abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hundreds of thousands of people converged Thursday in the nation’s capital for the 42nd annual March for Life – and nearly two-thirds of them appeared to be under the age of 30.

Young people took part in the world’s largest civil protest against abortion in droves, showing that millennials stand strong against the 1974 U.S. Supreme Court decision that has led to more than 55 million abortions.

This year’s theme was “Every Life is a Gift,” and an estimated 500,000 attended.

One of the largest swaths of demonstrators were high school students who had been bussed in. College students and families were a close second. Moms pushed strollers. Teens held signs. Chants about the sanctity of life rang out over the mall. The metro was clogged with young faces wearing March for Life shirts. Young people excitedly cheered as they held large banners declaring their support of life.

During an intense moment of the rally, a group of pro-choice women who crashed the event chanted out “you are the brainwashed generation” as the marchers chanted back “we are the pro-life generation.”

Another popular chant among the youth in the crowd was: “Hey obama, thank yo mamma, she chose life.”

Some of the pro-abortion women who attempted to disrupt the march wore white pants with pink and red stains that covered their crotch areas and traveled down their legs. One pro-life teenage girl yelled at them incredulously: “You’re sick.”

Pro-choice protesters also attempted to block the road and halt the march. However, the incident seemed to only motivate the pro-lifers, who continued marching and chanting toward the steps of the Supreme Court.

“The young people showed that they were peaceful and stood strong in the face of adversity,” said Lauren Castillo, Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America.

“The voices of the dozens of protesters did not and will not intimidate our ever growing and courageous pro-life generation,” she added. “The protesters did not stop the March for Life today and will not stop our efforts in the future. We will march on.”

Showing their dedication to the cause, some students drove through the night to attend the rally.

Sara Silander, a 21-year-old senior from Jacksonville, Florida, who is president of Georgia Tech Students for Life, told The Washington Times that “I have always been taught that we should respect the dignity of everyone, including the unborn. We’ve always been told to protect the minorities, the impoverished and everyone, and that is so important, but we have also include the unborn.”

Young people took to Twitter in droves to express their excitement of being part of the rally in a “pro-life tweetfest.” In addition to the pro-life hashtags, many also used #AllLivesMatter.

“Pro-life youth are not afraid to tell the world that abortion is wrong and will be ended, today we proved it!” Tweeted out ProLife Youth.

College Fix contributor Sade Patterson is a student at the University of New Mexico and vice president of its Students for Life chapter.

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Here’s more evidence that the demand for due process cuts across all political persuasions and unites those who can’t agree on anything else.

Embattled Marquette University professor John McAdams is getting support from his nemesis: a liberal theology professor that he’s called “heretical” and a “darling of the secular left.”

McAdams says at his Marquette Warrior blog that his nemesis, the pro-gay marriage/abortion/euthanasia Dan Maguire, emailed university officials and himself to protest McAdams’ treatment.

According to Maguire’s email, lawyers told him that Marquette’s punishment of McAdams for his blog post against an intolerant graduate student was a “blatant violation of due process legal requirements that exposed the university to unnecessary liabilities and risks.”

Banning McAdams from campus is “not just a ‘severe sanction'” under American Association of University Professors’ policy, Maguire wrote:

In almost half a century in the academe, I have never seen a similar punishment imposed on a professor in this “blunt instrument” fashion. The banning of the professor from campus unless he gets permission from the dean strikes me as bizarre, demeaning, and unjust. It announces on the public record that Professor McAdams is some sort of threat to the persons in this academic community…..leaving volatile suspicions in the air as to what that threat could be. …

I believe you owe us more explanation that you have given on your decision on this matter. … The incident has a chilling effect on all members and staff since it implies that due-process protections may be brittle and uncertain at this university and specifically under your presidency. It is certainly not an aid in recruiting quality faculty.

McAdams says Maguire is just being “consistent,” given that the school has received regular complaints about Maguire’s total lack of Catholic orthodoxy and yet the school has protected him under the banner of academic freedom:

Yes, people coming from very different ideological perspectives can support the right of free expression for those who differ.

Read the full blog post.

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Canada’s hostility to free speech isn’t exactly a secret, but British Columbia’s chief justice just took that government-sanctioned denigration of conscience to a new low.

According to LifeSiteNews, the judge “ruled that Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to pro-life students seeking space on the University of Victoria campus to demonstrate.”

The school refused a pro-life group’s request to display “pictures of aborted and healthy babies,” which students called a violation of their club’s charter rights:

But the Charter only applies to government bodies and [Chief Justice Christopher] Hinkson ruled that the university, though funded mostly by taxpayers, and incorporated by the provincial government, which also appoints a majority of its directors, was acting privately when it decided to deny YPY use of its property. So even though the decision was based on the content of YPY’s pro-life message, the Charter protection of free speech and assembly does not apply.

Because the issue wasn’t trespassing, the school was just “acting as a private landlord”:

But what Hinkson isn’t getting, said John Carpay, head of the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, is that universities respect freedom of speech, and alternately impose censorship, very selectively.

“Universities censor pro-life students for showing graphic pictures of aborted babies,” said Carpay. “But universities allow Falun Gong supporters showing graphic pictures of members tortured by the Chinese government. They also allow those promoting use of seat belts to show graphic images of people with their heads halfway through windshields.”

Read the full story.

h/t Peter Bonilla

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IMAGE: Beth Rankin/Flickr

Students for Life at University of New Mexico tried to intervene, to no avail

It was a typical night in early January. I was feeding my newborn son and spending time with my husband and his parents. Next thing I knew, my phone rang, and my night took a drastic turn.

As a new mother and college student at the University of New Mexico, where I serve as vice president of its Students for Life chapter, things rarely slow down.

And so I found myself learning of a 20-year-old college student who had traveled with her father from England to New Mexico to abort her 30-week-old baby, which still had ten more weeks to grow in the womb. In England, late-term abortions at this stage are illegal. In New Mexico, the state lacks a single restriction regarding abortion.

At 30 weeks, the baby’s lungs and digestive system are nearly complete. It can open and close its eyes, which have eyebrows and eyelashes, and even tell light from dark from within the womb. The baby will continue to gain weight until birth, but at this point he or she is almost fully developed.

With that, the pregnant woman’s mother had frantically reached out through UK Priests for Life. In turn, its members sent an urgent message to pro-life activists in New Mexico. That’s where the Albuquerque-based Project Defending Life came in. Samantha Serrano, its director, called me and other members of Students for Life in an attempt to approach the family together and discuss other options, such as financial support or adoption.

Serrano told me she believed my current situation as a 21-year-old college student with a newborn baby might reach this young, British college student. I was asked to contact the mother-to-be – with the phone number provided by her own mother – and share my story, encourage her and give her support. She, like me, has one more year left in college.

I reached out to her several times with long, encouraging, and peaceful text messages, until I was finally blocked.

Our second attempt was to peacefully approach her hotel the day of her abortion for a peaceful conversation. However, upon arrival, we were repeatedly threatened by her father, who refused to let us see his daughter, and eventually called the police. We left.

The final stand was outside the Southwestern Women’s Options clinic. Five Students for Life members, as well as nearly thirty other local pro-life advocates, waited for the young woman to arrive. Many of us have trained with Sidewalk Advocates, a ministry that equips us to speak peacefully and tactfully to families entering abortion clinics.

Members stood outside the clinic and prayed for the family, grasping at the small amount of hope they held that this young woman would choose life. To abort a baby of that age, a lethal dose of the heart medication Digoxin is injected into their heart or into the amniotic fluid directly through the woman’s abdomen, giving the baby a fatal heart attack. Then a drug is given to the mother to induce her to expel the deceased baby. The procedure cost this family $12,000.

We eventually learned that this young woman had decided to abort her 30-week-old baby that day, and as all hope left the community, so did many among the large crowd gathered at the clinic.

Members of Students for Life stayed through the evening hoping to talk to the family after the abortion to offer them healing, love and support; however the family stayed overnight in the clinic, and avoided any confrontation. Eventually, they went home.

The battle to save this woman from a life of regret and her unborn child from a painful death has been lost, but the fight continues on for Students for SadeLife at the University of New Mexico. This experience has made it apparent that the pro-life community is steadily growing, but that the need for a positive influence is necessary more now than ever in Albuquerque, commonly known as the late-term abortion capital of America.

College Fix contributor Sade Patterson, pictured, is a student at the University of New Mexico and vice president of its Students for Life chapter.

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IMAGE: Courtesy photo* (Name blurred to protect privacy)

Petition demands ‘public retraction’ of prof’s view that people have ‘right to choose’ abortion

Following pressure on his Christian college from a pro-life group, a professor has apparently recanted the muddled views on abortion he articulated in a campus forum.

That’s not good enough for Created Equal, which started a petition campaign against Indiana Wesleyan University demanding that the school “not tolerate pro-abortion professors.”

As The College Fix previously reported, IWU professor Greg Fiebig called himself “equally pro-choice and pro-life” in the “Life vs. Choice” forum in November, which provoked Created Equal’s social-media campaign against him.

Fiebig said he had “cognitive dissonance” on abortion, calling himself personally pro-life but unwilling to impose that view on those without the same moral underpinnings and beliefs.

Fiebig followed up with a letter to the editor of The Sojourn, the campus newspaper, sharing that he and his wife considered an abortion during a troubled pregnancy. He said free will means “people still have the right to choose” abortion even if it’s immoral.

The clamor led IWU President David Wright to publish a statement last month saying the school is “firmly opposed to abortion,” without acknowledging Created Equal’s pressure.

Citing a “faculty member” he didn’t name, Wright said there was “confusion” about the school’s stance, which comes from the Wesleyan Church’s doctrinal statements against abortion.

IWU faculty must sign a statement every year “indicating their agreement with the doctrines” of the denomination, though they are “encouraged to explore all relevant perspectives on the issue under discussion,” Wright said.

The “faculty member whose comments are at the heart of the current confusion” has clarified to the administration that “he believes wholeheartedly in the sanctity of human life and is in agreement with the position of the Wesleyan Church and the university,” Wright said.

Neither Fiebig nor Wright responded to The Fix’s request for comment.

Professor justifies abortion through ‘abuse of Scripture’

Wright’s statement didn’t satisfy Created Equal, which said on its petition page that the president “offered no evidence to change the perception that Dr. Fiebig supports legal abortion.” The petition demands “a public retraction” of Fiebig’s support for legal abortion.

The group also wrote a public letter to Wright, saying that Fiebig’s statements on abortion at the forum – posted on YouTube – and his letter in The Sojourn make it hard to believe he is in line with Wesleyan Church teaching.

“Dr. Fiebig’s abuse of Scripture is apparent” – he cited the book of Genesis to defend legal abortion – and he conflated “one’s free moral agency” with “a legal right” to abortion, Created Equal told Wright.

Wright also didn’t address that Fiebig presumed to speak for the Wesleyan Church in his Sojourn letter, saying the denomination is just as “conflicted” about abortion because it acknowledges humans have the God-given “ability to choose between right and wrong.”

“Which is it?” Created Equal asked Wright. “Is Indiana Wesleyan University’s position in line with the codified view of the Wesleyan Church? Or is your institution’s position on abortion to be defined by Dr. Fiebig’s teaching that men and women have the ‘right to choose’?”

Created Equal did not respond to The Fix’s request for comment.

The group is aiming for 1,000 signatures on the Fiebig petition by Jan. 16, and plans to hand-deliver it to Wright. As of Sunday night, it had 235 signatures.

Created Equal’s stated mission is working to “end injustice,” specifically the killing of the unborn, which the group calls “age discrimination.” It helps organize pro-life student outreach on campus, using graphic images of aborted fetuses.

In its year-end summary of 2014 accomplishments, Created Equal takes some credit for falling abortion rates in Ohio and Florida, “the two states in which we have been focusing much of our outreach over the years.”

Its work was recently featured by WND, formerly WorldNetDaily, in an article about violent attacks and vandalism against pro-life activists.

College Fix reporter Michael Sorge is a student at SUNY Purchase.

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Clash over condoms, gay sex and abortion unfolds at Jesuit university in Connecticut

It all started in October with rows of crosses. Pink ones. Nearly 1,000 of them.

They were neatly spread along a lawn at Fairfield University – a Jesuit-Catholic liberal arts college in Connecticut. The crosses stood as a representation of the 915 or so abortions that take place daily inside Planned Parenthood’s clinics nationwide.

The display was put up by Fairfield University’s Students for Life, and aimed to encourage “students on our campus to turn away from Planned Parenthood’s exploitation and to turn towards life-affirming resources,” according to the club’s Facebook page.

One might think that such a display would be innocuous at a campus that touts itself as a “Catholic university in mission and spirit.”

But it was all too much for some students, who accused their pro-life peers of putting up an offensive and insensitive pink “graveyard.” Critics included co-president of the campus’ College Democrats, who told the Fairfield Mirror student newspaper that she and others felt the display was “classist, racist and homophobic.” PPFairfieldMainFacebook

Comments about the October pro-life exhibit on the school newspaper’s website called it “a cheap and offensive attempt at shock value.” Said another: “You and your peers created a hostile environment for students here.”

A third chimed in that the display “had no consideration for the perspectives of the student body and the goal to have an inviting and strong sense of community as our campus atmosphere.”

The pro-life display led to a dueling exhibit at the university late last month. The Gay Straight Alliance and the College Democrats rallied together in defense of homosexual sex and various safe-sex methods in an event partially funded by the university through its politics department, the Mirror reports.

The College Democrats hosted the event, called “Let’s Talk Sex,” with the help of Planned Parenthood representatives. It included a spread of tables addressing different topics, from “all the types of sex that can be had” to an “interactive” Planned Parenthood station.

A large, colorful poster board put up by Gay Straight Alliance “discussed all the types of sex that can be had, not just heteronormative sex but homosexual sex, the ways you can protect yourself, and the truth behind HIV,” student representative Brigid Callahan told the Mirror.

“Let’s Talk Sex” caused some additional controversy because campus officials did not allow students to distribute condoms during the event. Its organizers voiced anger and frustration over that edict.

But administration approved of the overall “Let’s Talk Sex” event in order to “encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities these organizations offer for growth and leadership,” said Martha Milcarek, vice president of public relations at Fairfield, in an email to The College Fix.

“Let’s Talk Sex,” according to Milcarek, is necessary for “an environment that promotes freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas.”

“As a Catholic institution we, of course, stand by the teachings of the Catholic Church that includes the respect for all life,” she added.

Campus Ministry, perhaps one of the last remaining conservative strongholds on campus, declined to comment on the event to The Fix.

College Fix reporter Anthony Gockowski is a student at the University of St. Thomas.

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