Whether you are a freshman or a senior, becoming pregnant during your college years is especially challenging. You wonder if you can do it- if you can be both a student and a parent. You worry about what your peers will think and how your professors will react. You fear how the school administration will treat you when they find out. All of these concerns weigh on the decisions of college-aged parents. For this reason, we need to take action to encourage policies and programs that are compassionate towards college parents.
Here is Rosalie’s story about how the compassionate response of her college community made a difference!
“Being a student at a small Catholic college is a lot like high school in some ways. You see the same people day after day, and if you are different, you better believe that it is noticed. I got pregnant the summer before my senior year, and my slowly growing baby bump was definitely different and definitely noticed.
I had lot of worries as my pregnancy became more and more obvious. What will people think of me? Will I have to quit working in Campus Ministry? Will the faculty and staff who smile and talk to me today shun me or be awkward around me when they find out? I knew most people at my college were Christians and would probably disagree with my life choices. (I was unmarried at the time.) Adding to my worry was how close I had gotten to some of the college staff- since I had worked as an office assistant to the Business, Financial Aid, and several other offices over my summers. Wouldn’t they feel obligated to distance themselves from a student who seemed to contradict the college’s Catholic identity in such an obvious way? NOPE.
The only thing that I got from the people in the Belmont Abbey community when they found out that I was pregnant was an outpouring of love and support. From the wonderful people in the business office who threw me a little bridal shower my first semester (I got married over Christmas break) to the Holy Grounds employee who snuck me free smoothies when no one was looking (“Feed that baby, girl!”), the BAC community literally could not have been more wonderful and supportive. Far from being ostracized, excluded, or expelled, I was embraced, encouraged, and loved. Everyone saw past the circumstances of my pregnancy to celebrate it for what it was: a blessing. The president of the college himself asked me to tell him if he could help me in any way.”
It was not easy being pregnant during college. However, Rosalie was lucky to be surrounded by a loving and supportive college community who truly cared about her and her baby. From her peers to her college president, the college community celebrated the life of baby Sarah, and they welcomed her as the blessing she was.
How would your school respond? What do you need to change on your campus to make it “family-friendly”? With the Pregnant on Campus Initiative, we are challenging YOU to transform your college campus. If you want to make a definite impact in the lives of young parents, get involved in the Pregnant on Campus Initiative by contacting Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At age twenty-one, two tiny blue lines changed Chaunie’s life. While fear of failure initially challenged this young mom, learn how she came to peace with her pregnancy and embraced the selfless love of her baby girl. You can read more about Chaunie’s story in Students for Life’s new book Courageous: Students Abolishing Abortion in this Lifetime.
I know that I’ve talked a lot about my pregnancy with Ada on here. I’ve talked about how I’ve wondered if I messed up, if her life is somehow forever altered because of my “mistake,” if our marriage has been damaged from the get go.
But I haven’t really every discussed something that was one of the most difficult parts of dealing with my unplanned pregnancy–
The God factor.
The truth is, I’m a religious kind of girl. The kind that grew up with nine years of Catholic school, the kind that said her prayers out of a little booklet during my early college years, the kind that has really sought a relationship with God.
It may sound old-fashioned now, but Ben and I really did want to wait until we were married to have sex. It felt like we fought against it–and then failed.
Which is how I came to view my whole start into motherhood.
As a failure.
I had messed up. In my eyes, with my own spiritual beliefs and background, I had sinned. I had done something I wasn’t supposed to do, and now, I was pregnant as a result. How on earth could I possibly be excited about it? How could I even begin to think that my baby was anything but a consequence of my bad behavior?
I felt trapped in a little cloud of guilty darkness for the first half of my pregnancy. I couldn’t see a way out. I couldn’t see how my baby, conceived out of a “bad” thing, could possibly be a “good” thing. Surely she would be emotionally messed up, marked by my sin, scarred by a marriage that started badly. Surely I would never love her the way a “real” mother would–the kind that planned for a baby, and surprised her husband sweetly with the positive pregnancy test and shopped excitedly for nursery decorations.
I could never be her.
I haven’t really talked about my religion, or my faith on my blog that much, frankly, because I’ve been nervous. I didn’t want to turn away any “cool” young moms, or alienate any potential writing contacts with my spiritual ramblings.
But I want to be real about how important it was to me, in becoming a mother, in becoming a wife, to come to peace with my pregnancy.
For me, it took months of prayer. Not any prayer that I had grown up with, not any specific litany or phrase of words. My prayers were just silent pleadings to the universe for help. I didn’t know what I was asking for, or what I hoped would happen. I just knew I needed help.
And one night, it finally happened.
After a long day of classes, and work, and disappointments, and wedding stress, I sat curled up on our raspberry-cream colored hand-me-down couch. And for the first time in my life, I felt I very clearly was given an answer:
My baby was not a punishment.
The moment I felt those words reverberate within me, I felt so relieved. I felt peace. I realized that on some level deep down, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was hiding in the shadows, cringing in shame, just waiting for God to strike me down with spite.
And suddenly, I realized I had it completely wrong.
God didn’t punish me with a baby. Sure, maybe I hadn’t done everything perfectly, but for cryin’ out loud, I was still loved, and He wasn’t about to give up on me so easily. I felt, with a sudden realization of happiness, that God had sent us our baby as an opportunity to learn the truth about love.
Because, after all, what else provides a faster lesson in true and selfless love than a baby?
It took a long time for me to come to terms with my pregnancy. For me, prayer and a faith in God were key. I know everyone is different, but I felt like it was important to talk about–I know I can’t be alone in the conflicting feelings of guilt and shame, the need to feel like it’s okay to be happy about a “surprise” baby.
So, I’m wondering–did anyone of you encounter what I’m talking about? Did your particular religious beliefs make it hard to accept your pregnancy? Or did it help you come to term with your new life?
Chaunie Brusie is a writer, speaker, and labor and delivery nurse. She began serving as an advocate for young women facing unplanned pregnancy after becoming a mother during her senior year of college. Chaunie has worked in the pro-life movement for many years and has presented her story across the country. She blogs about her journey as a young mom of three at www.tinybluelines.com and her first book,Tiny Blue Lines, will be released through Ave Maria Press in May 2014. Find Chaunie on Facebook and Twitter.
Each year, as many as 750,000 teenagers become pregnant. So how does a parent respond when they find out that their young girl is soon to be a mother? Should she drop out of school? Should she continue her education? As you are considering your options, you may wish to consider boarding school as one possible solution to this situation. Whether your child is troubled or is simply in need of additional support, this article offers a compelling argument for this decision.
Timing is important in everything that we do. Timing is important in order to get the best possible results in all our endeavors. Wrong timing means complications, frustrations, and conflicts because there are so many things that are beyond the person’s control. One of the best examples of wrong timing is teenage pregnancy, especially if the girl is still in school. Pregnancy is best suited for adults who are already mature and know how to handle the pressures of life. If a teenager who does not know how to take care of herself gets pregnant in the middle of semester, then it is difficult to imagine how she can take care of another human being, especially someone as frail and as dependent as a baby growing inside her womb.
The emotional impact of confusion, shame, and shock about the situation works together in compelling the teenager to quit school. In some instances, the parents made the decision that their daughter should stop going to school. It may not be the best option available for pregnant teenager. Her parents must realize that it would be better if the pregnant teenager stays in school. However, it is also important to acknowledge that the parent and the pregnant teen may require some time off to reassess the situation and consider the best way forward. In some cases there is a need to transfer to a new school or transfer to a new city to start anew.
If one will consider all the things that need to be sorted out, the alternative solution is to figure out the assistance that could be provided by boarding schools. State-licensed boarding schools could offer intervention programs for those who suffer from the psychological and emotional backlash of teenage pregnancy. Thus, the troubled teenager does not have to deal with all the negative implications of being pregnant at a young age, instead she could avail the benefits of group counseling or individual and family therapy.
It is important to note that boarding schools for pregnant teenagers offer more than solace because these institutions also provide troubled teens access to intervention programs that allow them to learn more about themselves and explain why they were driven to self-destructive behavior. A boarding school is a place where troubled teenagers could develop a better worldview and appreciate the value of their family and friends. It is also imperative to point out that not all boarding schools could provide all the things that a troubled teenager needs. The parents or guardians must know how to choose the best boarding school for the pregnant teenager. For more information on this option, visit The Family Compass.
While boarding school is not for everyone, this may be a potential answer to your particular situation. Discuss you different options with your teenager, and continue your research so that you may determine the best option for your family.
Edith Gordon writes for TheFamilyCompass.com and helps them in spreading awareness about troubled and depressed teenagers (and how to deal with them). The Family Compass aims to increase awareness on the current psychological and societal stresses of today’s teens and how these factors affect the future of our society.
In her junior year of college, Ashlee Bush found out that she was pregnant with Anna Mae. At 21-years-old, Ashlee was already making plans for her future, and being pregnant was the last thing that she expected.
Maybe you are going through a similar situation- or you know a friend who is. Either way, remember that you are not alone. Ashlee is one of many young women who knows the fears and joys of being a young mother. Take some time to watch Ashlee’s story, and read Ashlee’s answers to commonly asked questions about her experience!
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Tell us about the emotions you went through during those first few moments/weeks/months.
The first minute was total disbelief and shock! I immediately left my apartment and drove to K-Mart to buy another test. This time, I ran into a few classmates and uttered, “This is for a friend.” I got a sympathetic grin and hurried to the register.
I felt like I was in movie or a bad dream. I started to pray, and I kept thinking to myself that this cannot be happening! I took the second test at a close friend’s house, and it was positive – again! More total disbelief, fear, anger, shock, and embarrassment washed over my body as I began to cry. My friend just kept telling me that I will be okay, and she reassured me that everything would work out the way that it was supposed to.
Not long after, I told my family, and the haze of disbelief started to dissipate. The reality of the situation set in, and I got moving. I planned my school detour and decided to transfer schools to be closer my parents once I completed the current semester.
The remainder of my pregnancy was joyful. It was all about staying healthy, eliminating stress, and delivering a healthy baby. I would sing to her, talk to her, and put headphones on my belly when I would study.
What was your relationship status at the time?
It was complicated. I was single and starting to get to know a guy from school. The New Guy and I had been in a class together all semester, and we had finally started talking after months of casually exchanged smiles. We talked and texted when we went home for holidays and at that time, my ex-boyfriend that I had not seen in few months wanted to take me to dinner. I agreed to meet him. Unfortunately, I drank way too much and wound up sleeping with my ex once. When I went back to school, the New Guy and I had finally made plans for a real date.
It feels strange to say it out-loud now, but telling him was probably the hardest thing I had to do during my pregnancy. I liked him a lot. (The timing couldn’t have been any worse- or so I thought at the time.)
He surprised me with his first question, “Have you started taking pre-natal vitamins?” The next day, he brought me a bouquet of flowers to congratulate me. Later, I would find out that his sister had gotten pregnant while in high school. So, he understood my situation all too well. I was very fortunate to have his support throughout my pregnancy. I believe that he was put into my life at that exact time for a reason. Our friendship would eventually end as I decided to try and make it work with the father.
How did your friends and family react?
My family and true friends cried with me. They could not believe that this had happened. Once the initial shock wore off, they were excited for me, and they wanted to help. My family and friends would tell me about any resources that they found out about successful stories of young moms or moms who graduated school. I felt their support for my decision every step of the way.
Sadly, I had one friend that thought my choice was “stupid.” She thought my life was over and that my future was ruined. She was convinced that I would never be able to finish school if I went through with the pregnancy. However, I am proud to say that I have been able to be both a mother and a student. My decision was not “stupid”—but rather a choice made out of love for my child.
How has Early Motherhood changed you?
I used to be the girl who wanted to make sure everything looked and sounded perfect before life taught me to enjoy the journey and all the unplanned surprises. When I had to face something that did not make me look so good, I started to change. Slowly, one day at a time, I started to morph into the person who I always knew was hidden deep inside myself. Early motherhood has taught me to be more flexible in life- which, as it turns out, is a wonderful skill to have in adulthood!
What has your daughter taught you about yourself? About life?
Oh goodness…She has taught me so much! I never knew how much I could love another person. The love that I feel for her is so pure and real. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Overall, the pregnancy taught me that there are no guarantees in life. Life will change in the blink of an eye, and it’s best to just ride it out as best as we can!
What were some of the misconceptions you had about early motherhood/unplanned pregnancies?
As cliché as this sounds, I thought that it would never happen to me.
What prompted you to start blogging?
My world got turned upside down seven years ago. I was shocked and embarrassed that I was facing an unplanned pregnancy. Once that initial shock wore off, I was saddened by the lack of resources for young moms. At times, I felt lonely being the only pregnant girl on campus and desperately wished that I could have connected with other women going through similar situations. A few years ago, I kept thinking about all of the unexpected moms who might be feeling alone, scared, and unsure of themselves — like I did — and decided to give blogging a try.
Fear is a powerful emotion. It can either make you feel paralyzed and trapped, or help us grow and change gracefully. It kept me from taking a huge leap of faith to even start to my blog Action Ashlee.
Why the title “Action Ashlee”?
Action because without action, we cannot change and grow into the people we want to be. Ashlee because it is a popular name that can be the face of a lot of typical 20-something women. Our motto: “Change gracefully. Live purposefully.”
If you could give one message to the young women facing unplanned pregnancies, what would it be?
To the woman facing an unplanned pregnancy – I believe that you have the most fantastic intuition and harbor an incredible amount inner strength and courage that you don’t even realize is within yourself. Follow that inner voice because it is YOU and only YOU that you need to listen to.
Ashlee Bush lives in Missouri with her husband, Greg, and daughter, Anna Mae. She faced an unplanned pregnancy at age 21, graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Communications, and developed a three-step systematic approach to handling an unplanned pregnancy. By day, she is a healthcare representative for a home health organization. Her life-long passion is to help other women get through their unplanned pregnancy. She dreams of ending abortion and pulling together a strong grassroots effort to promote the benefits of giving life. Her blog, Action Ashlee: Change Gracefully & Live Purposefully, offers a wealth of inspiration and hope to women of all ages wanting to change gracefully and live purposefully.
In 2011, Students for Life of America launched a new initiative called ‘Pregnant on Campus’ to help pro-life groups learn how to make their campuses more pregnancy and parenting friendly. Pregnant on Campus was started when we first really began to notice that seeing a pregnant woman on campus is rare. We know that women are getting pregnant in college, but what is happening to them? Too often pregnant women feel forced to choose between aborting their child to continue their education and dropping out to raise their child. 46% of abortions are performed on college-aged women, so we know that far too many feel abortion is the only way. We want pregnant women to have the support they need to continue their education while raising their child. So Students for Life thought that if we could help college campuses become more pregnant and parenting friendly that we could help in being a solution to this problem. I was thrilled to be the president of one student group that took the challenge head on when it first started.
It can be a time consuming battle to try to make any college campus more pregnancy and parenting friendly, especially private Christian colleges, but it turns out to be more than worth it in the end. My group took on the challenge of helping to raise money for a mobile pregnancy resource center that would not only visit our college but also four other local colleges in our area of Virginia. The student group at my college worked on selling raffle tickets and asking for donations in order to raise the money for the mobile pregnancy center. In the end we exceeded our goal (of course, I say we could have always done more) and were able to give it to the local PRC as part of the Senior Class of 2012’s gift.
So, how can you help your campus become more pro-life? Take a moment to watch this video put together by Mary Washington’s Pregnant on Campus group ‘Baby Steps,’ that explains what their group is and what they are doing to increase resources for parenting students and faculty.
Don’t you want to be a part of the change on campus that helps a young mother choose life for her child because she knows there is help out there? We are in the process of creating new projects for colleges to work on to change the atmosphere on their campuses. If you want to get involved with one of these Pregnant on Campus projects, please email Beth at email@example.com.
Sarah Maher graduated from Liberty University in 2011, with a degree in Religion Studies. Sarah was the president of her college group, and since graduating, she has traveled with different pro-life organizations across the country spreading the message on what abortion really is and how people from every walk of life can turn the tide.
College is a time when relationships are being explored, tested, and tried. While there can be great joy found in the growth of these relationships, there are also great obstacles when a young woman becomes pregnant during college. Pregnant and parenting students are caught in a dilemma where they feel forced to choose between their education and their child. Furthermore, college campuses and communities have all too often failed to provide a supportive environment for pregnant mothers and parenting students. Resources are limited and difficult to access, and school policies may lack compassion and understanding.
Unfortunately, 46% of abortions in the US are performed on college-aged women. Despite the thriving pro-life movement, young women are still deceived into believing that they cannot have both education and motherhood. To respond to this dire problem, SFLA is encouraging students to join in our Pregnant on Campus Initiative. The Pregnant on Campus Initiative can help provide a vision and plan for your student pro-life group to create sustainable service projects to help women and families on campus and in the community.
Pregnant on Campus offers one-to-one support from the SFLA staff as your group shapes your campus into a life-affirming environment. As we work with you throughout the school year, we will help you plan and successfully execute projects that will inform and assist women in your community.
Not sure where to start? The Pregnant on Campus website offers so much for you to learn and to do! We have information on adoption, counseling, scholarships, insurance, housing, and more! Also, SFLA has created easy guides to help you get involved in the Pregnant on Campus Initiative. Check out our simple and advanced activities! You may choose a simple project, such as distributing free pregnancy tests, or you may want to organize a more ambitious project, such as the construction of a maternity home.
Students for Life of America wants you to join in our mission to aid pregnant and parenting students. We want to work with you to transform your campus into a supportive home for young mothers and fathers!
Are you interested in joining the Pregnant on Campus Initiative? Contact Beth O’Malley and find out what steps you can take to make your campus more supportive of pregnant and parenting students! Email Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our SFLA office (571-379-7261).
Schedule a strategic meeting
Request FREE Trainings
Access to free flyers, resources, and activities
Get your own Pregnant on Campus website with links to nearby Pregnancy Resource Centers
Receive media coverage when each project is completed
Through our persistent efforts, we can together reduce abortion rates on college campuses and compassionately reach out to pregnant and parenting students!
Students for Life of America saw the need and we reacted by starting the Pregnant On Campus Initiative. The mission of the initiative is to help student provide their peers with resources and support they need to stay in school while pregnant or parenting. The National Woman’s Law Center released a study that looked at what states provide for parenting students and noted the lack of resources -
“Despite enormous advances for women and girls in education since 1972, schools across the country continue to bar pregnant and parenting students from activities, kick them out of school, pressure them to attend alternative programs, and penalize them for pregnancy-related absences,” the report states.
More information about the study can be found here.
For the past year, a nationwide initiative run by Students for Life has worked to offer hope, support and resources for college students faced with crisis pregnancies.
The goal of the Pregnant on Campus initiative is to “provide a tangible resource for pregnant and parenting women on campus,” said Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life.
The initiative, which was launched last September, has seen significant success over the last year, she told EWTN News Aug. 22.
Hawkins explained that college-age women who choose abortion often say that they did so because of a lack of resources and support.
They feel that they had no choice, she said, even if they did not want to abort.
While unintended pregnancies can be difficult in any stage of life, Hawkins observed that expectant college students can face “unique challenges” such as unforgiving class schedules, critical classmates, a lack of accommodating facilities and pressure from parents on whom they rely financially.
“It’s not a place you want to be pregnant,” she said, adding that women often feel like they must choose between their child and their education.
The Pregnant on Campus initiative is striving to show these women that it is difficult but not impossible to do both, and that help is available, she said.
The program is “helping student for life groups that are already established to change the culture on campus,” Hawkins explained.
Students for Life is mentoring about 70 pro-life college groups that are currently enrolled in the initiative, helping them provide resources for pregnant women who make the “heroic” decision to keep their child.
The Pregnant on Campus website outlines several event ideas for pro-life groups seeking to foster a supportive atmosphere at their colleges. These ideas include free weekly babysitting nights, baby showers to help provide for the needs of expectant mothers and installing diaper changing stations in restrooms on campus.
Hawkins said that it is critical to “leave signs of hope on campus.” She stressed the importance of reaching pregnant women in the short period of time before they seek an abortion.
At least one pro-life student group has seen success with bus advertisements directing women to local crisis pregnancy centers, she said.
Another approach that has proven effective is the creation of a scholarship fund to raise money for pregnant and parenting women on campus, Hawkins reported.
Through bake sales and other fundraisers, pro-life student groups have been able to offer financial assistance to college students who choose life for their child.
These scholarships are generally small, perhaps covering the cost of one semester’s worth of textbooks, but they show pregnant women that there is hope, love and support available for them on campus, Hawkins explained, pointing to college women who said that they chose life for their babies as a result of the scholarships.
Reflecting on the first year of the program, Hawkins believes Pregnant on Campus has been successful.
More than 70 pro-life student groups are actively involved the program, holding more than 200 events over the past year and saving an untold number of lives.
Hawkins said that Students for Life hopes to have over 100 groups enrolled in the program by the end of the year.
The organization also has a new resource guide planned, which she hopes will help pro-life student groups in their life-saving efforts on campuses across America.
In a recent poll commissioned by SFLA, we found that fewer than two in five college aged adults knew where they could turn to for support should they or someone close to them decide against an abortion. Even among women, who would presumably pay more attention to this sort of information, less than half know where to turn for support. Young, pregnant women cannot choose life if they lack the basic direction and information as to ALL of their “choices.” Notably in this poll, Pro-Choice youth are less likely to know where to go making abortion a more likely choice for them in the event of an unplanned pregnancy.
Not only do people not know where to go to or support – we also know that PP targets college aged women and in this poll – 48% – said they did not know or could not judge whetherPlanned Parenthood clinics offered abortions to pregnant women. The fact that there is a Planned Parenthood within 5 miles of over 80 percent of ALL college campuses nationwide – is alarming. We know that PP is targeting these women and if women in crisis pregnancies and their friends – do not know where to turn to for help – it is more likely that they will end up in a Planned Parenthood than somewhere that can offer them true help, support and hope.
How do you know women are getting pregnant on campus? Let’s look at another fact. According to the most recent study by the Center for Disease Control, approximately 79.5% of college students (aged 18-24) have reported to have had sexual intercourse. Also, we know that while most of these students are using contraception – these women are at the most fertile time in their life – and say we use normal contraceptive failure rates and all students are using contraception – at least 2.2 % of these students are getting pregnant.
That may not sound like an alarming number of college students getting pregnant. However, lets break this down a bit. Breaking the statistics down further, if there are 8100 students on any given campus, with almost 80% engaging in sexual intercourse and 2.2% getting pregnant, then according to those statistics, around 142 students become pregnant each year. That is more than a handful of students. If all 142 students decided to keep their child then colleges would have to create a center primarily for pregnant and parenting students. Students are still engaging in sexual intercourse and the majority of pregnant women in college are having abortions.
It is important that we are creating resources and advertising them on campus, so those that find themselves in unplanned pregnancies know where to turn to for help! We have created new flyers to help you advertise the resources you have on campus here and a new guide about how to work with your PRC to give out free pregnancy tests on campus here.
It’s not often that you hear the words “pregnant” and “athlete” in the same sentence. In 2007 ESPN aired a documentary about this “underground topic,” revealing the difficulties pregnant athletes face. (see http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2865230) For many years, the challenges of pregnant athletes had been largely ignored, and in unfortunate cases, even made worse by a lack of support on college campuses on the part of both coaches and administration. Many student athletes with an unintended pregnancy feared the loss of their athletic scholarship which allowed them to pursue further education. And for good reason. Before recently, Title IX prohibited discrimination based on gender, but there was no policy on discrimination based on pregnancy. Countless stories showed that indeed athletes lost scholarships, were ignored by coaches, and were uninvited back to the team as a result of their choice to have their baby. Student athletes must sign a contract detailing the relationship between the university and the student when they are on scholarship, and some contracts even made a student promise to not get pregnant with the threat of losing her scholarship.
We have come a long way since 2007, and the protection now offered to pregnant student athletes is a cause for celebration! Title IX and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Letter now protect student athletes against discrimination or loss of scholarship, and also details that she can continue to play until medically unsafe (determined by the athlete and her physician, not the coach), and that she may return to the team once safe to do so. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which had long been silent on this issue, changed its Division I rules after ESPN’s documentary to explicitly prohibit the pulling of a scholarship on the basis of pregnancy. It even has a policy and resource book to address pregnant athletes: “Pregnant and Parenting Student-Athletes” (http://www.nacua.org/documents/NCAAParentingHandbook.pdf) . The status quo has changed and continues to change.
Pregnancy can alter the course of a career, whether athletic or educational, but it does not have to cause the end of either. Now, “pregnant athlete” is becoming less of an oxymoron. Colleges and universities are creating and changing policies to reflect support for women who refuse to choose between their baby and their scholarship. This is the same protection that is extended towards athletes who get injured. Administrations are realizing how important it is to protect pregnant athletes from the unjust discrimination and/or loss of scholarships as a result of a life-giving choice. Athletes by their very nature are devoted to strengthening their bodies and minds, and conditioning themselves to never give up. When a college student athlete becomes pregnant, why would anyone be surprised at her determination to give birth to her baby with the intent to continue schooling and to return to her sports team? Pregnancy may change a woman’s body, but it doesn’t change her love for the game, and it certainly shouldn’t change her opportunity to continue her education.
If you or a woman athlete you know is being discriminated against because of a pregnancy, know that you are protected, and do not have to stand for it. Talk to your Title IX coordinator or call the Alliance Defense Fund to defend your case.