Students for Life of Illinois

Students for Life of Illinois (or SFLI or Students for Life) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that was founded in 2006.[1] The organization’s purpose is to train collegiate anti-abortion leaders in the state of Illinois. It is not affiliated with the national organization Students for Life of America.

According to a Chicago Tribune 2009 report, young anti-abortion activists in Illinois “say they’re trying to steer away from being portrayed as abrasive, confrontational and badgering” and rather focus on providing information and hold prayer services. Michael Laughlin, 20, president of Loyola University Chicago’s Students for Life, commented “‘You do get the ones real upset and [who say] ‘You don’t know my story, where I came from, what’s going on in my life, and who are you to tell me all this stuff.’ I tell them: ‘I don’t know your story or situation, but I’m here and I want to help you,'”; the Tribune article suggests that abortion debate will continue.[2]

Mission statement[edit]

“Our Mission is to ensure a pro-life future by providing high quality personal mentoring of pro-life student leaders on a maximum number of Illinois campuses that results in the exponential creation of compassionate, capable and passionate pro-life leaders and a contagiously pro-life campus environment.”[3]


The organization generated net revenues (revenues less fund-raising expenses) of $154k, $151k, $101k in 2012, 2011, and 2010.[4]

Students for Life of Illinois has engaged in various activities for Illinois students:

  • State-Wide Conference (summit): Since 2007 – Nationally known speakers are brought in to train student activists.[5]
  • March for Life (Washington, D.C.)March for Life Trip (Washington, DC): Since 2006 – Bus trips are organized for students from around the state.[6][7]
  • March for Life Chicago: Since 2012 – SFLI serves on the planning committee and provides speakers.[8]
  • Student Lobby Days – Students for Life of Illinois organizes lobby days for students from around Illinois to participate in the legislative process in Springfield, IL at the Illinois Capitol.[9][10]


SFLI staff, interns and students provide speaking services in Illinois and nationally. Topics focus on abortion and anti-abortion student involvement.

SFLI speakers focus on speaking for student organizations to train student leaders. However, their audiences and venues have also included:


Students for Life of Illinois has started or participated in several state and national coalitions.

  • Defund Planned Parenthood – Coalition to stop government funding of Planned Parenthood including a youth contest.[citation needed]
  • Let Parents Know – Coalition to get Illinois to enforce their parental notification law. Started by SFLI.[21]
  • SpeakOut Illinois – Coalition of pro-life organization in Illinois.[22]
  • Arrested for Praying – Coalition to protect a pro-life protester from unlawful arrest.[23]
  • Stop Illinois Foca – Coalition to stop abortion legislation in Illinois.[24]
  • Stand with Carleton – Coalition to support free speech rights of Canadian pro-life students.[25][26]
  • Stop the Abortion Mandate – Coalition to block portions of the Affordable Care Act that would mandate funding of abortion.[27]

Other notable projects[edit]

Students for Life of Illinois has launched these other community initiatives.

Students for Life of Illinois’s founder, John-Paul Deddens, received the ‘Witness for Life Award’ from Illinois Citizens for Life in 2013.[32][33][34]


  1. ^ “Non-Profit Facts”. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  2. ^ Leonor Vivanco (23 Dec 2009). “Divided they stand: Abortion attitudes shifting? Too soon to tell, polls say — but Chicagoans on both sides are voicing their opinions”. Chicago Tribune. p. 6.
  3. ^ “About – Students for Life of Illinois”. Archived from the original on June 27, 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  4. ^ Form 990 filings for 2010, 2011, 2012, available at Guidestar
  5. ^ “Summit – Students for Life of Illinois”. 2011-10-22. Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  6. ^ Emily Bayci. “Illinois students head to Washington D.C. to March for Life – The Daily Illini : Campus”. The Daily Illini. Archived from the original on February 4, 2016. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  7. ^ Paul Strand (2011-01-25). “Younger Generation Inspired to Fight Abortion – US – CBN News – Christian News 24-7”. Archived from the original on August 23, 2016. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  8. ^ “March For Life Chicago: Proclaiming Sanctity of Human Life and Marking Roe v. Wade Anniversary”. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  9. ^ “Catholics at the Capitol Day a Great Success « Pro-Life Hotline”. 2010-03-05. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  10. ^ “Illinois Family Institute”. 2010-02-11. Archived from the original on February 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  11. ^ “2012 Students for Life of America National Conference Schedule”. Students for Life. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  12. ^ “of America National Conference Speakers”. Students for Life. 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  13. ^ Michelle Sherman (2009-01-19). “Student urges education about abortion, pro-life – News – The Register-Mail – Galesburg, IL”. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  14. ^ “Right to Life of Adams County”. 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  15. ^ “March For Life Chicago: Proclaiming Sanctity of Human Life and Marking Roe v. Wade Anniversary”. Christian Newswire. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  16. ^ “40 Days for Life Kicks Off March 2nd | The Catholic Beat”. 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  17. ^ “Quincy Herald Whig”. 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  18. ^ Dermody, Tom (2015-03-01). “The Catholic Post : Article – Go to Mass as a family, urge parents of 14 children”. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  19. ^ Archived from the original on August 10, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  20. ^ “40 – Trailer”. YouTube. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  21. ^ “Illinois Parental Notification”. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  22. ^ “SpeakOut Illinois 2015 Sponsors”. 2015-01-31. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  23. ^ “Special Projects”. Students for Life. 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  24. ^ “Stop Illinois FOCA! – Students for Life of Illinois”. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  25. ^ “Americans stand in solidarity with Carleton Lifeline | National Campus Life Network”. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  26. ^ “of America Launches New Website for Carleton Students”. Students for Life. 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  27. ^ Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  28. ^ Holloway, Carson. “What the FOCA?”. Archived from the original on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  29. ^ “What the FOCA?!”. Jill Stanek. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  30. ^ “Illinois Federation for Right to Life – Students: ‘What the FOCA?!’. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  31. ^ “Local “40 days for life” campaign : Culture”. Smile Politely. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  32. ^ (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  33. ^ “St. Pius X Catholic Community” (PDF). October 20, 2013. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  34. ^ “october-6-2013 by Amber Tripp”. ISSUU. Retrieved 2015-03-08.

External links[edit]