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 

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