Look around your college campus. Look. What do you see? Sure, you see your peers stumbling off to class. You see professors sipping coffee. You see characters from all social groups. But where- where– are all the pregnant women?
It is no secret that pregnant women are missing from our college campuses. With 46% of today’s abortions being committed on college-aged women, there is undoubtedly an enormous pressure on women to abort rather than carry their child to term. Where is all this pressure coming from? Is it the Health Center that directs women to pro-abortion doctors and even abortion facilities? Is it coming from the administration who has failed to establish supportive policies on campus? Or is it coming from your peers– who fail to acknowledge the strength and courage of your pregnant and parenting peers?
Being a pregnant and parenting student takes on many challenges and burdens. From the additional responsibilities to the harsh gazes of fellow students, the challenges are real. Moreover, there is often a stigma held against our pregnant and parenting peers. Some will suggest that they are irresponsible. Others will criticize the student juggling parenting and studies.
Let’s be clear. Pregnancy is not a disease. It does not mean that you failed. It does not make you a lesser person. No, pregnancy is the greatest sign of life, and a woman’s courage to carry her child to term is to be commended. Moreover, it is a sign of great responsibility for a woman to protect the life of her child and continue her education.
We celebrate these young parents because they have embraced the lives of their children– making the courageous decision to parent and pursue higher education. We also celebrate birthmothers who lovingly carry their children to term and then choose adoption.
This month, we want you to break through the stigma against student pregnancy and parenting through education and resources. Join us in educating your peers about pregnancy, and help develop new resources on campus to support your pregnant and parenting peers! Advocate for life-affirming options (i.e. adoption, parenting), and show your peers how they can pursue these options if pregnant.
This month’s box includes the following materials: “Raising Kids on a Shoestring” (1), “This is Not Your Only Choice” (25), “Pregnant on Campus” cards (15), Sisters of Life outreach flyers (5), The First 9 Months (5), and Adoption Network materials.
Please email Beth to request your Box. Boxes will be sent while supplies last. (Please include “Event-in-a-Box Request” in the subject line.)
Mark Your Calendar
- Sunday, November 3rd 40 Days for Life (end): There is still a month to go! Get out to the sidewalks, and join your local 40 Days for Life campaign.
- Saturday, November 23rd National Adoption Day: Advocate for adoption this month, and celebrate adoptive families. Learn more about the History and Projects involved at http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/.
November is often celebrated as Adoption Month. Here are some talking points that you can use to explain adoption to your peers:
Provide Real Help & Resources
Become involved in the Pregnant on Campus Initiative. Talk to your Regional Coordinator (or email Beth) about how your group can actively change your campus to be family-friendly and life-affirming! Through your commitment to at least 1 outreach project per semester, you will surely make a positive impact on your campus– and your pregnant and parenting peers will thank you!
Be prepared to offer real resources to your peers who may be pregnant or parenting. Create a Resource Guide for Pregnant & Parenting Students to identify available resources on campus and in the community. You can also find helpful resources for pregnant and parenting students on our Pregnant on Campus website.
Not sure where your local pregnancy resource center is? Search your zipcode at www.optionline.org for the PRC closest to you!
Events & Activities
Create a Shadow Woman display to challenge your campus to consider the lack of pregnant women on campus. Place posters near each “shadow woman” with messages such as “Future Moms Welcome Here,” “We care for future moms,” “Pro-Life, Pro-Woman,” and “If you are pregnant, we will support you.”
Host a speaker to discuss adoption or to introduce local PRC services. You can contact your local pregnancy resource centers or local adoption agencies to inquire about requesting a guest speaker. If you have a group member or friend who has a personal story, ask them to speak on campus.
Organize a pregnancy resource forum to discuss pregnancy options and local resources. Ask representatives from the school (e.g. Residence Life, Health Center) as well as community contacts (e.g. PRC director) to come explain what is offered on campus and in the community. Discuss the current policies on campus, and walk through the process of where and to whom a pregnant student would be directed.
Create a photo booth and display pictures and stories of your peers. You may choose to feature pregnant and parenting students on campus and also include students or faculty who were adopted.
Host a movie night featuring Bella or October Baby. After each film, host a short discussion about adoption. Ask attendees such questions as: How did each family benefit from adoption? What were the positive outcomes of this choice? How could this have ended differently?
- Find other movies with a pro-life message here.
Volunteer with a local pregnancy resource center. Set aside one or two days this month (and every month) to serve the PRC in whatever capacity they may need. Your help will allow them to better serve women who desperately need help and support during their pregnancy and earlier years of parenting.
Are you an RA? Learn what you can do to better serve your residents- especially in situations of unplanned pregnancy. Check out Pregnant on Campus’ Resident Advisor Materials.
Offer volunteer babysitting services to student-parents during exam weeks. Reserve a private room on campus where you can entertain the children for a few periods of time throughout exam week. This would be a helpful break for your peers struggling to study and care for their children.
Need more ideas? Check out www.pregnantoncampus.org for activism ideas and informational resources for pregnant and parenting students.
When we talk about adoption, we must celebrate the courage of the birthmothers who chose life for their children. Read these stories. Share them at your meetings, on Facebook, and at events. Consider featuring a new story for each week of November.
Do you know a woman who is a birthmother? Ask if she would share your story at an upcoming Students for Life event or meeting.
Flyering campaigns are easy ways to share information on campus. You may choose such topics as Pregnancy Help, Pregnancy Statistics and Facts, or Adoption. Be sure to keep posters simple and bold to attract students attention. Here are recommended flyers:
- Motherhood: A Courageous Choice
- Pregnancy Help
- Would you say that to my face?
- Where have all the pregnant women gone?
- Pregnancy discrimination is equally wrong.
- What about my choice?
- Adoption is an empowering option.
- You’re not alone anymore.
- They say I have free choice.
Having trouble with flyers? Email Beth at [email protected] for the file.