them alternatives.
We must make every conscious effort we have to rise above the stigma. We can be courageous pro-life warriors in love. Love is telling people the truth, but in the right way. Different situations call for different measurers. When outside the abortion facility, we know that a woman is scared. We don’t want her to run into the abortion facility because of our words or actions. We want her to run to us because we are showing her hope and love.
And I hope that the abortionist is still thinking about me and our conversation we had on the two-and-a-half-hour flight home, because I still think about her and pray for her every day.
When I was contacted last year to have a camera follow me around for a documentary on abortion called Abortion: Stories Women Tell, of course I was excited to show the pro-life perspective because we are often incorrectly portrayed by the mainstream press as not compassionate and rather single-minded. But the reality isn’t that at all – at least in my work with high school and college students. So naturally, while apprehensive, I was looking forward to giving a glimpse into my own work in the pro-life movement as the Midwest Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America.
The goal of the film, as explained to me, was to show abortion in a non-partisan light and allow viewers to decide for themselves. The director, Tracy Droz Tragos, chose Missouri for the location of the film because that is where she is from. The focus of the film was on their restrictive laws on abortion, including a mandatory 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortion.
I was followed by the camera crew to the University of Missouri last year where I was displaying the Planned Parenthood Project on campus with Mizzou Students for Life. The display uses statistics from Planned Parenthood’s own annual report who show that their business model is geared towards pushing abortion above all else and reveals the enormous amount of taxpayer dollars they get every year. The producers also followed me in my everyday life; working from home but also on the road to visit our student groups.
The big reveal: seeing the film
I was invited to the film’s premiere, which took place at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City earlier this week. I got to walk the red carpet and interact with the other people who appeared in the film, including an abortionist. I was really nervous to be around her. I mean, this woman takes the life of innocent babies every day – what we possibly have in common besides the fact that we appeared in this film together? More on this later.
As the room turned dark and the film played, it became clear to me that this was not a “balanced” film. In fact, it was the complete opposite. This was a film whose producers wanted to destigmatize abortion. They wanted to show the difficulties women had to go through to get an abortion in Missouri and pull on the heartstrings of viewers to move them in the pro-choice direction.
The film was broken up into different parts and when it got to me, I was very disappointed to see the clips they chose to use – or rather, I was disappointed in the editing. I was happy that they did show me talking on the phone to one of my students and explaining the mission of Students for Life of America, how many groups we have nationally and what we do.
But then they showed shots of pro-life protesters that we often see in the biased media. These protesters yell and scream at women entering abortion facilities. I was shown in the film saying that we don’t condone that type of behavior at all but it was still hard to see that kind of footage in a so-called balanced film on the abortion issue.
There are so many pro-life organizations that are compassionate and loving towards women seeking abortions or who need healing afterwards and I feel those protesters that scream and yell, while they get attention, are in the minority.
The conversation afterwards
After the film, participants in the movie participated in a Q&A to talk about it. I was emotionally drained at this point. It was a very emotional film because they followed women who had abortions and who were going through them. They even followed one woman into the operating room at the facility, where the suction of the abortion machine was loudly heard. We were able to hear the death of that child.
The reaction from the crowd watching the film was very cold towards the pro-life position. After all, it was being shown in New York City, where abortion is widely accepted and rampant.
I did my best to answer questions and continue to be a kind and loving representation of the pro-life movement but it was difficult because I felt like the producers had betrayed my trust by saying the film was going to be balanced, when in reality it was not at all.
The director at the beginning of the Q&A said she was pro-choice and wanted her daughters to have access basic women’s health care (i.e. abortion).
The ride home
On the airplane ride back home, I had the opportunity to sit next to the abortionist who was featured in the film. She recognized me from the night before and was impressed at how I handled myself and the compassion I had shown in the film. Because I wasn’t yelling or screaming, but kind and loving, her and I were able to have a civil (and interesting) conversation for the entire two-and-half-hour flight.
Obviously we didn’t agree but to see her humanity, and for her to see mine, in a very heated issue, was important. I don’t know what will come of our conversation in the future but she is in my prayers (and please keep her in yours).
Overall, the experience of being in the film was disappointing because of how the pro-life movement was portrayed but I do feel grateful for the chance to show a glimpse into my own work – and the great work of Students for Life and the courageous students that I work with. Abortion is the greatest human rights tragedy in our lifetime but I do believe that this is the generation that will end abortion and we will do it with love and compassion, not hatred and condemnation.
Click here to read my Spring 2016 Newsletter!