Dear Feminist for Life:
Planned Parenthood predicted it when they first took note of FFL's College Outreach Program in 1996. They called it the "newest and most challenging concept" and predicted it could have a "profound impact" on college campuses.
They were right.
Since 1994, when FFL's Washington office opened, the abortion rate among college graduates has decreased by 30%.
Perhaps that is why retiring NARAL president Kate Michelman and Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt have made outreach to college students a top priority.
In anticipation of an abortion march in Washington on April 25, inappropriately named "March for Women's Lives," Michelman and Feldt crisscrossed the country hoping more women would follow them in support of abortion.
College students are not responding to their call as they had hoped.
A Zogby Poll released in anticipation of the abortion march on Washington revealed that 60.5 percent of those ages 18 to 29-including college age-oppose abortion in all or most circumstances.
Nor do a majority of American women support abortion. According to the Center for the Advancement of Women, founded by former Planned Parenthood President Faye Wattleton, 51 percent of U.S. women of all ages oppose abortion in all or most cases.
I wish you could see the new confidence of pro-life leaders on campus. At Wellesley and Harvard, Berkeley, Cornell, Gonzaga and the University of Florida, I have witnessed a profound shift in the numbers of activists-and the percentage in the audience who are pro-life. Sally Winn, FFL's vice president, has seen the same transformation at Dartmouth, University of Michigan, University of Kentucky, Medical College of Ohio, Oberlin College, University of North Carolina and others. There are so many examples.
Your support has been a major contributing factor. Your investment is paying off.
The day before the abortion march, 150 pro-life student leaders and activists gathered at George Washington University for a symposium on abortion and women, co-hosted by American Collegians for Life and Feminists for Life.
Student leaders eagerly listened to FFL Vice President Sally Winn, who experienced parenthood in college firsthand; Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a leading breast surgeon and expert on the link between abortion and breast cancer; and Women Deserve Better partners, who shared personal testimony about abortion's impact on women's lives.
Afterward, the students returned to their campuses inspired, with new ways to advocate for and support women and their children.
In contrast, the next day hundreds of thousands marched and chanted in support of abortion as the answer to the challenges women face. I have to think many of the marchers meant well. But they are horribly wrong.
FFL will continue to advocate for the choices women really want, the resources women need and deserve-despite name-calling by retiring NARAL president Kate Michelman, who recently accused FFL of being "an anti-choice group masquerading as a women's rights organization." We will keep the red carpet out for her and all those who have experienced abortion or believed it was necessary to achieve equality or life goals.
Most important, we will wait with open arms for college-age women who are at highest risk of abortion, who have never known a day without legalized abortion-and who are, in ever-increasing numbers, pro-woman and pro-life.
As one more college class graduates into the world having heard our message-more than 4 million students in the past few years-another class is graduating from high school. Soon they'll be walking onto college campuses eager to learn.
And abortion advocates will be waiting. They will spend their summer strategizing. And fundraising. Abortion advocates raised MILLIONS in April alone -all in hopes that students will "choose" abortion.
FFL will be there too. We'll be vastly outspent, but we are determined. We will redouble our efforts preparing for the school year. We have proven to you that FFL's College Outreach Program is effective. You already know that the students we serve are worth the investment.
I can't tell you about plans for the newest components of our program. (It seems that Kate and Gloria now read all the letters we send!) So we'll just let it be our surprise.
I'll tell you this much: Truth will always be stronger than lies. In the light of day, the truth of how abortion hurts women is being told. The tide is turning, and this progress will continue-if you continue to support our flagship program.
I am counting on you to be here for FFL now so that students can count on us tomorrow.
While abortion advocates continue to march in the wrong direction, you and I are working to provide the choices, resources and support women truly need. Thanks for helping us make the crucial next step.
Because women deserve better,
Serrin M. Foster
P.S. As we have heard from students all over the country, Feminists for Life is getting the message out. Women deserve better. Because of your support, most students now oppose abortion. Abortion advocates will spend this summer targeting this vulnerable "market." Thanks for doing your part to ensure that our positive momentum continues.
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