“Pregnancy should mark the beginning of a new life, not the end of an academic career. Know your Title IX rights,” said SFLA’s Kristan Hawkins. “No student should have to choose between their child and their education.”
WASHINGTON D.C. (10-24-19) – Students for Life of America announced a nationwide Title IX push to educate pregnant and parenting students on their rights, releasing a “Pregnant and Parenting Bill of Rights” to let students know that they cannot be discriminated against or face loss of scholarships, housing, athletic eligibility, or opportunity simply because of their pregnancy or parental status. Public colleges and universities pro-life advocates will also have available a letter from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) about the illegality of coercing students to abort with threats of loss of access to education and opportunity.
The Pregnant and Parenting on Campus ‘Bill of Rights’
- Pregnant students cannot be barred from activities enjoyed by fellow students, including but not limited to club memberships, academic programs, and intramural activities.
- Pregnant students should not be barred from utilizing campus housing and, upon birth of her child, should be permitted to make her own decision about off-campus housing.
- Pregnant students cannot have their academic or athletic scholarships revoked due to pregnancy or be subject to penalty regarding any other type of financial aid.
- Professors and other staff may not punish pregnant students as a result of a medically necessary absence. Concessions must be made to re-take tests and complete other assignments if necessary.
- Instructors cannot penalize a student because of his or her parenting status.
- Recipients of scholarships, athletic or otherwise, are to be fully informed of their Title IX rights. Coaches or other school officials who fail to fully inform students are to be deemed negligent.
- Athletic directors or coaches may not bully students into abortion threatening loss of future or present opportunity.
- Campus Title IX offices are responsible for ensuring this law is followed. Too often, Title IX coordinators are either complacent or complicit in violations.
- Student problems and concerns must be addressed in a timely manner to ensure an uninterrupted education.
- Failure to provide these protections to students and must be reported.
As part of the campaign, SFLA will be advertising its unique Pregnant on Campus Initiative that serves pregnant and parenting students and advocates for them on campuses nationwide across social media platforms. And across all 50 states, the more than 1,220 SFLA groups and chapters will be equipped to talk with fellow students, Title IX coordinators, academic institutions and advisors as well as athletic directors and coaches about the support that pregnant and parenting students need, deserve, and is required by law.
“Lack of awareness of the rights of pregnant and parenting students is widespread, affecting many students and student athletes. More than one in five students is raising a child, and of those, more than 70 percent are women,” noted SFLA President Kristan Hawkins. “Step one of our campaign is to educate women about their rights. Step two is to provide them support, including legal assistance, so that they can complete their educations.”
Students who need help or are facing possible discrimination in their schools or athletic programs can contact SFLA at: [email protected]
Pregnant on Campus Director Camille Cisneros said that the SFLA team works with colleges and universities to not only follow the law, but to go the extra mile to help pregnant and parenting students with support such as parking passes during pregnancy, access to child care on campuses, and nursing rooms, to name a few initiatives.
“Our goal is to make sure that pregnant and parenting students have the tools they need to create a beautiful future for themselves and their children,” Cisneros said.
Pregnant students tell SFLA team members that the pressure to abort to further their education and careers is often enormous.
As Kristan Hawkins recently wrote in the Washington Examiner, “Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross told Sports Illustrated, ‘I literally don’t know another female track and field athlete who hasn’t had an abortion.’ Richards-Ross herself openly recounts her own abortion two weeks before the Olympic games in Beijing. She told Sports Illustrated that abortion is pervasive among college athletes because they are often misinformed about their own reproductive capacity and she said that she didn’t know all of her pregnancy options when she underwent her abortion. And Richards-Ross’ story is representative of countless others like her own.”
JOIN Students for Life for a National webcast on Thursday, Oct. 24th at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific to learn more about students’ Title IX rights as well as hear from students who have experienced hardship trying to navigate a sometimes hard-to-understand system. The webinar can be viewed at SFLA’s Facebook Live.
To learn more about the Pregnant on Campus Initiative, click here.
For more on resources available for pregnant and parenting women, click here.
For questions and interviews, please contact Kristi Hamrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.