What is the Vita et Veritas Conference?
The Vita et Veritas Conference was founded in 2013 by a team of students in Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) led by Courtney McEachon ('15). The original team wanted to bring the pro-life message to Yale in a bigger way than the group's weekly meetings would allow. The conference has grown every year to include more students, supporters, and speakers. We are thankful for the support the conference has received in these early years, and we hope it will continue to provide a voice for the voiceless on the Yale campus for many years to come.
Why Should I Attend?
Hear Powerful Talks
Meet Other Pro-Life Students
The Vita et Veritas Conference, now in its eighth year, aims to bring pro-life thought to Yale and to engage the pro-life communities of other universities. We believe the right to life is fundamental, and we design our conference to help and inspire others to advocate for the lives of the unborn.
Yale’s involvement with the legalization and proliferation of abortion began most prominently in 1965. In that year, the Dean of the Yale Law School argued in favor of Griswold v. Connecticut, a case that had been spurred by Planned Parenthood’s New Haven chapter. The reasoning in the Griswold case would be used to justify the Roe v. Wade decision eight years later. Today, some Yale labs use fetal stem cell tissue, the Yale-New Haven Hospital performs abortions, and Yale tuition dollars fund the provision of abortions on our health plan.
Abortion is difficult to discuss. Nonetheless, the Vita et Veritas team believes that our culture's reliance upon abortion must be addressed. We seek to share our views with understanding and alacrity. We are pro-life, but we invite you, whatever experiences, background, or beliefs you have, to join us this fall to think more about this issue and whether there might be a better solution for women facing the difficulties of an unplanned pregnancy.
Countdown to This Year's Conference
2021 Speaker Lineup
KEYNOTE: Serrin Foster
FFL President Serrin M. Foster is the creator of the Women Deserve Better® campaign. Her landmark speech, “The Feminist Case Against Abortion,” has been recognized as one of the “great speeches in history” in an anthology called Women’s Rights. She has focused on developing on-campus resources and support for underserved pregnant and parenting students and is an outspoken opponent of pregnancy discrimination.
Serrin has led Feminists for Life since 1994. Under her leadership, FFL successfully advocated benefits for poor and pregnant women through the State Child Health Insurance Program, worked in coalition with other women’s organizations to defeat the mandatory “family cap” and other punitive child exclusion provisions in welfare reform, and helped to prevent poverty and coerced abortions due to threats to withhold child support through passage of the Enhanced Child Support Act.
Serrin served on the National Taskforce Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, which worked to pass the Violence Against Women Act, and she also testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in support of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as “Laci and Conner’s Law.”
Serrin has been interviewed by ABC News, CBN, CNN, CNN International, EWTN, and FOX News, RTÉ, NPR, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, and many other news outlets.
Saturday Speaker: Marjorie Dannenfelser
Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of Susan B. Anthony List. Under her leadership, SBA List and its super PAC, Women Speak Out, raised more than $61 million in the 2020 election cycle and contacted more than eight million pro-life voters through door-to-door canvassing, voter mail, texting, and digital communications. These efforts helped elect the largest incoming class of pro-life congresswomen in history, with 19 new pro-life women and 30 total serving in the U.S. House of Representatives – more than double the previous record.
Dannenfelser is the author of “Life is Winning: Inside the Fight for Unborn Children and Their Mothers,” which was ranked Amazon’s #1 New Release in NGO Policy upon its release in August 2020. She has also been published in TIME, RealClearPolitics, The Washington Post, and National Review, among others, and profiled by New York Magazine, The Telegraph, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.
Saturday Speaker: Professor O. Carter Snead
Professor Carter Snead is one of the world's leading experts on public bioethics – the governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology in the name of ethical goods. His research explores issues relating to neuroethics, enhancement, human embryo research, assisted reproduction, abortion, and end-of-life decision-making. He is the author of What It Means to be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics (Harvard University Press, October 2020), and has been reviewed or featured in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Bloomberg Opinion, First Things, Legal Ethics Forum, and National Review Online.
In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Snead has provided advice on the legal and public policy dimensions of bioethical questions to officials in all three branches of the U.S. government, having served as general counsel to The President’s Council on Bioethics, testified before Congress, and served on the IBC and Pontifical Academy for Life.
Snead received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University, and his B.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.
Saturday Speaker: Peter Wolfgang
Peter Wolfgang joined the Family Institute of Connecticut as Director of Public Policy in 2004 and became Executive Director in 2007. Peter holds a Juris Doctorate from University of Connecticut School of Law and is a member of the Connecticut Bar. He also has a Bachelors Degree in International Studies from The American University in Washington, D.C.
Peter was born and raised in Manchester, CT. He and his wife, Leslie, live in Waterbury and raise their seven children.
Former Planned Parenthood Director
President, Life Training Institute
Down Syndrome Activist
Director, First Care’s Boca Raton Pregnancy Care Center
President, Students for Life of America (SFLA)
Founder of Women's Rights Without Frontiers
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
President, Zaytuna College
American Islamic Scholar, Author
Dr. Haywood Robinson
2021 Conference Schedule
Eastern Daylight Time
Friday October 15
Asynchronous Keynote by Serrin Foster
Saturday October 16
9:00am - Marjorie Dannenfelser: "Pro-life Activism’s Third Wave: Our Greatest Opportunity in Two Generations"
10:15am - Break
10:30am - Peter Wolfgang: "Talk Title"
11:30pm - Break
1:00pm - O. Carter Snead: "What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics"
2:00pm - Break
2:15pm - Serrin Foster: "The Feminist Case Against Abortion: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow"
The Vita et Veritas conference is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors. Reach out to our director at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about how you can help support the 2021 conference.
Meet the Vita Team
Meet the current members of Vita et Veritas at work on this year's conference.