PULSE Leadership Institute 2018 was a success, with 65 students and chaperones together working to build a community of pro-life leadership and fellowship!
The week kicked off with discussing pro-life culture, students becoming familiar with their small groups and the staff through highly interactive games, and participating in a thorough session about the psychological and medical impact of abortion, including testimonies from a crisis pregnancy counselor, an OBGYN, and in-person stories from a post-abortive woman, abortion survivors, and those with aborted siblings. The tone was set that the impact of abortion is not just statistics or a theoretical problem, but an issue that affects real people and an issue that should motivate our hearts for compassionate activism!
The next few days involved delving into tools with which to compassionately advocate for the unborn, with education and resources. The students learned how to engage various pro-choice viewpoints in a logical conversation, with a curriculum called Pro-Life Persuasion. Students had a day of practice then visited LSU’s campus on the following day to survey strangers on campus. Students were able to have discussions with confidence, with the ability to de-escalate emotional responses, and with the opportunity to listen and learn something new from each person they surveyed.
High school and college students then participated in multiple general sessions, including Facing Medical Adversity with Prenatal Diagnosis, Pro-Life Feminism and Heroism (Guys and Girls sessions), Title IX and College Pregnancy Resources, optional Sidewalk Counseling Training, and the Economics of Planned Parenthood.
Additionally, there were breakout sessions on issues surrounding abortion, with the idea Ending Abortion, Finding Solutions. These sessions help start to discuss the societal needs that will need to be met if abortion became illegal. These sessions included Adoption & Foster Care, Women’s Health and Resources, and the Reality of Contraception.
Student also heard from national speakers including Destiny Herndon-de la Rosa from New Wave Feminists, who spoke on Pro-Life Feminism, Bobby Schindler with the Terry Schaivo Life and Hope Network, who discussed euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, and Alana Newman from Anonymous Us, who talked about Third Party Reproduction and sharing the reality of IVF and surrogacy.
PLI continued with practical insights and tools for being Pro-Life Leaders in the real world. Field trips included witnessing at Delta abortion clinic, touring the Women’s New Life Center, testifying at the Capitol in a mock committee hearing and meeting pro-life legislators. Students also lovingly visited the elderly in a local nursing home. Activism sessions included High School Activism and College Activism, both with active students who have started pro-life clubs and accomplished and learned effective campus activism through trial and error. Additionally, these sessions included understanding Pro-Life politics with Ben Clapper, Fundraising, and Building a Leadership Board with Alex Lucas.
With Laser Tag, Pro-Life Game of Games, Small group skit building, and the famous CoffeeHouse, students were ready to conclude PLI with the confidence that not only had they learned, but that they had the most supportive pro-life community available to them.
PULSE Leadership Institute came to an end with a Commissioning Ceremony, during which each student was called by their small group leader to state what they intended to do for the pro-life movement after leaving PLI. Many of the statements involved starting pro-life clubs, volunteering at pregnancy centers, continuing to speak out, and staying connected with the PULSE community.
Here’s what one student had to say:
“It’s my first time attending, and because of how great of an experience y’all made it, it will not be my last! PULSE has informed me on pro-life issues and arguments I had not heard before, strengthened those I already knew, and most importantly, inspired me to put this information to use in the pro-life movement. – Spencer Stelly, UL
Click Here to check out photos from PLI.