SFLA Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court to Uphold Texas Abortion Law

Students for Life of America filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court in defense of the Texas law, HB2, which demands abortion providers be held to the same health and safety standards as other outpatient surgical centers. The theme of the brief revolves around the pro-life views of this generation and how it is influencing the drop in the abortion rate.

“The abortion rate is in decline, as is the number of facilities, and it is partly due to the fact that this generation is more pro-life than their parents and grandparents and therefore are not seeking abortions and are helping friends and family members faced with unplanned pregnancies to choose life for their child,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “While HB2 may have attributed to abortion facilities closing earlier than expected, it is not the driving force. The abortion industry is in a freefall because they realize that they need to push abortion now more than ever and they are pushing it to a generation where the majority find abortion to be morally reprehensible.”

The SFLA brief states, in part:

While the significant reductions in numbers of abortions and thus decline in clinics may be surprising to some, they are precisely what you would expect based on cultural trends. Americans, particularly young Americans, are increasingly pro-life. In 1991, 36 percent of 18 to 29 year-olds believed abortion should be legal in all circumstances. That number has dropped to 24 percent by 2009…And regardless of their views on the legality of abortion, a 2013 study revealed that 49 percent of Americans believe abortion is morally wrong in contrast to 15 percent who believe it is morally acceptable.

See the full brief here: http://studentsforlife.org/files/2016/02/Whole-Womans-Health-amici-CL-CLI-SFL-16-02-02-Final.pdf

This U.S. Supreme Court case will look at the requirements for abortionists to have admitting privileges within 30 miles of the facility and require that abortion facilities meet the standards set for all ambulatory surgical centers.

“As an organization, SFLA is happy to be speaking for this pro-life generation and the fact that they are not only opposed to abortion but are passionate about helping women facing crisis pregnancies,” said Hawkins. “Our Pregnant on Campus Initiative is one of our fastest growing programs and our students look forward to the day when abortion is unthinkable. We hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold the Texas law.”

If Planned Parenthood Loses Government Funding, Here’s a Map of Health Clinics That Could Take Its Place

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Two leading pro-life organizations released a map today intended to showcase the thousands of community health care clinics that could step in for Planned Parenthood if it were to lose federal funding.

The map adds to a heated conversation about whether stripping Planned Parenthood of its $500 million annual taxpayer dollars would hurt women’s health care in America, or if women would be better off without it.

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Advocates for Life Writing contest!

Americans United for Life announces its 2015 Advocates for Life Legal Writing Contest open to law students at ABA-accredited law schools who graduate in the spring of 2014 or later. This contest is open to individuals and to pairs. The deadline is Nov. 30, 2015. Get details here.

BACK TO CLASS!

BACK TO CLASS!  As you get underway for your busy fall semester, consider all the resources thatMed Students for Life and Law Students for Life  have to offer you for FREE.  If you need organizing, planning, or event help for your group, please contact one of Students for Life Regional Coordinators in your area.  You can see this list here.  To arrange an expert pro-life speaker for your fall or spring semester, please contact Cathy.

#Women Betrayed National Campaign

Students for Life has been busy this summer helping to expose the warped business model of Planned Parenthood, as shown through #PPSellsBabyParts scandal with the release of the horrible undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress.  The Women Betrayed website has an action kit, upcoming event ideas, and talking points about how to answer Planned Parenthood supporters, which you no doubt will encounter.  Feel free to use and share these resources.

Pro-Life Student Censored at HS in Las Vegas

STUDENTS FOR LIFE CLUB AT VEGAS HIGH SCHOOL CENSORED; SCHOOL GETS DEMAND LETTER

Amy Dockter-Rozar, Principal of West Career and Technical Academy, and the Clark County School District have received a demand letter from the Thomas More Society, on behalf of sophomore Angelique Clark and Students for Life of America. The letter charges that school administrators have unconstitutionally discriminated against Angelique by denying her the right to form a Students for Life club at West Career and Technical Academy.

This is the third demand letter that Students for Life of America and the Thomas More Society have sent this semester in support of high school students who were censored by their school administers.

“No high school administrator has the right to deny pro-life students their free speech rights,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Brave students like Angelique set amazing examples for their peers both in their own communities and on a national level by standing up not only for the preborn and their mothers facing unplanned pregnancies, but for their own First Amendment rights as well. We are so proud of Angelique, who reached out to Students for Life of America for assistance, and for our attorneys at the Thomas More Society for their help to make Angelique’s Students for Life group an official, school-based club, with the same rights as her peers.”

Angelique Clark, a sophomore at West Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas, submitted her application to start a Students for Life club in December 2014. After months of no response from the school administration, she was finally told by her advisor in February 2015 that Vice Principal Mr. Allan Yee had denied the club. Angelique met with Mr. Yee and was given a variety of reasons why the club could not be approved, including that abortion was “controversial,” that a pro-life club would make pro-choice people feel left out, and that there were others “more qualified” to speak on the issue than a high school sophomore.

“I am not asking the administration to agree with my pro-life position,” said Angelique Angelique ClarkClark, sophomore at West Career and Technical Academy. “I am simply asking the school to give pro-life students at West Career and Technical Academy the opportunity to make our voices heard. We want to discuss our view on an important topic – why choosing life is important. This may be a controversial issue, but that doesn’t mean we should lose our right to free speech.”

“Denying students their right to form a pro-life club on the grounds that it’s ‘too controversial’ and ‘not inclusive’ is an affront to the First Amendment,” said Jocelyn Floyd, Associate Counsel of Thomas More Society. “High school administrators should encourage their students to engage in dialogue on important societal issues, not censor the message simply because there are differing viewpoints.”

As Thomas More Society states in their demand letter, the school’s refusal to allow the Students for Life club constitutes a violation of the students’ rights under both the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. All students who wish to form non-curricular clubs must be treated equally, even if the clubs they wish to form are religious or political.

Students for Life of America and the Thomas More Society request that the principal promptly approve the Students for Life club at West Career and Technical Academy.

Link to the demand letter here: https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/150521-SFLA-WCTA-Letter-to-Principal-and-Superintendent-Jocelyn-and-Mark-Signature-redacted_Redacted.pdf.

ANOTHER High School Censors Students for Life Club

IOWA HIGH SCHOOL DISCRIMINATES AGAINST STUDENTS FOR LIFE CLUB

Principal Steve Madson of Hampton-Dumont High School has received a demand letter Isabell Akersfrom Students for Life of America’s law firm, the Thomas More Society, on behalf of student Isabell Akers and Students for Life of America. The letter charges that Principal Madson has unconstitutionally discriminated against Isabell by denying her the right to form a Students for Life club at Hampton-Dumont High School.

“High school administrators have no right to discriminate against pro-life students,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “On the contrary, high school students have the right to form Students for Life clubs to educate and inform their peers on the tragedy of abortion and to help those facing unplanned, crisis pregnancies. We are thankful for brave students like Isabell, who reached out to Students for Life of America and for our attorneys at the Thomas More Society for their help to make Isabell’s Students for Life group an official, school-based club, with the same rights as her peers.”

Isabell Akers, a senior at Hampton-Dumont High School, attempted to start a Students for Life club when she was a sophomore, but she met resistance from school administrators. After a series of delays and denials, the school eventually allowed Isabell’s club to meet periodically in the spring and fall of 2014, but not to advertise or host events. As Isabell will soon graduate, she tried once again in February to acquire school club status for her Students for Life club, to leave an established club in place for future high school leaders. However, the principal once again denied Isabell’s application, claiming that the Students for Life club is too “controversial.”

“I wanted to spend my high school career educating my fellow students on the beauty of human life and providing resources to girls at my school, but instead I have been fighting for my First Amendment rights,” said Isabell Akers, senior at Hampton-Dumont High School. “By forbidding our Students for Life club from putting up posters and not letting us be included in the yearbook with other clubs, the school administration has been treating us like second-class citizens.”

“The pro-life students are simply asking for equal treatment,” said Jocelyn Floyd, Associate Counsel of Thomas More Society. “Here the school is trying to claim that its lesser treatment is justified because Isabell’s club doesn’t tie in with the school’s curriculum—but neither do most of the school’s other clubs, such as the book club, mock trial, or SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving). By law, Hampton-Dumont High School administrators must give their pro-life students the same opportunities as they give all these other school clubs.”

As Thomas More Society states in their demand letter, the District’s refusal to officially recognize the Students for Life club as a proper student organization constitutes a violation of the students’ rights under both the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. All students who wish to form non-curricular clubs must be treated equally, even if the clubs they wish to form are religious or political.

Students for Life of America and the Thomas More Society request that the principal promptly approve the Students for Life club at Hampton-Dumont High School.

Link to the demand letter here.

SCHOOL DISTRICT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST PRO-LIFE CLUBS

SCHOOL DISTRICT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST PRO-LIFE CLUBS
Students for Life of America and the Thomas More Society call on Fargo School District No. 1 to respect students’ First Amendment rights

 (April 8, 2015 – Fargo, ND) – Fargo School District No. 1 Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schatz has received a demand letter from Students for Life of America’s law firm, the Thomas More Society, on behalf of students Brigid O’Keefe of Fargo North High School, Katie McPherson of Davies High School, and Students for Life of America. The letter charges that the District has unconstitutionally discriminated against pro-life students at Fargo North and Davies High Schools by denying the students’ right to form Students for Life groups at their schools.

“Denying high school students the opportunity to start a club because it promotes the pro-life message is outright discrimination,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Since administrators have refused to allow students at Fargo North or Davies to start their Students for Life clubs and educate their peers on the tragedy of abortion, Brigid, Katie, and their pro-life classmates had to seek assistance from Students for Life of America and our attorneys at Thomas More Society to get their clubs off the ground.”

At Davies High School, sophomore Katie McPherson has been trying to start a Students for Life club since September 2014. For months, the school administration would not approve the application or assign the club a room for meetings.

At Fargo North, sophomore Brigid O’Keefe found an advisor and submitted her application to start a Students for Life club in February 2015. School administrators put Brigid and other prospective club members through extensive questioning, including questions about their religious affiliations, before denying the club.  After the students asked for reconsideration, the administrators turned the matter over to the District.

“I started a book club last fall and had no problem getting approved. But when my friends and I applied to start a Students for Life club, the administrators wouldn’t approve our application as a student organization,” said Brigid O’Keefe, sophomore at Fargo North. “We want to share with our peers the pro-life message of respect for all people at any stage, and make a positive impact on our community. But because the school won’t allow us to be an official school club, we can’t.”

At that point, the District consolidated the two applications and made a decision binding on both schools.

The District decided to classify the pro-life clubs as “outside agencies” rather than approving them as official school clubs, meaning that the pro-life clubs cannot use the school name in their clubs’ names, cannot host events, and cannot put up posters at school to advertise or spread their message.

“Public schools are required by law to treat all student groups equally,” said Jocelyn Floyd, Associate Counsel of Thomas More Society.  “However, the School District and administrators at Fargo North and Davies High Schools are treating pro-life students as second class citizens, forcing them to abide by a policy that was designed to protect students from exploitation by businesses, not to censor the students’ own free speech.”

The District based its “outside agencies” classification on a District Solicitation Policy intended to regulate advertising by private businesses. “This is a clear misapplication of a policy that was never intended to limit students’ speech on significant human rights issues facing their generation,” added Attorney Jocelyn Floyd.

Furthermore, despite the administrators’ refusal to allow school pro-life clubs, many other non-curricular clubs exist at both high schools, including debate teams, a chess club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and gay/straight alliances.

As Thomas More Society states in their demand letter, the District’s refusal to officially recognize the Students for Life clubs as proper student organizations constitutes a violation of the students’ rights under both the federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. All students who wish to form non-curricular clubs must be treated equally, even if the clubs they wish to form are religious or political.

Students for Life of America and the Thomas More Society requests that the District reverse its decision and promptly approve the Students for Life clubs.

Letter from Thomas More Society is available here.

The Original #ProLifeGen

Students for Life of America (SFLA) is so excited to release our new graphics series entitled The Original #ProLifeGen, which features pro-life heroes who have formed this movement and paved the way for the current generation of pro-lifers to rise up and ultimately abolish abortion.

While public opinion data can be looked at in a variety of ways, especially depending upon how the questions are asked, it is undeniable that the percentage of people who identify as “pro-life” has increased over the past several decades. In the mid-1990s only about 33 percent of Americans identified as pro-life according to Gallup. However, in 2009 for the first time, a majority of respondents in a Gallup poll identified as “pro-life”. Also the General Social Survey which has been asking the same battery of questions on abortion since the early 1970s also finds an increase in pro-life sentiment.

In addition, abortions are going down, from a high of 1.6 million in 1990 to 1.06 million in 2011. These original pro-life generation heroes can certainly be credited for the shift in public opinion and in the reduction of abortions. They worked day and night to help women facing unplanned pregnancies and to save little babies.

SFLA will continue to add to this incredible list of the original #prolifegen but those featured in our first release are:

Dr. John Willke, Founder, Life Issues Institute and author of Handbook on Abortion.

John WillkeAfter founding Cincinnati and Ohio Right to Life, Dr. Willke went on to serve as president of the national Life Issues Institute, which is headquartered in Cincinnati. He served 10 years as president of the U.S. National Right to Life Committee and helped found the International Right to Life Federation. Along with his wife Barbara, Dr. Willke wrote the Handbook on Abortion, which was published in 20 languages. Dr. Willke’s views against abortion brought him international recognition. He hosted a five-minute radio program that was broadcasted on almost 400 radio stations for 18 years and created one-minute pro-life messages called Life Jewels that were broadcasted in English and Spanish in the U.S., Australia, South Africa and Brazil. Dr. Willke sadly passed away on February 20, 2015.

 

In the 1970s, Phyllis Schlafly successfully stopped the Equal Rights Amendment from ratification, which would have made abortion a constitutional right.Phyllis Schlafly FINAL ERAMrs. Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. She has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization called Eagle Forum. In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. An articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, she appears in debate on college campuses frequently. She was named one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century by the Ladies’ Home Journal.

 

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former abortionist and director of the Silent Scream.

Bernard NathansonA former abortionist who presided over 60,000 abortions and took the life of his own son or daughter when he performed an abortion on a girlfriend that he impregnated, Dr. Nathanson founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL), which is today NARAL Pro-Choice America. But within a year of Roe v. Wade, he began to have moral doubts about abortion. By 1980, with the influence of seeing ultrasounds, Dr. Nathanson decided not to perform any more abortions and started working for the pro-life position. He produced the movie The Silent Scream in 1985, which showed an abortion of a 12-week-old preborn baby, and was touted by Ronald Reagan himself after he saw it in the White House. In addition, in his book Aborting America, Dr. Nathanson admitted that the myth that tens of thousands of women died from illegal abortions before Roe, was just that as he and a partner had helped propagate the lie in order to call for legal abortion. In 1996, after years of atheism, Dr. Nathanson became a Catholic and died on February 21, 2011.

 

Dr. Mildred Jefferson, co-founder, National Right to Life.

Mildred JeffersonDr. Jefferson grew up in the South and knew the oppression of racism and eugenics. In 1947, she was admitted to Harvard Medical School and, in 1951, became the first black woman to graduate from the school. Dr. Jefferson went on to help bring Ronald Reagan into the pro-life movement and co-founded the National Right to Life Committee.  Unapologetically pro-life, Dr. Jefferson was awarded 28 honorary degrees from various prestigious institutions and was dedicated to exposing Planned Parenthood and the abortion agenda. She died on October 10, 2010.

 

Br. Paul O’Donnell, co-founder and president of Pro-Life Action Ministries; founding board member of the Human Life Alliance; and chairman of the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network.Br Paul O'Donnell

Brother Paul was a dedicated, nationally recognized leader within the right-to-life movement, advocating for the human rights and dignity of the unborn, handicapped, elderly, and a heart for serving the spiritually and bodily poor. Brother Paul’s whole life was an offering of self for those on the fringes of society and suffering from profound neglect or in peril of death. He passed away this year on February 20, 2015.

 

Nellie Gray, Founder, March for Life

Nellie Gray FINALFollowing the Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973, Nellie Gray retired from her federal career and dedicated the remainder of her life to the protection of pre-born babies. With the help of others, Nellie founded the March for Life and coordinated the nation’s largest annual peaceful protest right out of her Capitol Hill townhouse for the next 39 years. Until her death on August 13, 2012, Nellie never stopped advocating for the preborn. She was described by Cardinal Sean O’Malley as the “Joan of Arc of the pro-life movement.” Today, the March for Life is the largest Civil Rights event in the world. The number of people who have traveled to Washington over the past 40 years to participate is in the millions. There have been countless stories of the young pro-life activists who were “born” out of the March for Life and are now changing the face of the pro-life debate.

 

Joe Scheidler, national director and founder, Pro-Life Action League.
Joe Scheidler FINAL

Joe left a career in public relations to become a full-time pro-life activist shortly after the U. S. Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade opinion in 1973. He and his wife, Ann, founded the Pro-Life Action League in 1980. It has been said that Joseph Scheidler defined pro-life direct action. Joe Scheidler was called the Green Beret of the pro-life movement by syndicated columnist Patrick Buchanan. He wrote the book on fighting abortion, CLOSED: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, in 1985 and updated it in 1993. Joe produced the videos Meet the Abortion Providers and Abortion: The Inside Story, featuring former abortionists who testify to what really goes on in the abortion clinics. Joe also produced the definitive video on sidewalk counseling, No Greater Joy and Face the Truth.

 C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General under President Ronald Reagan.
C Everett Koop

From 1946 to 1981, C. Everett Koop was the surgeon-in-chief at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). It was there in 1956 that he was able to establish the nation’s first neonatal surgical intensive care unit. During his time there, he invented techniques which today are commonly used for infant surgery and saved the lives of countless children who otherwise might have been allowed to die. In 1976, Koop wrote The Right to Live, The Right to Die, setting down his concerns about abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Koop continued to speak out on abortion as recently as 2009, when he wrote and hand-delivered a letter to Congress to voice his opposition to proposed federal funding for the procedure. He died on February 25, 2013.

LAW STUDENTS FOR LIFE – SPRING TOURS

The following Spring 2015 speaker tours are now scheduled.  A few more are in process.

Mon., March 30 (11:45a.m.) Advocates for Life at UVA Law School (Charlottesville, VA) will host Casey Mattox, Senior Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom Center for Life (ADF) who will speak on The Current State of Abortion Law

Tues, April 14 (Noon) Law Students for Life at U of Chicago Law School will host Clarke Forsythe, Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life (AUL) on Abuse of Discretion, The Inside Story of Roe v. Wadeth

lawtour