Pray for Rylei and Students Like Her

Pray with JFA (April):

This month, when Jeremy Gorr showed up in Phoenix to teach a seminar, he was met with a surprise: Rylei, a high school student he helped train in 2017 and 2018 in Colorado, was now a student at Arizona State University and eager to become active changing hearts and minds at ASU. Jeremy’s letter, “Growing Up with Justice For All” tells Rylei’s story. Please pray for Rylei’s conversations at ASU, and pray that God would continue to help Rylei, JFA alumni like her, and JFA’s training team, as all of us speak up this month for forgotten women and children.

We’ve recently conducted outreach events at Univ. of Kansas (4/1-2), Univ. of Northern Colorado (4/8-9), George Mason Univ. in Fairfax, VA (4/15, 4/24), Oklahoma State Univ. (4/23) and Univ. of North Texas (4/24-25). We’re looking forward to seminar and outreach events at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA on May 19-22. Please join us or pray for us!

Outreach with Cowboys for Life at Oklahoma State University - April 23, 2019

Teach Kids with Our New K-4 Lesson Plan

JFA just released a lesson plan for K-4 elementary school students called, “The Baby’s Heart Beats Like Mine.” Whether you teach kids at home, in a church Sunday School, or in a traditional school environment, be one of the first to try this lesson and give us feedback. During the lesson, K-4 students identify with unborn babies through a series of experiences, including feeling their own heartbeat, seeing the unborn baby in the womb, naming similarities they share with unborn babies, making a bracelet that reminds them of when the heart begins to beat, and narrating what they learned to their parents.

(You’re required to “Sign Up” to access this “Member Only” content. That’s free!)

(Note: This resource was our “Featured Resource” for April 2019.")

Start Conversations with Our New K-4 Lesson Plan

JFA developed our new K-4 Lesson Plan (click here to read a brief description) partly to “drive interest” in discussions about unborn children within churches and other communities. Here’s how we envision that working: You download the lesson plan and teach any group of K-4 kids (or you can teach just one!). During the lesson, students practice sharing what they’ve learned with their parents, and then take home a bracelet and a “Student and Parent Handout” to facilitate those conversations about the unborn child. We anticipate this will not only create conversations among parents and students but also among parents and teachers and others in the community! Help us test this idea to see if it will work.


Next Steps After Seeing UNPLANNED

Due to my busy travel schedule, I was unable to see the movie Unplanned until its fourth week in theaters. Thankfully it was still playing in the city where I live. My wife, Trudy, and I saw it late one Tuesday night.

Poster artwork used with permission

We were moved by Abby's powerful story of transformation after witnessing an abortion inside the Planned Parenthood where she worked as Director. I thought the movie was hard to watch. It tugged on a lot of emotions as we saw the characters’ stories develop, but I didn’t think it deserved an R-rating. There were only three scenes that had any gruesome or violent content in them.

I did appreciate Ashley Bratcher’s comment regarding the MPAA rating of the film. In an interview with Plugged In (which reviews popular entertainment from a Christian perspective), Ashley, the actress that played Abby Johnson in the film, said,

“Well, first I just want to say that the MPAA gave us the rating only because of abortion… There’s nothing else that warrants the R rating, except for the abortion scenes. They said if you’ll take out the abortion scenes, we’ll drop it to PG-13. Well then that defeats our entire purpose in telling the story.”

As important as it was to see and support the movie, it should be a springboard. It should spur us on to be active and engage our culture. What should that next step be? It depends for each person and what season of life he or she is in. Here are a couple of links to resources with a some ideas:

May I suggest one more? Have a conversation today. Having a conversation about abortion may not seem that significant, or you may not feel like you are doing enough. I find on campus that many pro-life people don’t know what their friends think about abortion. Many times their friends hold an opposing view to theirs, and they don’t know it.

As important as it was to see and support the movie, it should be a springboard. It should spur us on to be active and engage our culture.

What does your neighbor, a family member, a friend, or a fellow churchgoer think about abortion? Your influence in that person’s life can effect real change in our world!

Want to learn how to start a conversation? I suggest you try our free Learn at Home Program, which gives you the basics for starting and having a conversation on abortion. Click here to request a Learn at Home packet, and along with it, you will receive two of our new brochures called, “An Invitation to Dialogue about Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion.” (Or, click here for the online version of all four Learn at Home 15-minute lessons.) You can also call our office (316.683.6426) to request Learn at Home materials by phone, learn about upcoming JFA seminars and outreach events, or talk to a JFA trainer directly.

JFA Outreach Featured in The UNC Mirror

This month, JFA held a two-day outreach event (April 8-9) at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. The student newspaper, The UNC Mirror, covered the event.

Click here to read the article, including an interview with JFA Trainer Grace Fontenot.

Click above to read the full interview and coverage of JFA’s recent outreach at University of Northern Colorado in The UNC Mirror.

Click above to read the full interview and coverage of JFA’s recent outreach at University of Northern Colorado in The UNC Mirror.

Pray with JFA (March)

Pray for Recent and Upcoming Events (Partial List):

JFA Outreach Event at Fort Lewis College - March 18, 2019

In March, JFA staff members were busy leading events in six states (TX, KS, GA, NE, CO, and NM)! As we continue on into April, please pray for good weather during our outreach events to facilitate good conversations. Pray for the health of our trainers that they might keep active in the field. Pray for each person we train and each person with whom we converse at outreach, that God will kindle new affection in their hearts for women in distress and for the smallest humans on earth. — Steve Wagner, Executive Director

  • Mar. 3 (Houston, TX): Interactive Seminar — University of Houston (UH)

  • Mar. 11 (Norfolk, NE): Interactive Seminar — Norfolk Catholic High School

  • Mar. 8-13 (Atlanta Area, GA): Seminars and Outreach Events near/at Kennesaw State University (KSU)

  • Mar. 17-19 (Durango, CO): Seminar & Outreach Events near/at Fort Lewis College

  • Mar. 23-26 (Albuquerque, NM): Seminars & Outreach Events near/at University of New Mexico (UNM)

  • Mar. 26 (Baltimore, MD): Outreach Event and Evening Forum at Johns Hopkins University

  • Mar. 31-Apr.2 (Lawrence, KS): Seminar and Outreach Events near/at University of Kansas (KU)

  • Apr. 4-7 (CO): Interactive Seminars in Denver, Fort Collins, Littleton, & Greeley

  • March/April/May: Seminars & Outreach Events in MD, AZ, & CA

Resource for March - "Empathy Opens the Door"

FEATURED RESOURCE FOR EQUIPPING YOURSELF:

In “Empathy Opens the Door” JFA trainer Jon Wagner shares his conversation with “Eva,” a student whose pro-choice view stemmed from her experience in foster care. Notice how Jon invited Eva into the dialogue, starting with common ground rather than an argument. See also how “Trotting Out the Toddler” revealed that, if the unborn is a human being, abortion is not a compassionate solution to the difficulties surrounding unplanned pregnancy.

Over 20 Conversation Starters on the Blog!

Since the advent of JFA’s Loving Every Human Being with JFA monthly resource bulletin, we’ve posted over 20 unique conversation starters to the JFA Blog and our @7conversations Twitter page, including video of our dialogue artists in action, trending news stories, and more. The goal of every JFA conversation starter is to help an average pro-life advocate to create a conversation about abortion in a natural, less awkward way. If you haven’t yet done so, choose one and open up a dialogue with a friend or co-worker. We’d love to hear how it goes!

Pray with JFA (February)

Pray for Recent and Upcoming Events (Partial List):

“I am very proud of JFA’s trainers who have been active recently leading workshops and outreach events completely on their own. We’ve listed below some of our recent and upcoming events to give you a sense of what’s happening, but please see the calendar link below for a complete list with more specifics. Let’s keep praying that God would use these events to change hearts and save lives!” - Steve Wagner, Executive Director

Julia (front/center, with backpack) observes conversations at a 2017 JFA outreach event at UNM during her first semester on campus. Read Julia’s reflection on that event and how it impacted her life in  this month’s Impact Report “You Have to See Firsthand.”  Julia later participated in JFA events at UNM in 2018. JFA will be returning again to UNM for seminar and outreach events this spring.

Julia (front/center, with backpack) observes conversations at a 2017 JFA outreach event at UNM during her first semester on campus. Read Julia’s reflection on that event and how it impacted her life in this month’s Impact Report “You Have to See Firsthand.” Julia later participated in JFA events at UNM in 2018. JFA will be returning again to UNM for seminar and outreach events this spring.

  • Jan. 27-29 (South Dakota): Workshop & Outreach Events — South Dakota State University (SDSU) — Paul Kulas

  • Feb. 13-16 (Louisiana): Various Workshop & Outreach Events near/at University of Louisiana at Lafayette — Grace Fontenot

  • Feb. 23 (Wichita, KS): Outreach Event — Wichita State Univ.

  • Mar. 3 (Houston, TX): Interactive Seminar — University of Houston (UH)

  • Mar. 10 (Kennesaw, GA): Interactive Seminar — Kennesaw State University (KSU)

  • Mar. 23-26 (Albuquerque, NM): Seminars & Outreach Events near/at University of New Mexico (UNM)

  • Mar. 31-Apr.2 (Lawrence, KS): Seminar and Outreach Events near/at University of Kansas (KU)

  • April (TBD): Seminars & Outreach Events in Colorado and Arizona

  • February/March/April (KS, NE, OK, TX, NM, VA): More Individual Events Led by Tammy Cook, Rebecca Hotovy, Jon Wagner, Jeremy Gorr, and Steve Wagner

Resource for February - "Watch this Conversation" (Outreach Video)

FEATURED RESOURCE FOR EQUIPPING YOURSELF:

JFA trainer Rebecca Hotovy talks with a student named Julia at Colorado State University in a video JFA just posted. Prepare for your own conversations by watching Rebecca share the Equal Rights Argument (Part 1), graciously challenge the idea that legalized abortion aligns with feminism (Part 2), ask key clarification questions related to women’s rights and bodily autonomy (Part 3), and offer evidence for the biological humanity of the unborn (Part 4).

Conversation Starter for February - Video: Dialogue with Julia

Use the outreach video recently posted at the JFA blog in order to start your own conversation in a natural way. In it, JFA trainer Rebecca Hotovy talks with a pro-choice student named Julia at Colorado State University. (See the description of the video in the image caption below. The four video clips containing the dialogue play automatically via a playlist at the links below.) Why not share this footage with a friend and ask, “Have you ever been a part of a conversation about unintended pregnancy and abortion like this one?”

Prepare for your own conversations by watching Rebecca share the Equal Rights Argument (Part 1), graciously challenge the idea that legalized abortion aligns with feminism (Part 2), ask key clarification questions related to women’s rights and bodily autonomy (Part 3), and offer evidence for the biological humanity of the unborn (Part 4).

Prepare for your own conversations by watching Rebecca share the Equal Rights Argument (Part 1), graciously challenge the idea that legalized abortion aligns with feminism (Part 2), ask key clarification questions related to women’s rights and bodily autonomy (Part 3), and offer evidence for the biological humanity of the unborn (Part 4).

Watch this Conversation

Filmed during a JFA outreach event at Colorado State University, JFA trainer Rebecca Hotovy and Julia create a different kind of conversation. Why not share this with a friend and ask, “Have you ever been a part of a conversation about unintended pregnancy and abortion like this one?”

You can also view and share this conversation on Facebook.

Credits: Chris Germain (filming, editing) & Joanna Bai (editing, subtitles)

What's Up in Virginia and New York?

There have been a lot of scary headlines about what some new abortion bills in Virginia and New York will allow. I wanted to get past the hype and look into the actual facts around these bills myself.

Virginia HB 2491 – Bill to eliminate certain abortion restrictions

This bill became national news when Governor Ralph Northam, in a TV interview, seemed to argue for killing children after they were born in some cases.

Ralph Northam , Attribution: Lee District Democratic Committee  CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Ralph Northam, Attribution: Lee District Democratic Committee CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I don’t think this bill is worth examining because it is probably dead – it is tabled with no current plans to bring it back. We can probably thank the fact that extreme comments about this bill went viral for that. As Virginia’s legislature currently stands, even if it advanced, it would not be approved by the House of Delegates, which has a Republican majority.

House of Delegates Majority Leader C. Todd Gilbert, a Republican, sent WSLS 10 News this statement:

"I think what my Democratic colleagues are most concerned about is what this moment actually revealed. It was a moment of unbridled honesty about their agenda."

New York Reproductive Health Act (RHA)

Unfortunately, most of the horror stories about this law that I’ve seen in the news seem to be true!

Here is the text of the bill itself. This bill is now law in New York. Reading the bill itself is very difficult, because it references dozens of different penal codes. I have answered some pertinent questions below. Most of my answers come from this great article. I personally confirmed these answers with what the bill says, and they seem to match. Most of the quotes below come from the article, not from the bill itself. Because the bill itself explains very little about what it is actually doing, you have to analyze the penal codes to understand what it is getting at. So in this case, a fair analyst can come up with better answers than the text of the bill itself can provide.

  • Does the bill allow abortion up to the moment of birth? Yes. “Abortion is allowed without any restrictions during the first and second trimesters. Later than that, the question is how fetal viability and protection of the life and health of the mother are determined. The RHA says that those judgments are to be made according to ‘the practitioner's reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient's case’; it does not impose any objective medical standard.”*(1)

  • Does the RHA allow non-physicians to perform abortions? Yes. Licensed nurse practitioners or physician assistants can now perform abortions.

  • Does the RHA eliminate any prosecution of fetal death resulting from violence against the mother? Yes. “There is no longer any reference whatsoever to unborn children as possible victims of homicide, the law now effectively excludes them from the definition of ‘human person.’”*(1) See this article by Charles Camosy on the possible implications of this.

  • Can doctors and nurses be forced to perform abortions? Unknown. “The RHA does not contain any explicit provision requiring anyone to perform or provide abortions, but neither does it explicitly provide any exemption for conscientious objection by health care professionals regarding abortion. In other words, it is not yet clear what precise legal effect the ‘fundamental right’ language may have.”*(1)

  • Are there any legal protections for aborted children who are born alive? No. The RHA repealed Section 4164 (which legally protects children born alive), so “the public health law is now silent on the status of an infant born alive during an abortion.”*(1) There is now no criminal punishment in New York for doctors who kill children outside the womb if they are a result of a failed abortion! New York had a section of law to prevent this, but they specifically repealed it.

  • Wouldn't the Federal Born-Alive Infant Protection Act (BAIPA) give penalties to doctors for killing children born alive? No. BAIPA imposes no criminal penalties. Here is a great article on that act by Hadley Arkes. Regarding why there were no criminal penalties in the act: “By the time it was put in legislative form, the penalties were dropped, in part to avoid a veto from President Clinton (in 2000), but in part also to make the bill a pure ‘teaching’ bill: The bill would break to the public news that most people would find jolting.”*(2) Ben Sasse is now proposing a federal bill which would add penalties for this, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

  • What good is BAIPA if it doesn't impose any criminal penalties? “Even without civil penalties attached to the Born-Alive Act, it remains one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of the pro-life side. For it is a real statute, and therefore any hospital or clinic performing a live-birth abortion would not be “in accord with the public policy” of the United States. On that ground, it could lose its tax exemption and all supporting federal funds, a prospect that could be enough in itself to induce people to back away from this business.”*(2)

*1. Sawyer, Sam S.J. (2019, January 30). Explainer: What New York’s new abortion law does and doesn’t do.

*2. Arkes,Hadley. (2013, April 30). Revisit the Born-Alive Act.

Pray with JFA (January)

Pray for Our 2019 Events:

Pray for wisdom as we plan events in the following places this year. Pray that many Christians would have the courage to be “weird” (in the good sense Grace Fontenot described in a recent newsletter), joining us in our aim to create thousands of loving conversations. Pray that God would use those conversations to change many hearts and minds.

  • AR: Fayetteville

  • AZ: Phoenix, Tucson

  • CA: Los Angeles Area

  • CO: Denver, Fort Collins

  • GA: Kennesaw, Atlanta Area


  • OK: Oklahoma City

  • SD: Brookings

  • TX: Dallas, Denton, Austin, Houston

  • VA/MD/DC: Various Cities

  • KS: Manhattan, Lawrence, Wichita


  • LA: Lafayette

  • MI: Lansing

  • MO: Springfield

  • NE: Norfolk

  • NM: Albuquerque

University of Oklahoma (OU) - October 2018