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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New website...and blog

We've launched a new website!  This blog will remain where it is (you can come back here and look at old pictures...or just go on facebook...), but our new site has a blog on it that we'll be updating regularly.  Go explore the new BSFL website!  It's full of things you want/need to know about BSFL.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Photos from the 40th Annual March for Life and the Students for Life of America 2013 National Conference

We ate an excellent breakfast at St. John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, VA.

Brendan O'Morchoe, the National Field Director at Students for Life of America, brought us signs before the March for Life. This was such an honor!

Some of the Ave Maria University students with whom we ate breakfast.

The lovely ladies of BSFL! We are pro-woman and pro-life!

BSFL members preparing to march to end abortion at the 40th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.

We survived Roe v. Wade but Roe v. Wade will not survive us. We WILL abolish abortion in our lifetime!

BSFL at the March for Life!

BSFL was lucky enough to eat dinner with several pro-life leaders, including Marjorie Dannenfelser, the President of Susan B. Anthony List, and Sam Casey of Law of Life and the Jubilee Campaign. They talked to us about the pro-life movement and suggested ways for us to expand our knowledge about the dignity of every human life while improving our activism.

BSFL at the SFLA national conference.  The conference's theme this year was "Be Courageous."

Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of a Successful Semester
The fall 2012 semester has been a really busy one for BSFL - and a very successful one.  We've sparked a lot of discussions on campus, fostered a culture of Life in Tuscaloosa through our tireless (and sometimes tiring) activism, and grown a lot as a pro-life group.  In addition to our weekly meetings, sidewalk counseling, and late nights spent planning our trip to the March for Life, we advanced a culture of Life this semester in many different ways.  

Death Row Letters

Exonerated death row inmate Gary Drinkard speaking about being wrongfully convicted and sentenced to die
BSFL members wrote letters to Alabama death row inmates in October in hopes of beginning pen pal relationships.  Some of our members also listened to exonerated death row inmate Gary Drinkard speak at The University of Alabama about his experience being incarcerated and wrongfully convicted of murder.

SFLA Regional Conference in Georgia

Mercer Students for Life President Ashley Price with a painting commemorating pro-life activists Jon Scharfenberger, Kortney Blythe Gordon, and Kortney's pre-born baby, Sophy, who tragically lost their lives in a car accident following 2011's Georgia regional conference.
An attorney from Alliance Defending Freedom spoke to pro-life students from the southeast about free speech and our rights on campus.

Four BSFL members went to the Students for Life of America Regional Conference in Georgia at Mercer Law School on Saturday, October 20.  We learned about our rights on campus from Alliance Defending Freedom, pro-life apologetics from Life Training Institute, the importance of advancing social justice from The Center for Bioethical Reform, and how to improve our group from Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life of America.  

This conference gave us a lot of renewed energy that carried us through the semester and provided us with a wonderful opportunity to meet and share ideas with pro-life students and leaders.  We are so grateful to Mercer Students for Life for hosting the conference and to everyone at Students for Life for organizing it!  We are so blessed to be part of a national organization that is so committed to fighting for the unborn.  

The Center for Bioethical Reform

Political Fair and Literature Distribution 

To encourage students to register to vote and in order to engage them politically, the Student Government Association sponsored a political fair several weeks before the election, and BSFL tabled there.  We provided students with information about candidates' positions and records on Life issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and human cloning.  This event was a fantastic way to give students accurate information about Life issues in the political arena.  

Voting issues tabling at the political fair.  War on women, anyone?
Joanna Robinson and Ruth Bishop defending Life.
There was no lack of information at our table!
Before the election, we passed out a roughly 600 copies of Live Action's pro-life publication, The Advocate, to individuals on campus. 

Live Action's colorful magazine contains easy-to-read, straightforward information.

Adoption Discussion

Our November roundtable discussion was centered on debunking the myths and battling the stereotypes associated with adoption.  More than 25 people gathered to talk about adoption in America and abroad. 

The Radiance Foundation just released a video promoting adoption that shows people how awesome adoption is.  

Pro-Life Super Saturday and Phone Banking

In early November, BSFL participated in a Pro-Life Super Saturday thanks to Students for Life of America and the pro-life Montana Family Foundation.  We phone banked for Ballot Measure LR-120, which passed!  Before Ballot Measure LR-120, a thirteen-year-old child needed her parents' written permission to get her ears pierced, but could be taken for an abortion without her parents' knowledge.  This common-sense measure now requires that girls sixteen and under obtain parental permission before undergoing an abortion; the measure passed with a whooping 70.55% of Montanans voting in favor of parental notification.  

It was wonderful to be able to engage and mobilize pro-life voters this election.  
BSFL President Courtney Pixler phone banking for Ballot Measure LR-120.

Sav-A-Life's Celebrate Life Banquet

On Monday, November 12, Sav-a-Life Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa's awesome pregnancy resource center, hosted their annual Celebrate Life Banquet.  Several BSFL members helped set up and break down the banquet; we were also able to enjoy the food and talk to leaders from 40 Days for Life and other faith-based pro-life groups.  

Former University of Alabama football coach Gene Stallings spoke.  Stallings, in addition to impressively leading Alabama's football team from 1990-1996, is a well-known pro-life advocate.  As his website explains:
Stallings co-wrote the book Another Season: A Coach's Story of Raising an Exceptional Son (ISBN 0-316-81196-3) with AP journalist Sally Cook, which described his love for his son, John Mark Stallings, who was born with Down syndrome. John Mark, also known as "Johnny," was a dedicated follower of his father's career, a longtime Crimson Tide fan, and a tour guide in the Crimson Tide facilities. John Mark died on August 2, 2008 due to a congenital heart condition. Two facilities at the University of Alabama were named for the younger Stallings, the Stallings Center that serves as home to the RISE Center for young children with disabilities, in 1994, and the equipment room in the University of Alabama football building in 2005. Most recently, Faulkner University in Montgomery, AL named its new football and soccer field after John Mark Stallings on October 8, 2010.
Stallings spoke about how his son was born during a time when he would have been put in an institution, but the Stallings family knew that Johnny deserved a better life than that.  Stallings dedicated his life to caring for Johnny.  He saw his son's life as more important than his.  

Gene Stallings speaking at the Celebrate Life Banquet.
Another enjoyable aspect of the Celebrate Life Banquet was listening to a powerful, emotional pro-life singer.

Other October - December Happenings

Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity

Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity

Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity
BSFL members listening to SFLA's post-election webcast

Fantastic graphic from SFLA

Saturday, October 6, 2012

September 2012 Recap

Fundraising and National Pro-Life Identification Week

It's been a crazy month for BSFL!  After Get on Board Day, we held a week-long fundraiser that took up a lot of our members' time.  It was worth it, though, and we succeeded in raising some much-needed money.

BSFL members sell donuts at one of our fundraisers.
One of our best projects this month was our I Vote Pro-Life First Initiative during National Pro-Life Identification Week.  From September 17 - 21, we asked people to sign pledges to only vote for pro-life candidates in this upcoming election.  Some people didn't know how radically pro-abortion President Obama is or how the candidates in the upcoming presidential election stand on the issue of Life.  We provided interested students with information about President Obama's dismal abortion record and discussed why we think Life should be the qualifying issue in every election.  A society that doesn't respect the rights of its people to live can't guarantee its people any other civil rights.

National Right to Life has an excellent voting guide.  You can also check out the candidates endorsed by Susan B. Anthony List and look at Priests for Life's 2012 voter guide.

In addition to providing information about where candidates stand on the issue of Life, we helped both in-state and out-of-state students register to vote.

September Sidewalk Counseling

Sidewalk counseling outside of the Tuscaloosa abortion facility is different this year than it has been in the past.  We stand on public property with signs that say "We are here to listen, not to judge," and "Do you have a moment to talk?"  We aim to be a peaceful presence outside the abortion facility, and we have information for abortion-minded mothers about free pregnancy resources all over the southeastern United States, particularly in Tuscaloosa.  We are not there to angrily protest, to shout at women, to judge anyone, or to cause a scene.  We sidewalk counsel to help mothers who may be considering abortion and provide them with accurate medical information about abortion.  Sidewalk counseling can be the last chance to help a woman and her unborn child before they enter an abortion facility.

This year, the Tuscaloosa abortion facility has enlisted the help of escorts who prowl the parking lot and walk women from their cars into the facility, directing them away from us.  When we call out to women walking into the facility - keep in mind, we're not shouting at them about the immorality of abortion, we're asking them if they have a few moments to talk to us - the escorts shout over us.  Ironically, they have taken to loudly singing children's songs to cover up our voices.

Our interactions with the escorts have been very mixed.  There is one male escort.  He came up to us and cried how evil the Republican party is.  We have had some very civil conversations with the other escorts.  Interestingly, some of the escorts wear political pins on their brightly-colored vests.  We have never made sidewalk counseling political - we're there to show abortion-minded mothers options besides abortion, to listen to them, and to offer them help.  The escorts want to help women, too; surely their intentions are good.  We just disagree with them about what the best way to help women is. 

We have given the escorts pro-life information and they have actually handed it to women going into the abortion facility!  We try to stay on good terms with the abortion workers.  We've given them information from And Then There Were None, the pro-life outreach to abortion workers seeking to leave the abortion industry.  And Then There Were None was founded by Abby Johnson, the Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life advocate.  It is important for us to be extra kind to abortion workers.  If they want to leave the abortion industry, they should know that their pro-life counterparts will be there for them.  Abby Johnson was able to leave the abortion industry because the sidewalk counselors and 40 Days for Life participants outside of the Planned Parenthood where she worked had always been friendly to her.  It is our hope that the people who work in the Tuscaloosa abortion facility will cross over the life line just as many other abortion workers have. 

So far, we haven't spoken to any women who have explicitly changed their minds about aborting.  This does not mean that our work is futile; sidewalk counselors' signs and presence plant seeds of doubt in people's minds or change hearts all the time.  We will continue to be a presence outside the abortion facility, and despite the shouts of the escorts, we will be there for all women.

BSFL sidewalk counselors.

BSFL sidewalk counselors face the abortion escorts and a pro-abortion sign.

The blue chair is home to a pro-abortion sign facing BSFL sidewalk counselors.

This is an interesting illustration of both sides of the abortion argument. 
Nice spelling.

Pro-abortion poster placed in front of us.

37 Seconds of Silence and Gendercide Awareness

BSFL hosted 37 seconds of silence in late September to remember all of the girls who have been lost to China's one-child policy.  Read about gendercide in China here and gendercide in America here.

All Girls Allowed, the organization that seeks to expose and end the injustices of the forced abortions and gendercide caused by China's one-child policy, has some awesome videos that are worth a few minutes of your time.


Roundtable Discussion

One of the best BSFL events of September 2012 was our roundtable discussion about what it means to be pro-life.  We discussed euthanasia, the death penalty, and abortion.  It was great to hear different perspectives from so many of our members. 

BSFL in the News
Click here to read the Crimson White article criticizing BSFL's pro-life chalking.  Check out a response defending free speech. 

BSFL President Courtney Pixler was quoted in this Crimson White article about the possible closure of the Birmingham Planned Parenthood after they botched an abortion, leaving a woman infertile.
There is a lot of information about Planned Parenthood's history of poor care and unsafe medical practices, some of which can be found below:

Birmingham Planned Parenthood Bends Rules About Reporting Sex Abuse 
Planned Parenthoods Across the Country Cover Up Sex Abuse 
Planned Parenthood's Racism Exposed 
Planned Parenthood's History of Racism 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Get on Board Day 2012

Yesterday was Get on Board Day - Dusk Edition, The University of Alabama's student activities fair.  For about six hours, we provided information about what we do as a group to anyone interested.  We distributed literature from Rachel's VineyardSilent No More Awareness, Live Action and other pro-life groups.  Mothers and a pregnant mother spoke to us and students engaged us in many conversations about various Life issues. 

BSFL kept information about all Life issues on hand. We talked about fetal stem cell research, euthanasia, the death penalty, gendercide, infanticide, and abortion with interested students. We also had information for mothers facing unplanned pregnancies and post-abortive mothers seeking support and healing.
It was a fantastic evening and we recruited almost 300 new students.  For the most part, our opposition treated us with plenty of respect.  We strive to treat every person with the dignity and respect that he or she deserves so that we can foster intellectual discussions and ultimately promote a culture of Life. 

Surprised no one accused us of waging a war on women?  So were we, but then we realized how difficult that would be to argue considering the strong female presence at our table...