Recently, Students for Life Action (SFLAction) held activism trips in 13 cities in preparation for the November elections. Students, staff, and volunteers had fun stories and meaningful moments to take away from the field. Here are some highlights from the Pro-Life Generation:
In Iowa, our team knocked on over 1,100 doors and had more than 200 conversations with residents to warn them about the extreme pro-abortion candidates in Districts 27 and 39 on just the first day. SFLAction Upper Midwest Regional Coordinator Tom Usle said the team did a great job taking on tough conversations. He stated,
“I met a father who was overjoyed to see young, pro-life individuals educating and informing his community. He was on his way to a meeting when I came to his door, and he said he would remind his fellow knights [the Knights of Columbus] about the radical abortion supporters on the ballot. By the end of Saturday, we had surpassed our numbers from the day before and hit over 1,200 doors knocked and over 300 conversations. After dinner that night, the group went bowling and got some ice cream to reward the incredible efforts of our students.”
The Iowa team also attended church together on Sunday before wrapping up their doors. You might have caught them in a friendly competition with the Indiana team on social media, but we’re so proud of the Iowa crew who finished out with 3,025 doors knocked and 671 conversations.
Hats off to our team in Arizona who knocked 2,764 doors! Some students on the trip were excited to talk to two residents who had both adopted five kids – truly a pro-life family! Jordan Brittain, SFLA Pacific Southwest Regional Coordinator, shared that the people of Arizona were very encouraging, and they had many conversations with pro-lifers – but not everyone they spoke with was pro-life, of course. Brittain said,
“I had a conversation with a pro-abortion supporter who was set on voting for Mark Kelly, but after speaking with me, she ended up agreeing that Kelly’s stance on abortion was too extreme. We definitely planted seeds and moved people, and so many people thanked us.”
We are so proud of the Arizona team who had 360 conversations in Scottsdale and Mesa — talk about lots of talking.
Five SFLAction volunteers canvassed in Helena, Montana to educate voters on the pro-life efforts of Kaitlyn Ruch and Congressman Matt Rosendale. Faith Elwonger, SFLA Texas Regional Coordinator, stated that Kaitlyn Ruch, an 18-year-old SFLAction Student Captain, has not only won the Republican primary for MT State Representative in District 84, but she has also written a pro-life amendment. It reads:
“We assert the U.S. Constitution guarantees no one can “be deprived of life, liberty or property” without due process. Accordingly, we maintain the sanctity of human life and affirm the preborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a complete ban on elective abortion. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform elective abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate abortion.”
Congressman Matt Rosendale has also pledged to vote and lead 100% pro-life, and he has even co-sponsored SFLAction’s Protect Life on Campus Act and Life at Conception Act. Though Montana holds a Republican majority in both the state House and Senate, the state falls behind in protecting life in the womb. In fact, it is still legal to abort viable preborn children in Montana.
One member of the SFLA group at Texas State University who attended the trip said, “I joined because I wanted to make a difference.” And they definitely did that — the Montana crew knocked on almost 800 doors in eight different neighborhoods and activated nearly 100 Montana families to vote on November 8th!
SFLAction volunteers also had great conversations during their canvassing. Olivia Garza, SFLA Field Operations Coordinator, and Nikole Zamora, a Students for Life at Texas State member, spoke to a woman who believed that women should have the choice to abort because of the difficult circumstances that may arise. Garza and Zamora were able to share that life begins at conception, as well as share resources available to women in unplanned pregnancies through StandingWithYou.org.
The Helena crew also had some fun along the way. In addition to reaching voters, we had the opportunity to visit a pumpkin patch, tour the Capitol building to learn more about Montana’s history, and attend Helena’s 40 Days for Life mid-rally. The mid-rally was a great way to conclude our trip, as it reminded us of who can be impacted and even saved from abortion through our efforts.
Seven staff and volunteers knocked on 1,531 voters’ doors in Scranton. We are proud of this team who drew attention to several candidates who take an extreme stance on abortion, primarily Josh Shapiro, current Attorney General and candidate for PA governor, and John Fetterman, current Lieutenant Gov and candidate for U.S. Senate. Both pro-abortion candidates prioritize making elective abortions accessible to women for any reason, through all nine months of pregnancy, and at the expense of the taxpayer.
Despite these extreme stances, a vast majority of the voters we spoke to thanked and praised us for our work in bringing attention to these candidates’ extreme passion for killing children. We met one woman at the door who had five abortions herself before her change of heart when she saw images of aborted babies and was moved to recognize that abortion is wrong. She even wrote a book on her experience and gave us copies, as well as made us lunch on our last day.
Some voters, however, were friends of the candidates and accused us of being wrong. They can try to deny their abortion extremism, but we know Matt Cartwright hasn’t voted pro-life since 2015. One man promised to call Cartwright and have a chat with him to convince him to be better on the life issue. We hope he’ll follow through.
Overall, SFLAction had a total of 220 conversations and changed the minds of 20 voters on the issue of abortion in Pennsylvania.
Jamie Scherdin, SFLA Ohio Regional Coordinator, shared that Ohio’s activism trip was one of the most important – here’s why:
Currently the Ohio Heartbeat Law, which prohibits abortions after six weeks, is on a preliminary injunction. A judge ruled that abortions in Ohio are allowed up to 20 weeks until the Ohio Supreme Court rules whether the Heartbeat Law violates the state constitution or not. With lives on the line this upcoming election, SFLAction headed to Cincinnati to educate voters and urge them to #VoteProLifeFirst.
A dozen volunteers from across the state came together to door knock to expose the abortion extremism of Sen. Tim Ryan and Rep. Rachel Baker. Both Sen. Ryan and Rep. Baker support abortion through all nine months for any reason and have been endorsed by Planned Parenthood. Volunteers also highlighted Rep. Baker’s opponent, Pro-Life Champion, Jen Giroux who does not support late-term or taxpayer funding of abortion.
Students from five different universities joined the fight to expose abortion extremism. Johnny Giroux, a SFLA Alumni and now full-time staff of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, also joined the group to educate voters about his mom Jen. Giroux said, “It is great to have SFLAction out here supporting my mom!”
Over the weekend, the team knocked on nearly 1,500 doors in eight different neighborhoods. Through our education, we activated more than 200 voters to oppose abortion extremism come this November including one woman who was unaware of the candidates’ positions.
Scherdin was able to inform her about the different candidates and where they stand on abortion. The woman thanked her for her work which included helping her find her early voting location. “I am fairly confident that she would not have voted in this election if it was not for SFLAction knocking on her door this afternoon,” Scherdin said.
In Omaha, SFLAction volunteers organized to educate voters in State Senate District 18 on where public officials stood on abortion. SFLAction had a total of 10 volunteers canvassing in Omaha throughout the weekend from different colleges, including the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, University of Nebraska – Omaha, and Benedictine College in Kansas, among others. They knocked on more than 2,600 doors and had more than 500 conversations with communities in the district.
During one of the many conversations, a woman told SFLAction students how she was told she would never be able to have kids, but after experiencing six tragic miscarriages, she was able to have two children of her own. She thanked us for educating the public on the issue she cares about the most.
We are so proud of SFLA Western Field Operation Coordinator Paolo Castellon and Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator Brooke Faulkner for knocking on a total of 545 doors – a small, but mighty team! They shared with their fellow Colorado residents about two candidates who support late-term abortions and were joined for some of their canvassing by a married couple who had their first baby in their teenage years. They shared their inspiring story of becoming parents at a young age with voters at the door. Faulkner said, “The vast majority of our 84 conversations went very well, with many words of encouragement from those we met.”
SFLAction testified against HB22-1279 The Reproductive Health Equity Act in the past and took no hesitation in informing residents on the voting record of Congressional candidate Brianna Titone who supported this bill which ensured abortion on demand.
SFLAction also exposed abortion extremist Jen Bass-Patino in Indiana. Indiana Regional Coordinator Mary Carmen Zakrajsek noted that Bass-Patino has partnered with pro-abortion groups across the state including Indiana Women’s Action Movement, Better Indiana, and the Indiana Federation of Democratic Women.
The groups that endorse her have advocated for late-term abortion and refused to state what (if any) restrictions they support. Despite this, they have hidden behind messaging that paints them as moderates who are just supporting the status quo on abortion in Indiana prior to SB1.
To publicly reveal Bass-Patino’s support of abortion, over a dozen students mobilized over the weekend, knocking a collective 3,500 doors to make sure Bass-Patino’s extreme record on abortion was crystal clear to voters. Their conversations revealed that the clear majority of Hoosiers oppose the extremism advocated by Bass-Patino and her allies.
The team can’t wait to head back to Indianapolis to connect with more voters before the election!
To join SFLAction in a city near you for our final round of activism trips before November 8th and join the fun, CLICK HERE!