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 seventh 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
2019 Speaker Lineup
KEYNOTE: Kailee Perrin
Kailee Perrin was eighteen when she found out she was pregnant. At the time, she was dating a drug dealer and struggling with a drug and alcohol addiction. Kailee was certain that she was not ready to be a mother, so she resolved to get an abortion. By the grace of God, Kailee was directed to a pregnancy center and at her appointment, she was overwhelmed with the acceptance, hope, and love that she so desperately needed. She immediately decided to keep the baby, enter a rehabilitation program, and become the mother she was called to be. Additionally, shortly before the birth of her little girl, the father of her child reached out to her and asked to be a part of their baby’s life. Today, Kailee and her then-boyfriend are married, have had two more children, and live in upstate New York.
Saturday Speaker: Abigail Young
Abigail Young is the Students for Life of America New England Regional Coordinator. Abigail developed her passion for the pro-life mission as a result of a deep commitment to community service and religious ministry. During her time at Boston College, she discovered the importance of acknowledging and protecting the inherent value of every human life. As an undergraduate, she served as president of her campus’s pro-life group and worked diligently to raise awareness about the reality of pregnant students on college campuses and the lack of education about abortion in the greater Boston community. Now, in her career and life, she spends her time spreading the message of life and combating the culture of death.
Saturday Speaker: Jannique Stewart
Jannique Stewart has been passionate about abortion since she was a young girl. After graduating from Greenville Liberal Arts College, she entered the field of pharmaceuticals. Although she loved her job, she felt like she was called to something greater, and decided to join the team at First Care Family Resources in south Florida. From there, she became the Center Director, and spent her days leading a team and providing services to women who faced unplanned pregnancies and financial hardship. Now, Jannique works at a ministry focused on biblical sexuality. This program, called Love Protects, which she founded, is dedicated to educating teens about the dangers of abortion and emphasizing the importance of sexual purity.
Saturday Speaker: Charity Farrar
Charity Farrar is the Executive Director of Life Choices Medical Clinic. Life Choices Medical Clinic is a faith based, non-profit medical pregnancy and full comprehensive women's health clinic that serves as a part of the Healthy Texas Woman program in San Antonio. Charity is devoted to saving the lives of unborn children, ministering to women and men medically, emotionally and spiritually and touching each person she meets with the love of Christ. Her goal at work, and in life, is to make sure the underserved in her community receive the best health care available and that they are given truth about their health options so they can make better, informed decisions for themselves and their families.
Dr. Julia Hejduk and Michelle Oberman
Julia Hejduk is the Reverend Jacob Beverly Stiteler Professor of Classics and Associate Dean of the Honors College at Baylor University. Her scholarly expertise is in the Latin poetry of the
late Roman Republic and early Empire, an era of civil discord in many ways like our own. She serves as a faculty advisor for Baylor’s Bears for Life and as a member of the Austin Catholic Pro-Life Council. She has written extensively about abortion and adoption, and is an advocate for positive societal incentives to help women who are facing an unintended pregnancy.
Michelle Oberman is the Katharine and George Alexander Professor of Law at Santa Clara University and an internationally recognized scholar on the legal and ethical issues surrounding
adolescence, pregnancy, and motherhood. Her acclaimed 2018 book, Her Body, Our Laws: On the Front Lines of the Abortion War, from El Salvador to Oklahoma, provides substantial insight
into what actually happens in places where abortion becomes illegal. A prominent pro-choice advocate, she contributes frequently to venues such as The New York Times and Public Radio
In their first joint appearance, “A Conversation Between ‘Enemies’ in the Abortion War,” Professors Oberman and Hejduk discussed the unusual friendship that has helped them to gain deeper understanding and find common ground on this divisive issue. At the Vita conference, they plan to explore further the forces underlying our society’s counterproductive hostility regarding this and, unfortunately, so many other important problems. They will suggest ways in which people from both sides of the abortion spectrum, despite their unresolvable disagreements, can work together to help women.
Founder of Women's Rights Without Frontiers
Students for Life President
Down Syndrome Activist
2019 Conference Schedule
Friday September 27
Saturday September 28 (All events at St. Thomas More)
8:00am - Breakfast Provided by St. Thomas More
9:00am - Abigail Young: “How to Share the Pro-Life Message”
10:00am - Break
10:30am - Dr. Julia Hejduk and Michelle Oberman: “Visualizing an Alternative to the Abortion War”
11:45am - Lunch at St. Thomas More
1:00pm - Charity Farrar: “What is a Pregnancy Resource Center?”
2:00pm - Break
2:30pm - Jannique Stewart: “Pro-Woman: Empowering Alternatives to Abortion”
3:45pm - Closing Remarks and Conference Photo
The Vita et Veritas conference is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors. Reach out to our director at for information about how you can help support the 2019 conference.
Meet the Vita Team
Meet the current members of Choose Life at Yale at work on this year's conference.
Director of Development
Head of Outreach