abortion

Update on this news from last month: Two high schools in Fargo, North Dakota, have officially approved student-run pro-life clubs after months of roadblocks that seemed to be related to worries about religion in school.

It took warning letters from the Thomas More Society to the school district, saying it was trampling on the students’ First Amendment rights, to smooth the way for the clubs to be recognized.

Students for Life of America, which organized the students’ legal representation, said Wednesday that Davies Teens for Life has already held its first meeting, while Spartans for Life is scheduled to have its first next week:

“I am happy and thankful that the school has approved our club,” said Brigid O’Keefe, a sophomore at Fargo North High. “We are thankful to the attorneys at Thomas More Society and to Students for Life of America for supporting all our efforts.  We look forward to educating our fellow students on the beauty of life at all stages and offering assistance to those in need in our community. I am grateful to Fargo North for approving Spartans for Life, and we look forward to creating a thriving club at our school.”

While O’Keefe’s ordeal only started in February when Fargo North administrators put her and prospective club members “through extensive questioning, including questions about their religious affiliations, before denying the club,” Katie McPherson at Davies High had been blocked from even applying for club status going back to the fall, or even getting a room for “unofficial” meetings, SFLA said.

Read SFLA’s announcement.

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The University of Hawaii’s recruitment of girls to participate in abortion research drew a small rally by Students for Life of America last week, the group said.

The research is testing whether “oxytocin can reduce bleeding in mothers during and after abortion,” SFLA said.

“The researchers are recruiting girls as young as 14-years-old to participate in second trimester abortions, where the unborn baby is 18-24 weeks gestation and has a fetal anomaly,” but SFLA doesn’t know who’s funding it:

 “We don’t know if taxpayer dollars are paying for the study. We want an investigation into this research project, and we want it defunded now.”

Though turnout was small, the rally included a minor celebrity: Jason Jones, who produced a movie with strong pro-life overtones, Bella, that got a small theatrical release several years ago.

Read the post.

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Even by the standards of the average university “sex week,” the University of Washington’s Sextravaganza next week is outlandish.

The Daily reports that transgender activist and TV star Laverne Cox is speaking, which is no surprise. Here’s a summary of some other events:

  • Kinky Sex Day: a discussion of toys and “more adventurous sexuality,” BDSM and “the myths associated with” 50 Shades of Grey, and “the rules (or lack thereof) in polyamorous relationships”
  • Greek leaders “will discuss ways [the group] continues to address sexual assault and its effects on the UW campus community”
  • “Know Your Rights Day” with the Counseling Center and a local Title IX coordinator
  • “State of the Uterus” with NARAL Pro-Choice Washington

Wait, what? State of the Uterus “will focus on the original purpose and current application of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision on abortion.”

So… training students to become abortion activists is “sex-positive” now?

Outside of the panel series, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington advocates are sponsoring a feminist training Saturday. The event will be an on-campus seminar on empowering individuals to engage in activism on a more professional level.

Though not an official part of Sextravaganza, Smith said it aligned with the larger message.

“Part of creating a sex-positive culture is advocating for one,” Smith said.

In case you were wondering, Sextravaganza is organized by “a student outreach team” in the school’s Health and Wellness Office “in collaboration with” an abortion-rights group on campus.

Read the story.

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IMAGE: Gregory Koger/Flickr

Steinem and allies turned ‘a disgusting and degrading crime’ into ‘the most fundamental right’

A feminist leader will lay out the pro-life history of women’s rights activists at a Catholic college this week.

Her invitation to speak didn’t come from St. Norbert College, however – it came from a student group that was upset the school rolled out the red carpet for an icon of the abortion-rights movement.

Feminists for Life of America President Serrin Foster’s speech planned for Thursday, on the “feminist case against abortion,” follows Gloria Steinem’s address to the college last week.

The school trumpeted Steinem’s coming appearance as early as September. It announced Foster’s visit, as well as the full schedule for the second annual Pro-Life Week hosted by the Knights for Life student group, just last week.

A secular organization that seeks to help women considering abortion, Feminists for Life recently started a campaign to educate university professors about the pro-life history of early American feminists.

‘Abortion is a form of domestic violence’

Steinem, who has stated that her own abortion at 22 was a positive experience and said abortion would be considered a “sacrament” if men got pregnant, was invited by St. Norbert to speak about domestic violence.

TFP Student Action, a project of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, tried to get St. Norbert to cancel Steinem’s appearance by circulating a petition that drew nearly 28,000 signatures.

“How on earth can a woman like Gloria Steinem who has such a public pro-abortion and anti-Catholic record be invited to give a lecture at a Catholic institute [sic], which ought to be a cornerstone in the defense of innocent life and moral values?” the group said.

Foster wants to reclaim the pro-life roots of the women’s movement. Contrary to Steinem’s view, “Abortion is a form of domestic violence,” Foster told The College Fix in a phone interview.

05.27.10.news.FeministAbortion

Her Thursday speech will lay out how “the early feminists condemned abortion in no uncertain terms,” Foster said. “We have a wealth of evidence contradicting the lie that feminists must support abortion.”

The “second wave feminist movement of the 1970s,” in which Steinem was a notable figure, turned “a disgusting and degrading crime” into “the most fundamental right,” Foster said. Her own organization was born as a result of a split among feminists in the runup to Roe v. Wade.

In addition to recounting the history of feminist foremothers, Foster will speak about her group’s efforts on campus to “systematically eliminate the causes that drive women to abortion — primarily, the lack of practical resources and support — through holistic, woman centered solutions.”

‘Not a direct response’ to Steinem’s invitation

Shaun Johnson, campus minister at the college and adviser to its Knights for Life student group, invited Foster to speak in the wake of Steinem’s lecture.

Johnson told The Fix by email that Foster’s invitation was “not a direct response” to Steinem’s appearance, though “the invitation did come as a way to build off of the energy and frustration centering around” the abortion-rights icon’s visit.

“Knights for Life wanted to make sure to continue the conversation about feminism, and particularly wanted to direct and focus the attention around a vision of feminism which seeks to uphold the dignity and respect for life that is consistent with the College’s Catholic and Norbertine Mission,” Johnson said.

Feminists for Life is heavily involved in advocating for better campus resources for pregnant college students and spreading awareness of their presence. Foster told The Fix the group has made great strides since its first pregnancy resource forum at Georgetown University in 1997.

Through its new effort to disseminate pro-life feminist writings to college professors of women’s history, launched during Women’s History Month in March, the group will give professors copies of the magazine First Wave Feminists: Remarkable Pro-Life Women and Other Suffragists You Should Know.

It’s partnering with Students for Life of America to give extra copies to each SFLA campus chapter to “hand deliver” to women’s history professors.

“The suffragists themselves will speak directly to professors,” Foster said in the statement. “Many of them will learn for the very first time that our feminist foremothers opposed abortion because of their belief in the worth of ALL human beings — without exception.”

College Fix reporter Kate Hardiman is a student at the University of Notre Dame.

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IMAGES: Greg Chow/Flickr, Susan Bentley/Pinterest

Someone at The College of New Jersey doesn’t like representations of women with children.

The campus Students for Life chapter had their signs ripped down twice in less than a month, including a banner “showing a mother and her baby,” the national organization said this week.

Its “Graveyard for the Unborn” first got attacked a year ago:

On March 26th, the students reported that again the Graveyard had been attacked. Their Graveyard signs were ripped up and thrown in the trash. A few weeks later , TCNJ Students for Life student leader, Lea Fuscaldo, reported that yet another display was attacked. On April 18th, the group’s “Choose Life” banner had been ripped from the ground and stomped on.

In response, the group made flyers and posted them around campus asking opponents to allow them their right to speak: “Don’t let peer pressure keep you from voicing your beliefs!”

It also reported the vandalism to the Student Activities event coordinator.

Read the blog post.

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IMAGE: Beth Rankin/Flickr

 

You’d think a professor who just won a seven-year legal battle with his administration – for denying him a promotion based on his conservative Christian views – would rest on his laurels and just enjoy teaching.

That’s not the University of North Carolina-Wilmington’s Mike Adams.

The criminology professor went apoplectic in his Townhall.com column last week over a campus administrator who apparently tried to organize a “human shield” to block a pro-life display with gruesome abortion images, the “Genocide Awareness Project.”

Written as a public letter to the school’s interim chancellor, Adams called for administrator Amy Schlag to be fired:

This marks the first time I have ever seen a college administrator a) actively join a public conspiracy to illegally deprive students of their First Amendment rights, and then b) actively promote the illegal action in an open and public manner.

AmySchlag.UNCW-LGBTQIAOfficeSchlag leads the campus LGBTQIA Resource Office, which also “engages in viewpoint discrimination” by cosponsoring events with pro-choice groups but not pro-life groups, Adams wrote:

Unless you want to be sued again in federal court, I recommend you make a necessary personnel change. You have a ticking time bomb on your hands. The only question is whether you have the courage to defuse it.

What got more attention, however, was this line from Adams (he alerted police beforehand, who put the “human shield” behind barricades):

In other words, the animals needed to be caged so the adults could have a dialogue.

Outraged students went to administrators to complain about Adams’ description of the pro-choice guerillas as “animals,” WWAY reported:

“I want to know when does freedom of speech end and harassment begin?” asked Mikaela Flemming, a UNCW student. “For them, does that mean we have to wait until there is a direct threat?”

 

The school, understandably, doesn’t want to get in another legal fight with Adams, so it told students that Adams’ comments “likely would not qualify as violating the university’s harassment policy and are typically considered protected speech under the US and NC constitutions,” WWAY relayed.

Well, duh.

(The Daily Caller notes that these complaining students are tacitly OK with a fellow UNC-Wilmington prof who writes some really skeezy “gang-bang” poetry. Sample line: “Who would say No to my scholarly toungin? / Thank you fathers for your daughters.”)

Adams clearly relished this kerfuffle he helped create, so he wrote a cheeky followup column giving the school advice on how to safely fire Schlag, a lesbian:

It seems that my calls for her termination have caused her supporters to gather and talk about the prospect of suing the university should she be fired. …

After lesbian activist Amy Schlag is fired from her position as director of the LGBTQIA Office she will likely find an attorney and sue. There is little doubt that the suit will claim she was fired on the basis of her sexual orientation. Therefore, it would seem logical for the university to head off the suit by immediately hiring another lesbian. The problem is that our university doesn’t have enough money for an external search. So we’ll have to hire one of our own lesbian activists.

Unfortunately, virtually all of the other lesbian activists on our campus are as close-minded and intolerant as Amy Schlag. So we could be replacing one legal liability with another.

The solution: Hire Adams!

My disorder centers on the fact that I have a natural, inborn desire to be a lesbian but I am unable to fulfill it because I am trapped inside a man’s body. Believe me, I didn’t choose to be this way. It just comes natural!

(Side note: When I was a columnist for The Falcon at Seattle Pacific University many years ago, I wrote a piece describing myself as a “lesbian trapped in a conservative man’s body.” To quote Tobias Funke, there are dozens of us! DOZENS!)

Adams would refocus the office – which is “obsessed with preserving abortion rights for those who have the kind of sex that doesn’t lead to pregnancy” – on First Amendment topics, which “these academics should have learned in high school civics class.”

They would learn:

Why you should do your homework beforehand and find out whether Mike Adams helped organize the free speech activity you conspire to shut down

That’s what the kids call a mic drop.

It probably won’t make Mike Adams any new friends. He’s basically Marquette’s John McAdams, except he has a free pass to troll his critics for the foreseeable future.

UNC-Wilmington’s leaders must be kicking themselves that they created this cheeky monster.

Greg Piper is an associate editor at The College Fix. (@GregPiper)

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IMAGE: UNC-Wilmingly LGBTQIA Resource Office