FFL's President's Report

December 20, 2013

SMF-NW-touchupSMOn behalf of the Board and staff, we sincerely thank everyone for their efforts and financial support in 2013, most especially our donors, members, interns, and volunteers. While we are strategic and frugal in our efforts, we also work hard to ensure that every dollar and every minute is impactful.


It is my pleasure to report on Feminists for Life’s activities as we draw near to the conclusion of a year marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It is not something we celebrate, but we do celebrate the work of those who contributed in many ways possible.  

 

FFL recognizes that abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Our mission is to systematically eliminate the root causes that drive women to abortion–primarily a lack of resources and support. Women deserve better than abortion.

 

Our strategic efforts center on education and advocacy, especially for those at highest risk of abortion:

The poor including the working poor, college students, young working women, victims of violence, mothers and fathers, birthparents, and women who have had abortions.

 

Because women deserve better,

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Serrin M. Foster

President

 

Significant accomplishments and milestones include:

 

NEW WEBSITE–the Gateway to FFL: www.FeministsForLife.org

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Among our biggest accomplishments was a dream of ours made possible by a core group of visionary and dedicated donors–completely redesigning our website! The gateway to FFL welcomes visitors and educates activists by providing:

    • • pro-life feminist history–originally researched by FFL,
    • • pro-woman answers to questions from people who have never known a day without abortion, many of whom have experienced this form of violence against women and children,
    • • our College Outreach Program,
    • • “Women Deserve Better® than Abortion” campaign and other ads,
    • • tools for schools and other advocates, and
    • • connecting those in need and service providers to free, frugal resources and creative solutions.

There are many new website features and we hope you enjoy sharing them with your family and friends.

 

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FFL’s Leadership Role for the Needs of Victims of Violence:


FFL’s decades long record of advocacy and education made FFL the “go to” group for answers when controversy arose because of misstatements by politicians and university officials regarding the question, “What about abortion in the case of rape?”

    • • The American Feminist entitled “Hard Cases, Exceptional Choices” edited by Jewels Green was published sharing our pro-woman answers and personal stories by women like FFL Speaker Joyce McCauley-Benner who chose victory over violence.
    • • Writer Mary Meehan recognized FFL’s decades-long advocacy on behalf of rape survivors since supporting the original Violence Against Women Act. Read her thoughtful article in Human Life Review. “Rape and Abortion: A Double Injustice.”
    • • Kathryn Jean Lopez included our pro-woman answers in National Review. See more information below.
    • • Our Vice President Sally Winn worked directly with a legislative coalition to advocate for rape survivors in Montana.

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Capitol Hill Briefing

During the Capitol Hill briefing for interns, President Serrin Foster moderated a panel featuring our Vice President Sally Winn, editor Jewels Green and speaker Joyce McCauley-Benner who each shared their personal stories about their unplanned pregnancies to college students from across the country interning in Washington during our Annual Capitol Hill briefing.


Sally and Jewels also shared their personal stories of conversion in the most recent issue of
The American Feminist “Metamorphosis” along with other women who reconsidered the many promises made by abortion advocates to women.

 

Our NEW issue of The American Feminist is an updated “Pro-Woman Answers to Pro-Choice QuestionsTM” and includes:

    • • Talking points include “Women Deserve Better® than Abortion” and “Refuse to Choose®” slogans.
    • • Special article focuses on “Birthmothers Deserve Better.”

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    • • With your help we plan to distribute this tool to thousands of student activists who are leaders, today on campus and will be leaders in every field in the future.
    • • We will also distribute them to every student activist at three huge student conferences coinciding with Roe events in Washington, DC and California, legislators on Capitol Hill, and for the first time legislators at the STATE level!!

FFL’s College Outreach Program is our flagship program. Our powerful speakers traversed the country–and beyond!

 

Last school year Serrin was able to address students in:

  • • Pennsylvania (University of Pittsburgh),
  • • Massachusetts (Ave Maria College, MIT, Boston University lecture and returned to moderated their 1st FFL Pregnancy Resource Forum and Boston College for their 3rd Pregnancy Resource Forum),
  • • South Carolina (Wofford College and Converse College),
  • • Illinois(University of DePaul University in Chicago), and
  • • Washington, DC (Georgetown lecture and Pregnancy Resource Forum).

Vice President Sally Winn spoke to packed audiences at student conferences in Washington, DC and Maryland and traveled across the country to speak in:

  • • California (University of San Diego and Stanford University),
  • • Indiana (University of Notre Dame),
  • • Missouri (Saint Louis University),
  • • Montana (Carroll College and Montana State University),
  • • Illinois (Bradley University),
  • • Nebraska (Creighton University),
  • • Michigan (University of Michigan), and
  • • Connecticut (for a first ever pro-life conference at Yale).

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Most exciting, Vice President Sally Winn (at podium, left) participated in a debate about pro-life feminism held by the oldest student organization in the world, The Philosophical Society of Trinity College – Dublin. She also met with numerous leaders in the pro-woman, pro-life movement in Ireland.

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Shortly thereafter, Serrin (front row, middle) met with 18 legislators from the Republic of Ireland, including two senators who traveled to Washington, DC.

 

Joyce McCauley-Benner shared her story at Saint John’s and St. Benedict’s in Minnesota and the College of Wooster in Ohio.

 

FFL’s Pregnancy Resource Forum is the crown jewel of our College Outreach Program.

 

In addition to returning to Boston College for their 3rd event and the following semester to Boston University for their first event, Serrin was especially pleased to moderate the 18th annual Pregnancy Resource Forum at Georgetown University.

 

This year Georgetown decided to make a child care scholarship their next goal. They also host an annual diaper drive for the Northwest Center–and plan to have an exhibit to help change the culture on campus.

 

Thanks to you, every year we have donated copies of “Raising Kids on A Shoestring” to pregnant and parenting students, their advisors, and counselors at every Forum and lecture.

 

For the first time, a child could enter college next year who benefited from our program–and the example that has inspired efforts at other schools and by other organizations across the country and around the world.

 

VICTORY FOR WOMEN!

After years of FFL advocating and educating the colleges, universities, and highest levels of government about the ongoing discrimination against pregnant women and documenting the lack of resources and support for pregnant women, parents, and birthparents through “Perception is Reality,” the US Department of Education has issued information to university administrators across the country which tells them what they must and must not do to comply with US law. 

 

FFL is asking our activists to write your alma mater to help inform them of the Department of Education document and let them know about FFL’s help to establish policies, take an inventory of resources and support on campus and in the community, create a plan to move forward with solutions, and communicate them through a variety of means.

 

Third Party Organizations

  • • At the national level, Sally Winn and Serrin were invited to address the second annual conference on social justice hosted by Focus on the Family.
  • • Last year Sally was the featured speaker at a Roe v. Wade rally in Montana.
  • • Behind the scenes, we continue to advise many state level groups about pro-woman initiatives as it relates to legislation.

Speaking Engagements During the 41st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Serrin will address those attending the RALLY FOR LIFE at the Vermont House State Chamber this January and will rush back to DC to address 1,500 students from the St. Louis Archdiocese on the Martin Luther King Holiday. Jewels will speak the next night to the same group. Meanwhile, Sally will address the leadership at the Students for Life of America’s (SFLA) National Conference in Maryland. Thousands are expected to attend. FFL Speaker, labor and delivery nurse, and former College Outreach Program Coordinator Chaunie Brusie will be signing her new book, “Two Tiny Blue Lines” at the FFL booth. Then Sally is off to San Francisco for the first-ever SFLA West-Coast Conference!

 

Every registrant will receive our updated “Pro-Woman Answers to Pro-Choice Questions” at the SFLA conferences and the Cardinal O’Connor Conference at Georgetown University

 

FFL will once again be at the March for Life and also at the Walk for Life West Coast. If you are in San Francisco please meet Pat O’Kane, the chair of our board, and other FFL volunteers. Be sure to pick up one of our NEW “Women Deserve Better than Abortion” placards. The other side declares, “All People Are Equal. All Choices Are NotTM

 

Other Upcoming Events

Serrin will present her landmark speech, “The Feminist Case Against Abortion” at Providence College in Rhode Island in February, the Houston Coalition for Life in March, and the Washington Catholic Conference in Tacoma next October. Sally will return to the College of Wooster in February to host their first-ever Pregnancy Resource Forum. Many more events are in the works. Be sure to contact coordinator@ffloncampus.org to book a speaker early for your next pro-woman, pro-life rally, banquet, conference, or campus event.

 

For more details on our upcoming events, visit our Facebook Events page at www.Facebook.com/FeministsForLife/Events or our website at www.FeministsForLife.org/calendar.

 

We have an urgent need to get speakers to a number of schools whose pro-life groups have no club funding. The pro-life students hope that we have the money to cover the flights, hotels, and other expenses–including our materials.

 

It simply just isn’t the case. Even when a speaker travels locally we have to pay for materials, and our visually rich and informative brochures and magazines are great but also costly.

 

We are doing our best to leverage other events so that we can piggyback lectures and pregnancy resource forums when we travel, but costs remain and expectations are high. Combined expenses for most out-of-town events start at over $1500.

 

Media Coverage
Feminists for Life speaks to people through various news sources on the both sides of the political aisle as well as those of various religions and none. Recent media coverage includes:

  • • A widely circulated interview by the Associated Press about the 40th anniversary of Roe was picked up by ABCnews.com and the Washington Times.
  • • Serrin’s op-ed was published by the Washington Examiner about Sarah Weddington for 40th anniversary of Roe.
  • • Serrin was interviewed by Gov. Mike Huckabee on his Fox News show about Kermit Gosnell and Planned Parenthood of Florida regarding children born alive and women killed by legal but lethal abortion.
  • • Soon after, Serrin was invited by Michele Martin to debate on National Public Radio about restrictions on abortion.
  • • Joyce was featured in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post in articles about rape and pregnancy. She personally answered numerous questions online and stayed strong despite some abusive comments.
  • • Serrin participated in a live webcast from Colorado with six other pro-life leaders which was moderated by the editor of Christianity Today.
  • • FFL VP Sally Winn’s daughter, Emily Winn, was featured in More magazine, a women’s magazine with a circulation of 1.8 million. The article was about views of young adults toward abortion.
  • • National Review quoted Serrin on the proper response to “what about rape?”
  • • The Pittsburgh Post Gazette featured a cover story about Jeannie French, whose story was published in “Hard Cases, Exceptional Choices” and on FFL’s website and Facebook page.
  • • The National Catholic Register interviewed Serrin for a story about pro-life feminism.
  • • The Charlotte Herald has published a number of stories about Feminist for Life as it relates to inspiring the work of Room at the Inn, a new maternity home adjacent to Belmont Abbey and the College.
  • • Most recently, CatholicTV posted Serrin’s interview on YouTube.

In addition, FFL stories have appeared in the New York Magazine, Christian Post, First Things, and numerous campus newspapers.

 

FFL’s president, vice president, and editor were interviewed for the film, “Forty,” about the 40th anniversary of Roe.

 

Facebook visitors have grown to reach thousands on any given day. But recently we topped over 1.1 Million in a single post! 

 

Come and see what’s going on at www.facebook.com/femnistsforlife. And don’t forget to “Like” and “Share” our page!

 

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In Memoriam
Serrin published a tribute to Remarkable Pro-Life Woman
® Ambassador Lindy Boggs and quoted her friend, former FFL Board member Susie DeConcini.

 

A year ago, we also learned that pro-life feminist historian Mary Krane Derr died after returning from a trip to India. We honored her and remember her family.


As you walk in the shoes of the early American feminists, please consider how best to leverage your tax-deductible, year-end gift.

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The FFL Board of Directors is pleased to announce our year-end match for single gifts through December 31, 2013.


Any new or increased monthly gift will be double-matched. (Please go online right now and choose the “recurring donation” option.) This provides core support year-round–and this is what we need the most!

 

Help us reach the leaders of today and tomorrow and better serve those at highest risk of abortion by demonstrating your support for our work. Please go to www.feministsforlife.org/support right now.

 

 Thank you for helping us reach so many 

at highest risk of abortion in 2013!