When Nancy Keenan, then-president of NARAL, attended the 2010 March for Life in Washington she glumly told Newsweek magazine, “I just thought, my gosh, they are so young…There are so many of them, and they are so young.”
One of the groups that deserves credit for starting and maintaining this momentum is Students For Life of America. The group was founded in the late 1970s in response to Roe v. Wade. For 26 years, Students for Life has hosted a national conference in Washington DC, where young people can meet pro-life activists, absorb statistics, and learn leadership skills and techniques of dialogue.
This year will witness the first annual West Coast Students for Life of America conference, subtitled Be the Revolution. The conference will be held on Sunday, January 26, at San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Cathedral, the day after the Walk for Life West Coast. The conference “…features morning, afternoon and evening sessions with national pro-life speakers. Topics include prolife apologetics, how to start and lead a pro-life outreach, your rights on campus, dispelling the top five myths about abortion, and how to transfer your campus and community through revolutionary strategies.” The conference speakers include: David Bereit, founder of 40 Days for Life; Josh Brahm of Right to Life of Central California; David Hacker of Alliance Defending Freedom; Bryan Kemper of Stand True; Kristina Garza of Survivors; Georgette Forney of Silent No More; pro-life Dr. Mary Davenport; and Anne Morse of the Population Research Institute.
California Catholic Daily spoke with Casey Tesauro, the West Coast regional coordinator for Students for Life of America. Mrs. Tesauro is now in her second year with Students for Life.
Tell us about your work, Casey.
“As West Coast Regional coordinator for Students for Life of America, I work with pro-life student groups in CA, AZ, and NV. I am currently working with over 100 groups, with over 80 in CA alone. Students for Life of America has over 800 groups nationwide and believe in equipping the students to lead effective pro-life movements in their own schools and communities. “
Are you still in school?
I graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2010 with a degree in Family and Child Psychology.
What on-campus challenges do you experience?
“Wow, well the challenges range from students disapproving of our point of view, to administration blocking group recognition, to schools not wanting to take a “political” side on abortion. I think we have seen and heard it all between our entire staff, BUT there has been very little we have been unable to work through. Our students are determined and are all willing to stand for LIFE and end abortion no matter what!”
We understand Students for Life will have a big banner at the end of both the Walk and March.
“We want everyone to continue from the walk and fight to end abortion in their own cities. For this reason Students for Life of America will have a banner towards the end of the finish line that will say, ‘You walked for life, now you are ready to abolish abortion.’ At this sign our Students for Life of America team will be handing stickers to every walk participant. The sticker will then lead people to a website where they will find activities and ways to engage in their local pro-life movement…or maybe get the pro-life movement started! We are hoping this will encourage people to keep up the fight and be the revolution in their hometowns.”
To learn more about the Be the Revolution conference, visit https://studentsforlife.org/2014westcoast/