November Group of the Month: Texas Students for Life at UT-Austin

Texas Students for Life at University of Texas – Austin came into November with a lot of pro-life momentum after finishing October, where they planned and hosted the Life, Peace, Justice Conference as well as a separate event with Tim Brahm from the Equal Rights Institute.SFL UT Austin

While most student groups start to ease up on their activism due to the upcoming
holidays during November, Texas Students for Life went in the opposite direction.

Beginning on the very first day of November, Texas Students for Life hosted Students for Life’s Cycle of Corruption tour in an attempt to reveal the truth behind the corruption that exists between Planned Parenthood and the federal government. They then hosted guest speaker Michael Barba from the Texas Catholic Conference who spoke on end-of-life issues. They also held a screening of the 40 Film and hosted Abby Johnson for a question and answer session.

Throughout the month, the group organized several social events including a movie night and holding their annual Friendsgiving event. Because Texas Students for Life has two designated executive board positions focused solely on freshmen connection and involvement, the group held a Freshmen Roller Skating night where the freshmen in the group got together for a night of laughter and fun. The focus of this event was to build strong relationships in the group to ensure continued involvement.

Texas Students for Life at UT-Austin finished the month of November strong with their Doodle Diaries event. They asked students to submit stories stating why they are pro-life. With the stories, they created fun doodle videos and posted them on their Facebook page.

This consistent life ethic group is a perfect example of what it means to spread a powerful, positive message in an unfriendly environment. Despite opposition and challenges, this group constantly looks for new ways to support pregnant and parenting students as well as to educate their peers on the realities of abortion and other life issues. What a motivated, dedicated, and powerful group of students.

Congratulations to Texas Students for Life at University of Texas – Austin for your well-deserved award of Students for Life of America’s November group of the month!

 

December Event-in-a-Box: The 12 Days of #prolifegen gifts

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, you’ve almost completed the Fall term! From small to large events, your group has been active making a difference at your school, and it’s time to celebrate all your successes.christmas

This month, your group can be a gift to your community, your peers, your Pregnancy Center, and even your social media following. To help you, we have created the 12 Days of #prolifegen Gifts to give you some fun ideas of what your group can do this month.

Tis the season to reflect, refresh, re-strategize, and celebrate! Because every school has a different timeline for finals and Christmas break, we would like to provide a complete digital version of this month’s Event in a Box to you. Simply contact your Regional Coordinator and he/she will email this month’s digital Event in a Box to you.

 

What’s In the box:

  • The 12 days of #prolifegen Gifts Guide
  • Social Media Graphics
  • Flyering materials
  • Group Recruitment Sheet
  • Video links to share with your group

 To order the December Event-in-a-Box, contact your Regional Coordinator today.

If you are a student in CA or NV, contact Camille Rodriguez.
If you are a student in OR, WA, ID, MT, HI or AK contact Katie Lodjic.
If you are a student in CO, NM, WY, AZ, or UT, contact Jake Simon.
If you are a student in MI, IN, or OH, contact RJ McVeigh.
If you are a student in VA, MD, PA, DC, or DE, contact Michelle Hendrickson.
If you are a student in KY, WV, or TN, contact Brenna Hartwell.
If you are a student in NE, IA, KS, IL, or MO, contact Reagan Barklage.
If you are a student in OK or TX, contact Jillian Ferguson.
If you are a student in NY or NJ, contact Keri Landeche.
If you are a student in NC, SC, GA, or FL, contact Ryan Eyrich.
If you are a student in MN or WI, contact Maddie Schulte.
If you are a student in a state not listed, contact Lisa Stover.

Our time is now.

By Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America

Our time is now.

America has a pro-life majority government. Everything we have been fighting so hard to accomplish these past several years, despite an entrenched abortion lobby and corrupt politicians in Washington — all of this is now possible.

It’s now very easy to imagine a day when Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton will be overturned and when Planned Parenthood, our nation’s abortion Goliath, will be defunded of half a billion dollars in taxpayer money.

This is possible, now. trump1

If

If we, the pro-life generation, hold President-Elect Trump to his promises.

If we hold the Congress and it’s leaders to their numerous pledges.

If we stand united, focused, and motivated.

There is no excuse.

As you know, our mission at Students for Life has never been dependent on what happens in Washington. This victory helps the pro-life movement immensely. This new pro-life majority has it within their reach to pass and enforce the pro-life laws we need until we reach the day our culture fundamentally rejects abortion. We will save more lives.

…but now the real work begins. We have to finish what we started.

We need to ensure that only pro-life Supreme Court justices are appointed, period. We need to fire Planned Parenthood and defund them of our taxpayer dollars, plain and simple.

We need to mobilize like never before and ensure our leaders in Washington will do what they have pledged.

And I’m going to ask you to do some hard things in the next few months and years.

I’m asking you today to trust our team at Students for Life and to believe in our mission to make abortion unthinkable and illegal in our lifetime. For this will be one of my greatest honors to lead you through this fight…the fight of our lives.

While our pro-life generation may be young, we’ve studied under our pro-life predecessors and heroes. We’re organized. We’re united. And we’re prepared. We can do this.

Please, stand with me. There’s so much we need to do.

This is our chance to appoint the justices we need to overturn Roe and Doe. This is our chance to defund and bankrupt the abortion Goliath, Planned Parenthood. This is our chance, the chance of a lifetime, to abolish abortion.

This is our time.

Using Student Gov to Help Pregnant and Parenting Students

By Sade Patterson, SFLA correspondent

I was setting up a tabling event for Students for Life at my school, the University of New Mexico, during Welcome Back Week in August when I got a call from the Associated Students of UNM (ASUNM).

Getting a call from ASUNM was surprising in itself, but what came from the other end of the phone was even more surprising to me. Apparently, a couple of ASUNM senators who had been voted in the previous semester had stepped down from their positions, and I was being asked to fill one of those positions. I had toyed with the idea of running for ASUNM in the past, but as a parenting student with several jobs, I couldn’t imagine fitting another role into my schedule.

Despite my reservations, I was compelled to pray about the decision to accept this position, and was led by my convictions to agree to this amazing opportunity.

My main motivation to become a senator at UNM was to be the voice for pregnant and parenting students, and meet the needs of this growing demographic.

To that end, I began work immediately on my first piece of legislation: a resolution to provide diaper-changing stations in all public restrooms on campus.

Currently, there are nearly 4.8 million undergraduate students that are parents of dependent children in this country; many students and even faculty members decide to bring their infants to campus, and I believe they should be able to have a safe and clean place to change their baby’s diaper.

I remember on several occasions, bringing my son, Daniel, to campus as a newborn, infant, and toddler and having to change his diaper on a table because the building my class was in did not have a diaper-changing table.

Mothers often have a difficult time finding diaper-changing stations on campus, but fathers suffer the most in any public area. Fathers seem to be overlooked as a demographic who are students and who bring their children to campus, and we should make every effort to equally accommodate and support them.

After announcing my intention with this resolution, my efforts were embraced and diaper decksupported by my fellow senators, as well as student organizations the Women’s Resource Center and the Equal Opportunity office.  I was able to see the resolution pass through committee and then through full senate without any conflict. In addition, I was grateful to speak on a local TV station about the issue in light of President Obama’s recent bill to provide diaper-changing stations in male restrooms in government buildings.

Despite my resolution passing to provide diaper changing stations in all public restrooms on campus, the University of New Mexico claims they do not have the budget to make this a reality at the current time. My goal is to now send this resolution to the House of Representatives and our Governor’s office in New Mexico in hopes that this initiative will be brought up yet again in state legislation.

This is the first of many resolutions I am working on as an ASUNM senator to support and empower pregnant and parenting students. Future resolutions will include mom-to-be-parking, priority enrollment, parental leave, Title IX protection, child-friendly study zones, scholarships, Bring Your Child to Campus Day, and free daycare during finals.

This is another way to be a pro-life voice on campus and I want to challenge you to join this mission. You don’t need to be a senator at your campus; however, I would encourage you to run for a leadership position if you feel led to.

It is not an impossible task as a student of your campus to support pregnant and parenting students. The best way to further this mission is to table and display with your Pregnant on Campus Initiative resources. It’s a huge source of encouragement to feel that other students are encouraging you as a parenting student.

If you want to go further and create initiatives on your campus through legislation, reach out to your student government with a list of ideas and sit with them as they write out legislation. Go to meetings with your student government and voice your opinion.

Even if you don’t have a position within government on campus, you can still have a voice for pregnant and parenting students who may not feel empowered enough to ask for help.

November Event-in-a-Box: Celebrate National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Awareness month, where we celebrate the courageous mothers, open families, and treasured children all impacted by adoption. This month, we want you to bring the message that adoption saves lives to your school!adoption

Women need to know that if they choose to place their child for adoption, there will be a loving family ready to adopt their precious child. According to a representative w from the National Council for Adoption, “There are parents who wait years to adopt an infant. There are always more parents waiting than infants available to adopt.” This statement contradicts what many women believe. This is a selfless, courageous decision that should be affirmed by her family, friends, and peers.

Foster care is also a crucial part of caring for children who desperately need a home. It’s also another way to go through the adoption system for many parents.

The latest data on foster care indicates that a child enters care every two minutes and there are over 400,000 children in foster care. Half of children in foster care return to their parents but over 40% are adopted by their foster family.

To help combat the common misconceptions about adoption and foster care, your group can spread the truth through hosting a local adoption speaker and raising awareness on your campus. Personal testimonies have the profound ability to break through misinformation that students on your campus may have about adoption.

For more information and adoption statistics go to: https://www.adoptioncouncil.org/

For more information on foster care statistics go to: https://www.fosterclub.com/article/statistics-foster-care

Whats in the box?

  • Event in a Box Planning Guide
  • Post-its
  • Markers
  • Talk About Adoption pins
  • Talk about adoption bracelets
  • Adoption Saves Lives Stickers
  • Rock for Life Adoption T-shirt coupon
  • Adoption & Foster care Awareness flyers
  • Adoption speaker promotion flyers
  • “Positive Adoption Language” flyers

To order the November Event-in-a-Box, contact your Regional Coordinator today.

If you are a student in CA or NV, contact Camille Rodriguez.
If you are a student in OR, WA, ID, MT, HI or AK contact Katie Lodjic.
If you are a student in CO, NM, WY, AZ, or UT, contact Jake Simon.
If you are a student in MI, IN, or OH, contact RJ McVeigh.
If you are a student in VA, MD, PA, DC, or DE, contact Michelle Hendrickson.
If you are a student in KY, WV, or TN, contact Brenna Hartwell.
If you are a student in NE, IA, KS, IL, or MO, contact Reagan Barklage.
If you are a student in OK or TX, contact Jillian Ferguson.
If you are a student in NY or NJ, contact Keri Landeche.
If you are a student in NC, SC, GA, or FL, contact Ryan Eyrich.
If you are a student in MN or WI, contact Maddie Schulte.
If you are a student in a state not listed, contact Lisa Stover.

How  to  use  the  box?

Educate your group

Use one of your group meetings to go over the Adoption Saves Lives Planning Guide. Educate your group on the differences between foster care and adoption, appropriate adoption language, and tabling set up information.

It is incredibly important to use correct adoption terminology. You cannot speak accurately about adoption if you do not have the proper language.

Host a table event

In order to hold a table event, you will need to use the provided tabling materials that come in the box. Obtain butcher paper (any color) from the art department or Students activities center at your school for free roughly 6’ long. Use the provided markers to write “Did you know?” across the top. You can lay this across the top of your table, or tape it on the wall behind your table if one is available.

Make your table fun! Give out cupcakes, candy, and hot chocolate to students who engage with your group at your table. Use the provided “Adoption and foster care” awareness flyers to educate students on the facts. Then, give them a post it to write one fact or statistic that they learned, and stick it to the butcher paper. By the end of the day, your poster will be full of facts and statistics from fellow students.

Be sure to wear your Rock for Life “Adoption saves lives” t-shirts and stickers. Give out the Talk about adoption pins, postcards, info flyers, and wristbands at the table.

If you would like to purchase an Adoption Saves Lives t-shirt, use the included Rock for Life coupon for a great discount on awesome adoption apparel at http://rockforlife.org/.

Host a speaker

As a group, use the Adoption Saves Lives Planning Guide to plan an adoption speaker event. Two weeks before your event, post the adoption speaker flyers (get approved by administration if needed) all around your campus. Give your speaker at least 45 minutes to share and then leave room at the end for the speaker to answer questions. You can use your table event as an opportunity to invite students to the speaker event as well.

Abortion Victim Imagery and Your Campus

If you have been considering using graphic images i.e. abortion victim images (AVIs) to do outreach on your campus this year, you are not alone.  Students reach out frequently to SFLA for recommendations in who to work with.  Oftentimes there is concern about the best way to set up an outreach like this that will best suit where their group members are at, and considering their current campus climate.

At Students for Life, we have seen AVI outreach go really well and go very wrong. But we think there is one thing that successful outreach hinges on:  training. That’s right, it boils down to how well your group is trained in using this tool to reach your campus.

Is AVI right for your group?

Conversations that stem from seeing an image of an aborted baby are just different than those that stem from handing out fetal models.  Emotions can run high, people can get angry, women who have had an abortion or someone who has helped a friend get an abortion can react in full spectrum from sadness over the child who was aborted to anger over these images imposing a judgement over their abortion.

Sometimes people react in confusion as realization starts to break through, because they didn’t know that this is what the outcome of abortion is – a dead child.  And honestly, sometimes students will just try to hurry by the images, keep their earbuds in, and eyes to the ground to avoid seeing them.

In order to have the most effective AVI outreach you need to start by working with groups who are willing to give you the dialogue training you need for the event, help you assess your campus for the best outcome, and allow for group members who are not confident to sit in on the training but then decide not to participate in the outreach if they are not feeling ready emotionally or in their dialogue skills.

We work closely with two national organizations on AVI outreach, and we feel confident in recommending them to work with your group and then walking your group through the event from beginning in training, outreach day, and then following up with any controversy will come.

Justice for All (JFA) and Created Equal

At Students for Life, we have used the Justice for All training to train our team for several years. In addition, we had Steve Wagner train our Wilberforce and Stevens Fellows this summer and are excited to have Rebecca Haschke from their team speak at our SFLA National Conference this coming year.  JFA has several different displays that are high profile, interactive and creative.  They have some versatility in their displays from ones with many AVIs, to ones with only one, or none.  Check out their work and some of their displays at their website  www.jfaweb.org and you can email them for more information here:  JFAmail@jfaweb.org.

Another great group to check out is Created Equal.  Created Equal also has a great training to offer as well as anything from a small campus outreach to a large scale community outreach.  We just partnered with them in Cleveland when abortion activist organizations, like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and NOW put together a free concert with SIA called All Access.  Created Equal’s team had great sidewalk outreach and had their truth truck and video screen circling the auditorium showing these concert goers what All Access really looks like by letting the victims of abortion speak for themselves.   You can check out their work and contact them through their website:  http://www.createdequal.org/

There are other statewide or regional organizations that have AVI displays that can be used on campus as well.  If you want to get in contact with one of these groups, please contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator or email us at info@studentsforlife.org

Bobcats for Life shows incredible dedication to pro-life activism and education

Bobcats for Life, a new student group at Ohio University, has started off with momentum and will effect change on their campus this coming year.

Kicking off the month of September with an Apologetics 101 training from their SFLA Regional Coordinator, they prepared for their busy month of activism.bobcatsforlife

Just 2 days later, the group put their Apologetics training to use and hit the road to Columbus to participate in “Operation Overpass” and pro-life outreach in downtown.

Following their outreach in Columbus, their focus shifted from activism to education. They gathered together with students to talk about the corrupt leadership of Planned Parenthood and held a “Meet Margaret Sanger” event, in which they educated their peers on the disturbing facts behind the founding of Planned Parenthood.

On September 10, Bobcats for life took to the road once again as they joined SFLA and other organizations in Cleveland Ohio to protest the “All-access” event and Pro-abortion concert led by Sia. These students left at 11am for the Women Betrayed rally in Cleveland, and didn’t get home until 1:30am the next day! Talk about dedication!

Only a few days later, Bobcats for Life invited Created Equal onto their campus to participate in abortion victim image (AVI) outreach, and were met with hostility from their student body. Bobcats for Life stood strong in their defense of the pre-born in the midst of large protests and vicious attacks from one of their peers. Regardless of these attacks, the very next day, group held a resource drive for their pregnancy resource center just outside their local grocery store!

Bobcats for life concluded their month by hosting the SFLA fall tour “The Cycle of Corruption”, educating their peers about the relationship between abortion big business and political corruption. Again, they were met with resistance, but this time from their school administration. Bobcats for Life are determined to spread the pro-life message on their campus, and seem fearless in the face of controversy.

Because of their dedication and passion, we are awarding Bobcats for life at Ohio University SFLA’s September Group of the Month. Keep up the good work!

October Event-in-a-Box: Love Them Both

Fall is upon us and amidst the changing of colors, pumpkin spice lattes, and Halloween candy, we want to take time to speak a message of hope and love to pregnant and parenting students on college campuses across the country. We must love them both.

For the month of October, we want to provide you with all the materials you will need to spread a message of love and compassion for your peers through marketing the Pregnant on Campus Initiative.

There are many resources on your campus and in your communities for your pregnant and parenting peers. However, perception is reality. If your peers don’t know that these resources exist, then they will make their pregnancy and education decisions accordingly. With this month’s Event in a Box, you will be able to confidently:

  • Educate your peers on the pregnant on campus initiative
  • Emphasize the importance of loving them both
  • Inform your peers through marketing the initiative at your school

For a training on how to Love Them Both, contact your Regional Coordinator for information to attend the Embrace Grace training, featuring Amy Ford, on Oct 11, 2016 at 8pm Eastern.

 

WHATS IN THE BOX:

  • How-to “Love Them Both”
  • Pregnant on Campus Marketing Guide
  • Pregnant on Campus tear off flyer
  • Pregnant on Campus Resources flyer
  • Abortion Pill Reversal drop cards
  • “Pregnant? Need help?” drop cards
  • Pregnant on Campus info cards
  • “Love Them Both” wristbands
  • “I Support Pregnant and Parenting Students” promotional stickers

To order the September Event-in-a-Box, contact your Regional Coordinator today! 

If you are a student in CA or NV, contact Camille Rodriguez.
If you are a student in OR, WA, ID, MT, HI or AK contact Katie Lodjic.
If you are a student in CO, NM, WY, AZ, or UT, contact Jake Simon.
If you are a student in MI, IN, or OH, contact RJ McVeigh.
If you are a student in VA, MD, PA, DC, or DE, contact Michelle Hendrickson.
If you are a student in KY, WV, or TN, contact Brenna Hartwell.
If you are a student in NE, IA, KS, IL, or MO, contact Reagan Barklage.
If you are a student in OK or TX, contact Jillian Ferguson.
If you are a student in NY or NJ, contact Keri Landeche.
If you are a student in NC, SC, GA, or FL, contact Ryan Eyrich.
If you are a student in MN or WI, contact Maddie Schulte.
If you are a student in a state not listed, contact Lisa Stover.

HOW TO USE THE BOX:

1.Educate your group on available resources for pregnant and parenting students

2. Hang up flyers

3. Hold a tabling event

 

TABLING TIPS:

1.Get approval from your school to have a table during a high traffic time! Some schools require a week or two for approval, so plan accordingly.

2. Get educated. Use the enclosed “Love Them Both” sheet to educate your campus about the Pregnant On Campus Initiative and to how to best support pregnant and parenting students. Be sure to give a copy to each of your members and distribute them at your group’s table.

3. Make copies of the “Love Them Both” handouts to have on your table. If your school abides by Title IX, print Title IX handouts to best explain pregnant and parenting student’s legal rights and accommodations.

Find Title IX information and handouts at: www.PregnantOnCampus.org/Students-Rights

4. Pick your prompt. Tabling is much more successful with an interactive element. Choose a prompt question or statement to ask students. The question could be “How can we better support pregnant & parenting students?” to encourage discussion focus on resources. Or you could use a question to encourage positive messages of support, like “We support pregnant & parenting students. Do you?” Make a big poster with your prompt, and set up a board to post students’ comments.

Find more instructions for how to organize a Free Speech Table here:  www.PregnantOnCampus.org/free-speech-board/

5. Show what you offer. Make a poster board or a 1/2-sheet handout that lists what your student group can do for pregnant and parenting students. Write “Students for Life supports pregnant and parenting students by…” and include a checklist like:

  • Offering peer support
  • Referring to campus and community resources
  • Collecting baby and maternity items
  • Hosting baby showers
  • Fundraising for scholarships
  • Providing transportation to appointments
  • Organizing free babysitting
  • Advocating for your needs on campus
  • Defending your Title IX rights

6. Don’t forget your club banner, a tablecloth, clipboard, “I Support Pregnant and Parenting Students” stickers, your Free Speech materials (e.g. signs and posters), other resource handouts, and pens.

7. Use social media to post pictures of your group at the table with the hashtags #PregnantOnCampus and #LoveThemBoth. You can even ask students to film quick 30-second videos (e.g. what they learned, what surprised them, a message of support, or personal testimonies). Remember to tag the Pregnant on Campus Initiative (@PregnantOnCampus) on your posts.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram: @PregnantOnCampus

 

FLYERING TIPS:

1.Get approval from your school to hang up the flyers. Some schools require a week or two for flyer approval, so plan accordingly!

2. Write your club contact info on the bottom of the flyer for interested students to get in touch with you.

3. Make copies of the enclosed flyers.

4. Hang them up everywhere! Split your group into teams, assign locations, and GO. Post flyers on all acceptable bulletin boards, your dorm doors, bathroom stalls, etc. Bring some drop cards with you to place around campus.

5. Use social media to post pictures of your group hanging up the flyers and use the hashtag #PregnantOnCampus and #LoveThemBoth. Tag the Pregnant on Campus Initiative and your school.

National Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity: October 18, 2016

On Tuesday October 18th, 2016, students from all across the nation will give up their voices in solidarity with the over 3,000 lives taken by abortion every day, whose voices will never be heard.

This is ¼ of our generation – our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our peers. Over 56 silentdaymillion children have died from abortion since 1973, when Roe v. Wade legalized the killing of pre-born children. They were not given the chance to experience life outside of their mother’s womb, the joy of seasons changing, holidays, and family gatherings.

Follow this link to Silent Day flyers that your group can print and hand out to explain why you are silent on Tuesday October 18th: www.studentsforlife.org/files/2016/10/National-Pro-Life-Day-of-Silent-Solidarity.jpg

We ask that you wear a red arm band or red duct tape over your mouths to identify that you are taking part in the National Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity. You can also wear a pro-life t-shirt to show your support. Take a vow of silence for the day, acting in solidarity for those who have been silenced forever.

We are remembering those who were lost and hurt by abortion by giving up our voices and remaining in solidarity. Will you join us?

Please note: Some schools will allow you to participate but not allow you to duct tape your mouths because of safety concerns. This is a legitimate concern so please adhere to their policy if this is the case for your school. If you have an assignment in class where you have to speak, your teacher can require you to participate. If you have a speaking assignment that day, ask your teacher if you can reschedule it.

For more information on Silent Day, contact your Regional Coordinator today! 

If you are a student in CA or NV, contact Camille Rodriguez.
If you are a student in OR, WA, ID, MT, HI or AK contact Katie Lodjic.
If you are a student in CO, NM, WY, AZ, or UT, contact Jake Simon.
If you are a student in MI, IN, or OH, contact RJ McVeigh.
If you are a student in VA, MD, PA, DC, or DE, contact Michelle Hendrickson.
If you are a student in KY, WV, or TN, contact Brenna Hartwell.
If you are a student in NE, IA, KS, IL, or MO, contact Reagan Barklage.
If you are a student in OK or TX, contact Jillian Ferguson.
If you are a student in NY or NJ, contact Keri Landeche.
If you are a student in NC, SC, GA, or FL, contact Ryan Eyrich.
If you are a student in MN or WI, contact Maddie Schulte.
If you are a student in a state not listed, contact Lisa Stover.

NEBRASKA HIGH SCHOOL DISCRIMINATES AGAINST STUDENTS FOR LIFE CLUB

Can you call the Gretna HS Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Riley, and tell him to approve the Students for Life club so that Bridget can educate her peers on this crucial issue of abortion?

His phone number is 402-332-3265.

School administrators at Gretna High School and the school’s attorneys have received a demand letter from Students for Life of America’s law firm, the Thomas More Society, on behalf of student Bridget Christensen. The letter charges that Gretna High School has unconstitutionally discriminated against Bridget by denying her the right to form a school-sponsored Students for Life club at Gretna High School.

“Pro-life students have every right to form a club as any other student in high school and cannot be discriminated against for their pro-life views,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “Bridget’s rights were breached when the high school denied her request to form a Students for Life group in order to educate and inform her peers on the tragedy of abortion and to help those facing unplanned, crisis pregnancies. Just because the school may not agree with the pro-life position, doesn’t give them the right to not allow the club to exist.”

Bridget Christensen, a junior at Gretna High School in Gretna, Nebraska, right outside Omaha, attempted to start a Students for Life club but she met resistance from school administrators. They told her that the club was too “religious”, which is not only untrue of the Students for Life club but also an illegal reason to deny the existence of the group. The school also said the Students for Life club is “controversial,” also an illegal reason to deny the group.

“Instead of dedicating my time to educating my peers about abortion and creating a Bridget Christensonstrong Students for Life group at my high school that could be resource for those students facing unplanned pregnancies, I’ve been forced to argue against my own school administrators and fight for my First Amendment rights,” said Bridget Christensen, a junior at Gretna High School. “My school administration has been treating me and my friends who want to the start the Students for Life club like second class citizens by not allowing us to be a school-sponsored club, even though they allow many other clubs that may be considered controversial. This double standard is discrimination and it’s wrong.”

Thomas More Society Special Counsel Jocelyn Floyd, who serves as lead counsel for Students for Life of America’s high school clubs, noted that the Gretna High School administration response reflects a common misunderstanding of the law.  Thomas More Society attorneys have tackled similar scenarios in California, Iowa, Nevada, North Dakota and Virginia. “Pro-life students are simply asking for equal treatment,” said Floyd, “and this school’s rationale for denying the group is that the club doesn’t tie in with school curriculum—but neither do most of their other clubs. These dismissive bans on pro-life clubs are unlawful and violate the First Amendment.  If the school has a chess club, service club, gay-straight alliance, movie club, or any other extracurricular group, they may not exclude a Students for Life club.”

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.

Students for Life of America and the Thomas More Society request that the school promptly approve the Students for Life club at Gretna High School.

Link to the demand letter here: LINK

Can you call the Gretna HS Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Riley, and tell him to approve the Students for Life club so that Bridget can educate her peers on this crucial issue of abortion?

His phone number is 402-332-3265.