Six Pro-Life Teaching Tips for Parents

I’m always on the lookout for good pro-life teaching resources for parents.

Picture1Teaching pro-life values is something I often emphasize when I give pro-life talks. I think a lot of it has to do with my own experiences.

My parents taught me to respect and value every human being. They took me to the March for Life. They adopted my youngest sister after their four older children left the nest. They actively support our local pregnancy resource center and homeless shelter. They help and show love to people who are outcasts – and so much more.

My parents have made such a positive impact on my life and my work in the pro-life movement, and I don’t take that for granted. It’s a huge task to teach children good values; and the issue of abortion, as personal and political and emotional as it is, can be a difficult topic to breach.

The other day, a friend sent me a great resource for parents that’s particularly relevant as summer ends and students head back to school or college. The short teaching guide by Students For Life gives six suggested ways parents can talk with their teens about life.

It’s critical, Students for Life says, because “47% of women entering college identify themselves as pro-life, however, only 27% remain pro-life at graduation. Furthermore, college-aged women obtain approximately 46% of all abortions nationally.”

If you’re a parent or grandparent, please consider taking a few minutes to read “6 Ways to Keep Your Kids Pro-Life.” Then, have a conversation with your student about the value of every human life.

21st Century Progress Could Mean End to Abortion

By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director

The Millennial Generation has grown up with an explosion of technology — the expansion of the Internet, the invention of the iPhone, the birth of social media, the advent of Skype.

Unborn baby pictureBut the 21st century could also be known as a time of great progress against abortion.

Real limits have been placed on abortion, thanks to the passage of the partial-birth abortion ban at the national level, late-term abortion bans, dismemberment abortion bans, and other legislation at the state level.

The Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, reports that abortion rates are at their lowest level since 1973, the year Roe v. Wade became the law of the land. The most recent recorded rate is 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, well below the record high of 29.3 per 1,000 women in 1981.

It’s been estimated that more than 3,500 pregnancy help centers are now in operation across the U.S. and, as the pro-abortion lobbying group NARAL ruefully notes, these centers vastly outnumber abortion facilities. Pregnancy centers provide comprehensive counseling and assistance to women facing unexpected pregnancies, offering everything from diapers to day care referrals. Women have even been known to request that pregnancy center volunteers serve as their companions during the birthing process.

Students for Life groups have grown exponentially on college campuses, and March for Life attendance has been boosted by the throngs of high school and college students who descend on Washington, D.C. each January 22.

4D ultrasound pictures have become prominent on Facebook and Twitter pages, websites and blogs. The humanity of the unborn child has been well-documented in these social media images.

Certainly, much work remains in making abortion unthinkable. More than 57 million Americans have died from legal abortion since it began nationwide in 1973. Pro-abortion groups continue their national assault on the rights of preborn children, while failing to recognize the devastation abortion has caused for generations of women.

Still, in just the first two decades of the 21st century, much headway has been made in scaling back abortion on demand. This should be the century when the disastrous era of Roe v. Wade finally comes to an end.

How to Explain Why We Believe What We Believe about Life

Last Saturday, I participated in a very encouraging youth event organized by the St. Gabriel Respect Life Committee in Carlisle.

CupcakeOne thing that really struck me about the event – from the speaker’s talk to the students’ comments — was the vital importance of teaching young pro-lifers to understand and articulate our position on life.

Guest speaker Missy Martinez from Students for Life said many young people are in the “mushy middle” when it comes to abortion. Many haven’t thought a lot about the issue.

Martinez encouraged students to start conversations with their peers about abortion. She laid out the basic pro-life position and discussed how pro-lifers can have civil, reasonable conversations with people around us. Here are the basics of the pro-life position:

We believe every human being has an equal right to life. Modern science has proven that from the moment of conception preborn babies are distinct human beings. Therefore, we believe preborn babies also should have an equal right to life.

We believe there is no significant difference between a preborn human being and a born human being that makes it ok to kill the preborn human. A preborn baby is different from an adult in size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency; however, the differences are not significant enough to make it ok to kill a preborn baby. Born humans also have these differences.

We believe that circumstances such as poverty or wantedness are not good reasons to kill a preborn baby in the same way that circumstances are not a good reason to kill a toddler. Both the preborn baby and the toddler are human beings who should have an equal right to life.

These points are foundational to our cause. Every pro-lifer should memorize them and be willing to discuss them. They explain what we believe and why it’s so important.

Please consider sharing this article. Or share this short video “Defending Your Pro-Life Views in Two Minutes or Less,” which explains the same points.

Planned Parenthood Abortions — 3 Percent or 93 Percent?

Abortion advocates spin their deadly trade to make themselves look friendly and appealing. Even Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, prefers to promote its other, non-abortion services to make itself look better.

PP3percentPlanned Parenthood claims that abortion makes up only 3 percent of its services, but Students for Life is calling out this deceptive abortion statistic in a new video. Watch here as Students for Life explains how the group manipulates its numbers to come up with 3 percent.

In the video, Students for Life breaks down Planned Parenthood’s annual report numbers and finds: Of all pregnant women who went to Planned Parenthood in 2012-2013, 93.78 percent had an abortion.

Planned Parenthood works hard and spends a lot of money (our tax dollars) to promote itself as a kind, caring women’s health organization. But its numbers point to Planned Parenthood’s true priority – abortion.

Planned Parenthood: Care. (About Abortion.) No Matter What.

It Only Takes a Moment to Share

This week as I write, I think back to my college years.

And I must admit that the famous quote by Edmund Burke describes my college self well: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

I did nothing. That was my problem.

Pro-life college students spend a summer at the National Right to Life Academy.

Pro-life college students spend a summer at the National Right to Life Academy.

Sure, if you looked at my schedule, you could hardly say I was lazy. I held down up to three jobs at once. I commuted to college daily – 40 minutes one way. I took a full course load and made the dean’s list, volunteered at my church, did some freelance editing, and tried to spend some quality time with my boyfriend, friends and family.

But I did nothing when professors talked about the need for more diversity and acceptance, and then criticized and mischaracterized pro-lifers. I simply sat in the back of the classroom, feeling angry and alone.

Now, I wonder what would have happened if I had spoken up. Perhaps others would have felt encouraged to share their differing points of view, too. Perhaps I would have found others who shared my opinion and encouraged them to speak. Perhaps I would have offered a perspective that someone never heard before. Or perhaps I wouldn’t have found any like-minded peers. Perhaps I would have been mocked.

I can only guess at what could have been, but I am sure of one thing: I missed an opportunity. I ignored one of the greatest chances I had to talk about abortion with an audience that was only hearing one perspective. That missing perspective could have come from me.

This fall, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to speak to several college pro-life groups. It’s been encouraging to interact with the students and hear about their campus outreach – whether it’s starting conversations while handing out cupcakes, organizing debates on abortion, or setting up a diaper drive. These students are doing amazing things!

As I see all the time and energy they’re putting in to saving babies and helping women, I can’t help but regret the opportunities I missed in college.

True, I didn’t have much free time. But I didn’t need to form a club or a rally. I just needed to take the opportunity to comment when the conversations arose, to ask a question when one side of the issue was missing.

Like the amazing pro-life college students I’ve met recently, we need to make time to be advocates for life. We need to stand up for the truth – that preborn babies are being killed in their mothers’ wombs at a mind-numbing rate.

But when our schedules seem overwhelming, we can still advocate in small ways. We can refuse to waste an opportunity.

Carpe diem!

College Student Says Women Should Have More Abortions

Women should have more abortions, because there’s too many people on this planet.

That’s what a group of college students said, dismissing a Students for Life education effort on their campus. The pro-life group recorded the students’ reaction on video. life-potentialWatch it here.

It’s an argument that I read fairly often in online comments sections, too. People think abortion is a solution to reducing what they believe is a surplus population.

I’m not sure if the Students for Life people got the chance to respond to the students. The video doesn’t show it. But this is one of those arguments for abortion that’s not as complicated as it seems.

First, if you are pro-lifer in this situation, you don’t have to agree or disagree with the theory of overpopulation. I only know a little bit about it, but I think there are some great arguments for why more people doesn’t equal a bad thing for our planet. (Check out But arguing about overpopulation doesn’t get to the heart of the issue.

Let’s assume for a moment that overpopulation is a problem. If the world is overpopulated, should women have the legal right to kill their 2-year-old toddler? What about a disabled person? Or an aging parent who can’t live on their own anymore? Their deaths would, after all, reduce the population, too.

But most people would say those deaths are wrong. So what is the difference between those things and abortion?

As pro-life advocates, we believe that none of these deaths are justified – not the preborn baby, the toddler, the disabled person, the elderly parent. Every one of them is human, and every human should have the right to life. That’s what the overpopulation argument really boils down to: whether the preborn are humans.

The answer to that question is something every pro-lifer should memorize. It’s a simple, scientific truth that is so powerful: A unique, new human life forms at the moment of conception, complete with its own genetic code.

Thanks to an episode of Life Report for laying out this argument.

The Pro-life Fight for Women

By Maria Gallagher

The line “War on Women” did not die on Election Night 2012. The pro-abortion lobby carefully coined this phrase in an attempt to neutralize advances made by those who believe that law and public policy should protect an innocent person’s right to life. It’s catchy, alliterative, and denotes violence and death, and so it works well in a soundbite world.

Every time the catch-phrase is uttered—on cable news, radio talk shows, and in the Twitterverse, it should be countered—in an equally soundbite-savvy way. For what the pro-life movement has been engaging in for the past 40 years is a Fight for Women. And many women are leading the charge:

Abby Johnson. This courageous mom once worked for Planned Parenthood, but, Former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnsonwhen viewing an ultrasound-guided abortion—and seeing the goodness and kindness of the 40 Days for Life members standing vigil outside the abortion center door—walked bravely to “the other side.” She now assists those who work within the abortion industry to find a safe way out. You can learn more about her And Then There Were None ministry at . (And be sure to read her fascinating account of her transition from abortion proponent to pro-life advocate in her ground-breaking book, “Unplanned.” Abby is a passionate leader in the Fight for Women.

Lila Rose. This remarkable twenty-something is lila3tthe founder of Live Action, which uses the tried-and-true tools of investigative journalism to expose the illegal activity and corruption present in the abortion industry. Lila has been especially effective at lifting the veil behind the cover-up of the sexual abuse of minor girls. You can learn more about her at . Lila is a fearless truth-seeker in the Fight for Women.

Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden. These two articulate young women have put a face on “choice.” Both are survivors of attempts to take their lives through abortion. They have raised their voices for those unborn girls who have none, and their testimony is powerful. Discover their stories at and . Gianna and Melissa represent the heart and soul of the Fight for Women.

Kristan Hawkins. She is the Executive Director of Students Kristan_Hawkinsfor Life. She has invigorated pro-life activism on college campuses around the nation, and has helped to show the world that youth have a particular stake in the Fight for Women. The Students for Life success story can be found at . Kristan is among the leading strategists in the Fight for Women.

This is far from a complete list—but it does spotlight the role that young, vibrant leaders are playing in the Fight for Women. Whenever you hear abortion advocates talking about the War on Women, point to the awe-inspiring Millennials and Gen-Xers at the forefront of the pro-life movement and respond, “No, you must mean the Fight for Women—and we are winning!”

Offering Pregnancy Resources to College Students

Study after study has shown that college campuses lean strongly liberal on social issues.

A recent poll of college professors showed that 90 percent identify themselves as liberal on social issues such as abortion, according to a Washington Times article.

Yet, college campuses really are the places where the pro-life message needs to be heard the most. Almost half of all abortions in America are performed on college-age women, according to Students for Life.

Therefore, we really need to encourage pro-life students to reach out to their peers – because they may be the only ones doing it. Pregnant students need to know that they do have options other than abortion, and they can receive support.

Students for Life offers free resources for college students facing unplanned pregnancies. A special kit designed for RAs (residence advisers/assistants) can be downloaded here. It provides a counseling guide, pregnant and parenting resources, fliers, healthy relationship advice, and pregnant and parenting student rights.

We also offer information to help parents educate their children about pregnancy and abortion, and fliers specifically for college students. Check them out here or request free copies by emailing .

Help us spread the word about life!

What youth don’t know about life issues, resources

The pro-life movement has put a lot of stock on its young people to carry on the fight for life. Young faces dominate the crowds at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., every January. They form pro-life school clubs. They support crisis pregnancy centers and pray outside abortion centers.

But with many of today’s youth, there is a disconnect.

A recent poll by Students for Life found that a large number of youth do not know much about abortion issues and alternatives. Read more here.

Some of the results were startling. Kristian Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America, wrote:

“What they don’t know is literally killing this generation as 58 percent admitted that they didn’t know where resources were in their community or campus to support a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy who didn’t want to undergo an abortion.”

What’s more, 66 percent said they had a “favorable” view of Planned Parenthood, and 48 percent said they did not know whether Planned Parenthood offered abortions. Three in five students also believe the controversial “morning-after” pill should be available via vending machines.

Hawkins concluded that we need to do a better job educating young people about the right to life. Resources are out there. It’s just a matter of reaching out and sharing them.

In Pennsylvania, one of the best resources for youth is Real Alternatives. The alternatives to abortion program is made up of support networks throughout the Commonwealth that help women facing unplanned pregnancies. Through Real Alternatives, women are offered the assistance they need to give birth to and raise a child.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation also offers numerous educational resources on topics such as abortion, life before birth, Planned Parenthood and more. Real Alternatives and local crisis pregnancy centers typically offer their own posters and brochures, too. Find out more here.

Start by sharing these things with the people around you – friends, church congregation, children, grandchildren. Then, ask to speak to your church youth group, or hang up posters on community bulletin boards. Post the Real Alternatives website and hotline on Facebook or Twitter. Get involved in your local pro-life chapter.

The resources are there, and our youth need them. So, please don’t assume they know. Take a minute and share!