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

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