Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Michigan Daily criticizes statewide ban of partial-birth abortion...and SFL response

From The Michigan Daily staff editorial, Sept. 25, with our emphasis and comments.
Partial-birth abortion has been a morally controversial topic. With the passage of a new bill in the Michigan state legislature, partial-birth abortions are now illegal by state law, on top of the federal ban already in place by the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 passed by the U.S. Congress. If the state legislation is enacted, performing a partial-birth abortion would be a two-year felony. While partial-birth abortion is a difficult subject, the reality is that women should have the right to decide what to do with their bodies ['s not "their bodies." It's their child's body]. The state ban is redundant given the federal ban already in place. But more importantly, the government shouldn't interfere in private, individual decisions.
Partial-birth abortion is a complicated procedure that involves the death of a fetus after the second trimester. [So they actually admit that something dies. Maybe, just maybe, we should make sure that what we're killing isn't an innocent human person with the intrinsic right to life!] The procedure was performed in less than 2 percent of abortions, according to 1999 data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. While partial birth abortions are a complicated issue from a moral standpoint, the larger issue is the government’s restriction of individual rights.
The recent bill, which will head to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk after the conference committee has reviewed it, models the federal law and makes the procedure punishable under state law. Since the law was upheld in the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision Gonzales v. Carhart, there's no reason to believe it will be repealed any time soon.
Taking time to pass state legislation that reaffirms a federal law is an insult to Michigan citizens [?]. Instead of focusing on bills to create jobs and help rebuild the state’s economy, the Legislature is focusing on prohibiting an already banned procedure. If there was evidence that partial-birth abortions were performed in large numbers throughout the state this legislation would be somewhat explicable, but partial-birth abortion procedures are rare. The state government is unnecessarily pushing a social issue, and it needs to focus its attention on Michigan’s more pressing concerns. [What could be more pressing than stopping the slaughter of innocent human beings???]
The legality of abortion indicates the constitutional support for a woman’s right to choose[To what? Michigan Daily, please fill in the blank!] Partial-birth abortions is a contentious topic, but it’s not up to the government to permit or prohibit the procedure. [This is ridiculous. Then just what is the government's role? If "it's not up to the government to permit or prohibit" murder, then just what can the government do? Certainly not fix the economy, as the Daily would like to have it do instead.] Women should speak with doctors and other health professionals to make an appropriate, personal decision. By speaking with a doctor, they can educate themselves on the health implications of the procedure and make a responsible personal choice. [Choice...there's that buzzword again.]
The argument isn't about the moral implications of abortion. Rather, it’s about government intervention in personal decisions. A woman should have the right to make her own decisions about her body and an unborn child she may bare. [Ladies and Gentlemen: There you have it. The Daily admits abortion kills a child. But this "decision" should be legal. Follow the logic?] In today’s economic climate, Michigan doesn't have the luxury to spend time and resources on partisan, social policies. Snyder should reaffirm his commitment to tackling the state’s pressing issues and veto this bill.
This is disgusting. We've prepared an official response, which we shall make public shortly. Stay tuned...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Support SFL via Paypal!

We have just set up a PayPal account to allow us to receive credit card donations through our website. With GAP just around the corner, this development is very timely! Please check it out, regardless of whether or not you're able to contribute.

How can you help?

Every dollar counts! By donating, you can help us:
  • Host events
  • Bring in guest speakers
  • Provide resources for pregnant women
  • Support local crisis pregnancy centers
  • Fund publicity campaigns on campus
  • Attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Any contribution you make assists us in our mission to inform the University of Michigan of the horrors of abortion and to ultimately save lives!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

MSA Tailgate Cleanup Adventure!

    Or, what happened to us last Saturday, right before the Notre Dame game:     
It wasn’t until we were walking back towards the stadium that it sank in: somehow, our group always finds the adventure in the most quotidian circumstances. What started out as an attempt to make some much-needed money for our group turned into a creative, last-minute fundraiser that found us “SFL’evangelizing” on the streets of South Campus.
            It began with the MSA tailgate. MSA selected us, much to our happiness and surprise, to clean up after their tailgate, a special event that coincided with the first night game at Michigan Stadium. Maybe cleaning up after a large campus event doesn’t sound like that much fun, but it was an excellent opportunity for us to make some extra cash and get to know a couple of MSA officers (diplomacy is always good!). And with a sizable group of our membership present, the work went fast. Those of us who arrived early enough even caught the end of the free pizza!
            One of our duties involved loading a minivan with some of MSA’s supplies and then meeting MSA’s president and vice-president at the Union to unload. Along the way, the MSA program director asked us to throw out four large boxes of doughnuts. However, the doughnuts were still good and we wondered if we could sell them (credit for this idea goes to Anthony Salem, by the way). So as the rest of us hiked up to the Union, Anthony took the doughnuts and began selling them on the corner of Hill and S. Divison. Or, rather, he “sold” them for free, and then asked for a donation. Hungry fans and latecomers were grateful for the unexpected treat.
            Of course, most SFL stories (the good ones, at least) include a part where we explain our position to a curious passer-by (and sometimes an aggressive passer-by). This story is no different, and we had the opportunity to explain our cause to would-be doughnut-buyers. While we didn’t sell anywhere close to all of the doughnuts (there were a lot!), we made about $15 extra, and those of us who had tickets made it to the game before it was too late. And we were glad we did. As the sky grew darker overhead, Wolverine hopes waxed and waned until we were ultimately party to one of the most dazzling victories in recent memory.
            It was the perfect ending to the the most SFL-esque day.

Monday, September 12, 2011

MSA Gets Help, SFL Gets Cash, U-M Gets Win--All in one night!

Stay tuned to hear about an incredible Saturday night. Yes, the Wolverines won in dramatic fashion. But, believe it or not, that was only the concluding exclamation mark on SFL's extraordinary profitable day...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Save at Planned Parenthood! and 40 DFL News

From Paul, Ann Arbor 40 Days for Life Campaign Director, comes this wonderful news:

Fellow Prayer Warriors, 
Please read our little report of the save that occurred at Planned Parenthood Ann Arbor yesterday, Sept. 1st.  Our presence truly makes a difference to the lives of human beings in the womb of mothers contemplating abortion.  Continue to pray for this young Mom who chose to keep her child.
From Iris, Sally and Paul
 1 September 2011

My mom and I pray at the abortion mill every Thursday from 10am to 11am. On 1 September, we were together there as usual. My mom had a large black sign with white letters that reads "I’m praying for you and your baby, it’s not too late to change your mind."  We park our car on the right side of the street just before the entrance of the parking lot to Planned Parenthood, open the back hatch and display the sign in the back of our vehicle. My mom stands on the opposite side of the street praying while I pray at the entrance to the parking lot near the "No Outlet" sign and try to hand out literature . Bernie, the security guard for Planned Parenthood, sits in a chair near me to try and discourage any people from stopping to talk to me or take literature.
On this particular day one of the cars that accepted a pro-life newspaper and pregnancy help information had two women in it. I thought that maybe it was a mother and her teen aged daughter. I handed out the newspaper and they stopped and rolled down the window to take it. I said "thank you, have a wonderful day." They drove into the parking lot and went into the clinic. A short time later they came out and drove out of the parking lot waving as they went by. Around 20 minutes later they returned and not recognizing the car at first I held out a paper again. They stopped and told me I had already given them one, and thanked me. Again they went into the clinic and then came out and sat in their car. My mom was trying to reach out to a couple who we believed to be waiting for their turn to have an abortion and she got the sign out of our vehicle and stood facing the clinic holding the sign up.
At this time, Iris and Sally's shift was over and Paul arrived to relieve them.  Sally gave an update on what was happening and Paul began praying and sidewalk counseling at the No-Outlet sign to better reach the clients entering and leaving the clinic.  I noticed the car with two people in it and waved to them a few times when they looked over.  After 30 minutes or so, after reaching out verbally to other clients as they were leaving or entering, I walked across the street holding my Knights of Columbus DEFEND LIFE sign to show to a woman who was talking on her cell phone at the entrance to the abortion clinic.  I also showed it to the women in the car who obviously looked over to read the sign.  I walked back to my spot and after a few minutes, the car with the two women is leaving the PP parking lot and as they are driving by, the young woman driving shouts out of her window, "I decided not to do it!"  I asked "do what, have the abortion?"  And she says "yes!!"  I could only say happily, That is great news!!"
Bernie laughs it off, saying that she has been here all morning and her friend is having an abortion who is inside right now.  Typical discouraging comments from him (please pray for his conversion).  It took a while to comprehend what just happened.  After I got back to work, I realized that the Holy Spirit worked through Sally, Iris and I to reach an abortion minded woman.  The Holy Spirit then worked the true miracle of changing the heart of that woman to allow her to choose to keep her baby.  Praise the Lord!!
40 Days for Life News
  • With the Ann Arbor 40 Days for Life Campaign set for Sept. 28 through November 6, I urge you all to allow the Holy Spirit to work through you by signing up to pray at the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic at 3100 Professional Dr. in Ann Arbor.  Go to and hit the Vigil Schedule tab.  We are trying to have someone praying at the site during PP's business hours Monday through Saturday, 9 AM to 7 PM.  Prayer during the other hours are also important to cover since any prayer helps favor our side in this spiritual battle that is going on at the abortion clinic.
  • Please mark your calendars to attend the 40 Days for Life Kick-Off rally, Monday, September 26, 7 PM at Christ the King Community Center.  More details to follow.
  • Come out to the abortion clinic before Sept. 28 to pray to end the 2300 abortions that are committed at the Ann Arbor PP clinic every year.  You never know how the Holy Spirit can use you to save human lives.
Finally, please read Abby Johnson's recent article from about her experiences in the abortion clinic at this link and pray for those working in the Ann Arbor PP abortion clinic. 
Also check out the 14 minute video from National 40 DFL where another ex-PP worker speaks about her conversion away from the abortion business .
I hope you all will take some part in this Fall's largest 40 Days for Life Campaign ever (291 cities).  WE NEED YOUR HELP to put an end to the 2300 abortions/year committed at Planned Parenthood's Ann Arbor abortion clinic.
God Bless you and your Pro-Life work!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Escapade 2011!

We assure you, SFL has female members too!

The Fall 2011 edition of Students for Life is officially under way! Last night, SFL once again participated in Escapade, the University's self-described "biggest welcome back party." The event--which boasts free food, live music, and thousands of attendees--is geared especially toward acquainting freshmen with their new campus. Along with the other student organizations, SFL had an informational table in the Union basement. Starting at 7pm and for the next four hours, we displayed our club's promotional billboard, handed out fetal development self-quizzes, and engaged with as many other students as possible. The goal was simple, and by no means unique to our club--get the names and e-mails of as many freshmen as possible!

Let me tell you, the art of recruiting potential new club members is always far from an exact science. Here, the freshmen-dominated crowds contributed to an atmosphere of simultaneous enthusiasm and timidity, orderliness and confusion. Attentive to the delicate balance between the necessary assertiveness and the off-putting overinformality when engaging strangers, we set to work filling up the lines in our clipboard-backed sign-up sheets. After an hour or so, most of us had automatically developed a sort of mental script for conveying the basic details about the club. My conversations, for example, often went something like this:

[Random freshman walks by]
Me: Excuse me, are you interested in Students for Life?
RF: Huh? What's that?
Me: We are the pro-life group on campus. [slight pause] Would you consider yourself...[ever so slight of a pause, trying to look as nonthreatening as possible] [watch reaction on face]
RF: Err...Ummm...Yeah. I guess so.
Me: Great! [handing clipboard and pen] Our first mass meeting is on Monday, September 12 at 7pm, but you don't have to remember that 'cuz we'll be sending you an e-mail with all the details in it. In the meantime you can take our fun little fetal development quiz. [trade clipboard for half-sheet quiz]
RF: OK. Thanks.
Me: Sure. It was nice meeting you...[glancing down at clipboard]...Suzie.
RF: You too. did you know my name?
Me: Uhh...I...[sheepishly]...looked at the clipboard...I'm Joe, by the way.
RF: Oh, OK. Nice to meet you.
Me: [mental note never to do that again]
Too forward, right? Especially the pro-life inquiry. That's a personal question, a definite no-no when talking to strangers. Or is it?

OK...I'll admit the whole clipboard incident was pretty clumsy. But that was just me; the other SFLers were much smoother while retaining a very similar approach.

In all seriousness, I think our approach worked very well. Yes, asking complete strangers whether or not they're pro-life is quite bold, but I'd be willing to bet it was more uncomfortable for us as the questioners than for them as the respondents. In any event, it allowed us to "cut to the chase" and immediately assess the interest level of a given individual. If someone was pro-choice and not at all interested in the club, a response in the negative provided an easy and polite out. If, on the other hand, someone was pro-life, or at least mildly interested in the pro-life position, a simple affirmative answer created an instantaneous bond with the club and its purpose. Finally, it's important to remember that we asked the question only after being requested to explain what SFL is. One of the advantages of having an ambiguous club name is that people don't form judgments just by hearing it. In fact, we've even had people think that "Students for Life" is composed of people who love going to U-M so much that the want to be--literally--students for life! No joke!

All in all, we got about 50 freshmen signed up for our first informational e-mail and at least talked to about 50 more. Not too bad, especially considering we didn't get a ton of traffic in our area of the Union. Even more encouraging, though, is the number of people who identified as pro-life. I'd estimate that about 70 percent of the people we asked reported being either pro-life or leaning in that direction. So much for the Culture of Death's stereotypical stronghold at U-M! The tide really is turning, and it gives us all so much hope that this generation--our generation--will finally be the one that makes abortion unthinkable.

Finally, I have to hand it to the pro-choice and undecided students who heard us out last night. Only very rarely did we receive snide or otherwise rude comments about our club and its work. Hopefully, this tolerance and open-mindedness is a sign of things to come, and we're optimistic about the possiblity of engaging in respectful, intelligent debate with the other side throughout the year. After all, it is only by taking our message to the world--by being true missionaries for life--that others will come to know and embrace the truth of the dignity of the human person that we are both blessed to hold dear and called to spread.