Students for Life of America

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Students for Life of America
SFLA.png
Founded 1988
Reorganized 2006
Type 501(c)(3) non-profit
Focus Pro-life activism on college campuses
Location
Area served United States
Members 838 campus pro-life groups
Key people Kristan Hawkins (Executive Director)
Slogan Courageously Abolishing Abortion
Website http://www.studentsforlife.org/
Formerly called American Collegians for Life

Students for Life of America (SFLA), also known as simply Students for Life (SFL), is a pro-life 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to end abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide by educating students about these issues and identifying pro-life student leaders and giving them the training, skills, and resources to effectively spread their message.[1] They send out field teams to organize new campus pro-life groups on American college and high school campuses, and have started over 714 campus pro-life groups at colleges since 2006.[2] Students for Life has also founded Law Students for Life and Medical Students for Life.[3][4]

History[edit]

In 1988, students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. formed American Collegians for Life, which was a student-run, volunteer-based organization that held an annual conference and developed a resource website and a publication.[5] Elizabeth Schmitz, Catherine Deeds, Michael Pauley, and Susan Meuller were among the founders of American Collegians for Life, who set up their organization as "a national coalition of college and university-based pro-life action groups." Until 2006, the base of operations for American Collegians for Life (ACL) remained in Washington, D.C. with a new set of student officers being elected every year at the annual conference, the conference being held on the eve of the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

From 1988 to 2006, ACL's main activity was its annual conference. In 2006, ACL became Students for Life of America, hiring a staff and opening a national headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, which has relocated to Manassas and then to Fredericksburg, Virginia. Kristan Hawkins became the executive director. SFLA changed its focus from conferences to a more active role on college campuses. Though the organization still continues to hold an annual conference, its activities have greatly broadened to do more direct campus organizing work and direct action. Since 2006, they have been very dedicated to starting new college, high school, and home school pro-life organizations across The United states. SFLA has started over 714 new pro-life campus organizations. There are now over 838 Students for Life groups in 49 states. The annual conference has doubled in attendance; this has led to the creation of an annual West Coast National Conference in addition to the original East Coast National Conference.[6]

Organization[edit]

In addition to student officers and staff, SFLA is also advised by a non-student board, some being former SFLA student officers.

SFLA connects college students who are pro-life to each other using the annual conference and a national directory of college pro-life organizations on their website.

SFLA helps begin, develop, and train pro-life campus groups and provides them with resources, training, and activism ideas. SFLA networks with existing groups, sending them activism packs and providing guides such as “How to Make a Cemetery of the Innocents” and “How to Start a Pro-Life Publication.” They also keep in touch with these groups during the year and host two national conferences every year that coincide with the National March for Life in Washington, DC, on the east coast and the San Francisco Walk for Life on the west coast. In 2013, over 2,400 student and adult activists attended the national conference in DC. Speakers featured at past national conferences include Bobby Schindler, breast cancer expert Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, and Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute. SFLA encourages groups to volunteer with local Pregnancy Support Service Centers, engage the campus pro-choice movement in discussion and debate, and reach out to their fellow students with the pro-life message.

State federations[edit]

There are thirteen statewide organizations that are involved or loosely affiliated with Students For Life of America. These organizations include Alabama Students For Life, Arizona Students For Life, California Students For Life, Colorado Students for Life, Georgia Students for Life, Students for Life of Kentucky, Louisiana Students for Life, Ohio Students for Life, Oregon Students for Life, Students for Life of Illinois, Students for Life of Michigan, Texas Students for Life, and Young Pro-Life Virginia.

United Students for Life[edit]

In the Fall Semester of 1976, prior to the inception of Students for Life, 77 California State University, Sacramento pro-life students came together to create one of the first and most effective college pro-life groups in the United States. The name of the group was United Students for Life and the faculty sponsor of the group was a Catholic Priest who was also a Criminal Justice Professor at that University, Father Edward MacKinnon. The group was about 50% Mormon with the remaining members of the group Catholics, Protestants and one self-described atheist. Existing from 1976 until 1980, they held numerous rallies, instigated a statewide initiative campaign, helped form other pro-life student groups, worked on the Morton Downey, Jr. Presidential Campaign, and hosted the January 22, 1980 California State Rally for Life at the California State Capital.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] In Duffy Eaton’s January 23, 1980 story featuring a picture of California Pro-Life Rally Co-Chairperson Lori Gutheinz[15][16] , who was also the Secretary of the United Students for Life, he wrote of how the group was targeting Catholics who said they were personally against abortion but, nevertheless, were abortion supporters.[17] United Students for Life had strong political and faculty supporters to include Democratic Assemblyman Alistair McAllister,[18][19] Republican Assemblyman Michael D. Antonovich, who were both proponents of the Pro-Life initiative and CSUS Government Professor T Eugene Shoemaker who wrote a November 1, 1977 commentary in the campus newspaper entitled: “Abortion: Debauchery of God’s Greatest Creation.” [20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SFLA Mission Statement
  2. ^ SFLA - What We Do
  3. ^ MedSFLA Website
  4. ^ Law SFLA Website
  5. ^ SFLA - History
  6. ^ http://www.studentsforlife.org/index.php/about/history/
  7. ^ “CSUS Students balk at abortion policy”, Catholic Herald, Sacramento, California, September 29, 1977.
  8. ^ " ‘Pro-Life’ fights funded abortions: Voter initiative campaign greets campus with library rally”, by: Brian Blomster, State Hornet, California State University, Sacrament, October 14, 1977, Pages 1 and 12
  9. ^ " Petition Drive will Seek Ban of Public Abortion Funding”, by: United Press International, The Sacramento Bee, December 21, 1977, Page 11.
  10. ^ “Abortion foe declares March of Dimes boycott”, by: Scott Reeves, The Sacramento Union, March 30, 1978, Page E3
  11. ^ “Abortion initiative nears deadline”, by: Sister Carol Anne O’Marie, The Catholic Herald, Sacramento, California, April 20, 1978
  12. ^ “Pro-life Representatives Picket”, by: Greg Welsh and Victoria Vierk, The Davis Enterprise, Davis California, February 15, 1979, Page 1
  13. ^ “Planned Parenthood draws protest”, by: Mark Aulman, The Daily Democrat, Woodland Davis California, February 15, 1979, Page 1
  14. ^ "Rally for Life held in Capital”, by: Times Herald, Vallejo, January 22, 1980, Page 16.
  15. ^ http://capitalresearch.org/pubs/pdf/x3760154464.pdf “The Gabriel Project: We’re There for Them”, by: Connie Marshner, Capital Research Center, December 2002, pages 1-6
  16. ^ http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/pasadena/news/early-christmas-for-mothers-in-crisis/article_74aae8c2-e2a0-57f1-9f8c-747223f5b400.html “Early Christmas for mothers in crisis”, by: Yvette Orozco, Pasadena Citizen, Pasadena Texas, December 11, 2008 pages 1
  17. ^ “Anti-Abortionists Zero in on Hannigan: Assemblyman on Movement’s ‘Hit List”, by: Duffy Eaton, The Reporter, Vacaville, January 23, 1980
  18. ^ http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2010/11/veteran-legislator-alister-mca.html“Veteran legislator Alister McAlister dies.”, Sacramento Bee, November 9, 2010.
  19. ^ http://calcatholic.web141.discountasp.net/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=5b53aa1b-6a45-4913-a117-af415be59f6f “Pro-life crusader: Former Assemblyman Alister McAlister passes away.”, California Catholic Daily, November 11, 2010..
  20. ^ “Abortion: Debauchery of God’s Greatest Creation.”, by: Professor T. Eugene Shoemaker, The Hornet, California State University, Sacrament, November 1, 1977, Editorial .

[1] [2]

External links[edit]