2011 SFLI Interns

14 Jun 2011 SFLI Interns

I’m Kelly and I will be an intern for Students for Life of Illinois this summer. I am looking forward to what this opportunity will hold for me and the pro-life movement.

There are some things people should know about me before this crazy ride begins! I am currently a junior at Eastern Illinois University majoring in Communication Studies with an option in Public Relations and a minor in Advertising. I’m from New Lenox, a Southwest suburb of Chicago. But often times I go to Chicago. In my free time I like to play guitar; I have been playing for almost eight years. I also like to drink coffee; I drink about three to four cups a day. And I like to watch my favorite TV shows, which include House M.D and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

The reason why I decided I wanted to work here is because at home I had no summer job. I wanted to give this summer meaning. I wanted something more than just spending time with my friends. This past school year I was also very active in EIU’s Students for Life. Through my participation I became even more passionate about this cause. So, I applied for Students for Life and I got it!

I am excited about this opportunity for many reasons. One major thing is gaining professional experience in the non-profit sector of business. Which is my dream job! I am also excited to be advocating for a cause that I strongly believe in, the pro-life movement.

I am pro-life because I believe that protecting life is one of the most important things. Another reason is because I have been a witness to many family members who have had difficulty becoming pregnant, and seeing other people commit abortions because they did not want the child frustrated me. Also, I believe that I have to be the voice for those who do not have one.

Hey pro-lifers! My name is Lauren Kilcommons and I am interning with Students for Life of Illinois this summer. I am a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in Political Science and Spanish.

I am the oldest of four kids and come from the lovely village of Stickney, Illinois (a Southwest suburb of Chicago). When I’m not doing pro-life work, you can probably find me running, playing Ultimate Frisbee, traveling or listening to live music.

During the spring semester, I decided to volunteer about four hours each week at the Students for Life of Illinois office. This experience allowed me to become more aware of the pro-life issues that students may face on college campuses.

For example, I found out that at my own university, the student insurance covers abortions. While there are thousands of pro-life students on campus, I was also disappointed to find that less than twenty students were willing to attend a student government hearing to challenge some of the women’s health procedures for which we are required to pay.

I think that it is important for students to educate themselves on pro-life issues and prepare for the challenges they will face after college. This includes having the confidence to contest authority figures and others about their convictions regarding life.

This is the reason that I am interning with SFLI this summer—I want other students to become more educated and have the courage to stand up for their beliefs.

Many people do not realize the effect that abortion has on other social issues affecting our world today. If we do not value the most innocent and helpless forms of life, is it really surprising that we have to deal with problems such as racism, poverty and abuse?

One of the most basic rights citizens deserve from their government is the right to life. I am pro-life because I believe in the value of life from the moment of conception to natural death. Respect of human life begins with the unborn.

Hey fellow Pro-Lifers! My name is Mike Yoerger, and this summer I will be interning with Students for Life of Illinois. I am originally from Merrill, Iowa (near Sioux City) and attended Le Mars Community High School. Upon completion of my internship, I will be graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Northern Iowa with degrees in Political Science, Public Administration, and Psychology, and certificates in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and State and Local Government. My professional career plans include pursuing a PhD in either I/O Psychology or Public Administration, with the ultimate goal of working in the federal government.

In my spare time I enjoy playing sci-fi video games, studying the paranormal, volunteering for political campaigns, and engaging in pro-life activism. In my life, I’ve played 5 instruments: the piano, the clarinet, the tenor saxophone, the oboe, and the bassoon. The next instrument I hope to learn is the electric guitar.

The main reason why I decided to intern with SFLI is because it provides an invaluable opportunity for pro-life activists such as myself to become more effective leaders. Since my early childhood, I have always felt the most strongly about life issues. It is my firm belief that abortion is always the wrong answer.

You want to outlaw all abortions? Isn’t that a bit extreme?

It is not surprising that many people have this response. The mainstream media regularly tries to portray the pro-life movement in a negative light. That being said, the facts tell quite a different story.

First, it should be noted that over 95% of abortions are committed purely out of convenience, essentially as a form of birth control; only 1% are because of rape or incest, 3% because of potential health complications, and 1% because of fetal abnormalities.[i]

In regards to convenience abortions, a recent Gallup poll reveals that, by 61-37 percent, Americans are strongly opposed to them.[ii] A clear majority of Americans share the pro-life view.

But you wouldn’t allow any exceptions? Not even for rape, incest, or the life of the mother?

In cases of rape and incest, I would argue that the circumstances in which one was conceived should not bear impact on the legitimacy or value given to that life. The innocent life growing inside the mother should not suffer for the crimes of his or her father.

It should also be noted that the alleged 3% of abortions committed to “save the life of the mother” include cases that do not actually involve abortion, such as operations have unintentionally resulted in the death of the fetus. In fact, it has been said that in modern times, “there are no situations where abortion is medically or psychiatrically justified to save the life of the mother…. with the advancement of medical science, today’s doctor is never faced with the dilemma of choosing between the life of the mother and the life of the baby.”[iii]

Even if one were to argue that there are certain risks associated with pregnancy, there are also a great deal of risks with abortion.

Finally, there is the issue of fetal abnormalities. For example, it has been estimated that, as of today, over 90% of babies with down syndrome are being aborted.[iv]

In response to this I would ask those in the pro-choice movement what gives them the right to decide whether or not another person’s life is worth living. The answer is that they have no such right, no one does. Each life has value, purpose, and is deserving of the most basic legal protection – defense of his or her life.

Okay, but what does this have to do with me?

There may be many of you reading this post who agree with everything written in the preceding paragraphs, but still unsure if becoming more actively involved in the pro-life movement is worth your time. As a campus pro-life leader, it has been my experience that there is nothing more worthwhile.

In the effort to change hearts and minds, college campuses are a key battle ground that we cannot ignore. As of today, approximately 1/2 of women entering college are pro-life, yet only 1/4 are still pro-life upon graduation.[v] This is one of the many signs that we are not yet meeting the challenge brought forth by the pro-abortion advocates. However, you can help to change this.

Get in touch with local pro-life organizations, work with them to become more informed about life issues, and seek out others in your community who are willing to hear what you have to say. Not everyone will be willing to listen, and there are many who will resist your message. However many times this might happen, it is important to never get discouraged. Spreading the pro-life message does matter, every voice does help, and every life saved is another victory.

References

[i] Finer, Lawrence B., Frohwirth, Lori F., Dauphinee, Lindsay A., Singh, Susheela, and Moore,
Anne. (2005). “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative
Perspectives.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 37.3 (2005): 110-118.
Print.
[ii] Saad, Lydia. “Americans Still Split Along “Pro-Choice,” “Pro-Life” Lines.” Gallup. Gallup, 23
May 2011. Web. 1 Jun 2011. http://www.gallup.com/poll/147734/Americans-Split-
Along-Pro-Choice-Pro-Life-Lines.aspx.
[iii] Human Life Alliance. (2009). “FAQs about Abortion.” Human Life Alliance. N.p., 2009.
Web. 1 Jun 2011. http://www.humanlife.org/abortion_tiredofrhetoric.php.
[iv] Harmon, Amy. “Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus .” The New York Times.
The New York Times, 9 May 2007. Web. 1 Jun 2011.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/us/09down.html.
[v] Jalsevac, John. “Hundreds of pro-life student groups sweeping across U.S. college campuses.”
Life Site News. Life Site News, 9 Dec 2010. Web. 1 Jun 2011.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/students-for-life-of-america-raising-up-a-new-
generation-of-pro-life-warrio/