“What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” Or can it?
In the case of pregnancy resources, we are all too aware that a lack of information all too often leads to unfortunate decisions. Every day, over 3,000 women seek abortions. They do not believe that they have the support and the resources available to help them through their pregnancy and beyond. Many make these devastating decisions without realizing the support and resources available to them.
No woman should have be left without options. No woman should be forced to seek an abortion when there is help available to support her in a life-affirming choice (e.g. parenting, adoption).
In recent studies by Students for Life of America and Feminists for Life, here is what college-students responded:
- 44% believe that abortion is not okay
- 45% believe that abortion is okay
- 58% do not know where to refer a friend that wants to keep their child.
- 48% do not know that Planned Parenthood offers abortions
- 79% did not know if their student health plan offers maternity coverage
- 46% said that there is no housing on campus for parenting students
- 45% said that their college does not offer on-campus childcare
- 62% said that they had not seen diaper changing stations in restrooms
- 77% said that there was no private place for women to nurse or pump breast milk
- 91% said that their college campus does not offer designated parking for pregnant women or parents with infants.
- 78% said that their college offers flexible class times (e.g. evenings, weekends)
- 40% could not find pregnant and parenting resources on their school website
- 45% said that pregnant and parenting resources are not in the school handbook
- Only 15% said that they had seen ads on campus that provided information and support for pregnant and parenting students
Don’t believe these results? Watch what happens when the late Jon Scharfenberger asks students about campus resources:
Why? Why are these students unaware of resources available to them? Yes, these students may not be pregnant or parenting. So maybe they weren’t looking for these resources. However, one would hope that there were more who were confident in responding to Jon’s questions.
It is clear that we are not doing our job. As people who love both children and women, we must be consistently advertising available resources and spearheading projects that effectively address the needs of pregnant and parenting students. It is not enough to say that you support pregnant and parenting students. Do something! Anything. Prove that your pro-life student group supports your pregnant and parenting peers. Prove that your group supports life-affirming decisions. Prove that your group will educate and support your peers.
Take time to set goals with your group, and be accountable to your goals. Host a diaper drive. Challenge school policies. Raise funds for a pregnant and parenting scholarship. Network with administration and staff to create a system of support for pregnant and parenting students.
You can make a difference on your campus and in your community.
Contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator for guidance as your group takes on the Pregnant on Campus Initiative. You are not alone in your efforts. We will help you make a difference on your campus.