Celebrate Your Campus Resources!

how-can-we-support-flyer-on-campusThanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all the great people and blessings in your life. Our Pregnant on Campus team is grateful for the many campus and community resources that help support pregnant and parenting students. These resources help students stay in school and take care of their kids.

Tangible resources and community support make it easier for pregnant and parenting students to be an active part of your college community. That’s why this Thanksgiving, we are challenging you to go out, find your resources, and celebrate them! 

Our Challenge

From Monday, November 14th through Saturday, November 19th, help us find campus resources for pregnant and parenting students. Here’s how it works:

  • Challenge your group members to find one of the resources listed each day.
  • Take a photo! (Or use a photo from a past event)
  • Post your photos on your student group’s social media account with a description of the resource.
  • Add the hashtag #ParentingStudents 
  • Tag our Pregnant on Campus Initiative on Facebook and Instagram (@PregnantOnCampus).

The top 3 groups that post the most images on social media will win:

Contact Beth Rahal (Pregnant on Campus Director at brahal@studentsforlife.org with any questions. GOOD LUCK!

Resources Scavenger Hunt

You have 6 days to find these resources. Here are each day’s topics and recommended resources. Now go find them!

Day 1: Monday, November 14th

Community Support: Who can pregnant and parenting students go to for life-affirming support? Who can they go to who will be kind, caring, and helpful? What can that person (or group) offer the student?

  • Your student group
  • Pro-life professor, staff, or administrator
  • Residence advisor
  • Pregnancy support advocate
  • Pregnancy resource center
  • Campus ministry
  • Campus counseling

Day 2: Tuesday, November 15th

Pregnancy Help: Where can you get free pregnancy tests and pregnancy options counseling? Who will support the student throughout her pregnancy?

  • Your student group
  • Campus health center
  • Local pregnancy resource center

Day 3: Wednesday, November 16th

Child Care: Where can students take care of their child? How can they go to school and take care of their baby?

  • Diaper changing stations
  • Lactation (Mother’s) rooms
  • Child care center
  • Student group babysitting services
  • Family study room

Day 4: Thursday, November 17th

Financial and Material Support: Who can pregnant and parenting students ask about financial assistance? Are there scholarships on campus for pregnant or parenting students? Where can students get free baby or maternity items?

  • Financial aid office
  • Your student group
  • Scholarship committee
  • Pregnancy resource center
  • Office of Family Resources

Day 5: Friday, November 18th

Academic Support: Who can tell a pregnant or parenting student about Title IX rights, school policies, and classroom accommodations? Who can help her find flexible class options?

  • Title IX Coordinator
  • Academic Support
  • Disability Services
  • Office of the Registrar

Day 6: Saturday, November 19th 

BONUS RESOURCES: What else does your school and community have to offer? Tell us about resources like:

  • Adoption support
  • STD Testing
  • Family housing on campus
  • Local maternity home
  • Family events
  • After abortion counseling

(Don’t forget! HASHTAG #ParentingStudents and TAG @PregnantOnCampus.)

Examples of Images

 

 

5+ Creative Ways to Advertise Resources

You surveyed your campus. You created a unique resource guide for your school… Now what?! Advertising pregnancy resources to your campus is an important and vital part of your group’s commitment to supporting pregnant and parenting classmates. Having created a resource guide, you already have all the information at the tip of your fingers. So now it’s up to you to share it with your campus. How do you do this? Here are 5 ways that you can share resources!

Create advertising materials

Your resource guide may be a bit to bulky to pass out to each and every passing student. So why not simplify it? Here are some ways that you can make your guide easier to distribute on campus:

PonC ResourcesBusiness cards for your group. Business cards are easy to carry and hand out. Include your group’s name, contact information, and Facebook. On the back, you should have a message such as “Pregnant? You are not alone” with a listing of contact information for your local pregnancy resource center and other pro-life pregnancy counseling resources.

Resource brochures. Break down your pregnancy resource guide into brochures. You may offer brochures such as:

  • “Pregnant? We can help!” – including steps to take if you find out your pregnant, who to talk to, what resources are available
  • “Financing Your Education” – outlining scholarships and grants available to pregnant and parenting students
  • “Parenting Made Easier” – providing listing of free pregnancy/parenting services, local childcare options, emotional and material support, etc.

Flyers. Never underestimate the power of a flyer! Pull tab flyers are particularly effective in providing valuable contact information for your group or for the local pregnancy resource center(s). Flyers should be easy to read and posted in high traffic areas of campus. For more tips, see here.

Host a Life Chain

Get your group together for a night of poster making. Members should create signs that highlight resources available to students. You should also include signs that offer positive, uplifting messages for pregnant and parenting students.

Need help with sign slogans? Here are a selection of messages that you can choose from:

  • Pregnant? You are not alone. Call __________
  • (Your group’s name) offers (e.g. free pregnancy tests, babysitting, scholarships) for pregnant and parenting students
  • Pregnant? Parenting? We can help! Ask us about our pregnancy resources.
  • (Your group’s name) loves and supports pregnant and parenting students.
  • (Name of local pregnancy resource center) offers free, confidential pregnancy testing, counseling, and support.
  • Ask me about campus housing for single parents and families!
  • Pregnant? (Your group’s name) supports you!
  • Love > Judgement
  • Pro-Woman, Pro-Baby, Pro-Life

One you’ve made your signs, pick a time, date, and location for your group to host your unique Life Chain. Consider lining up along a high traffic sidewalk on campus between classes, or position yourselves in front of the Student Union around lunch time. Smile, wave, and talk to your classmates about your group’s efforts on campus.

Chalk it up!

Chalking- Preborn BabyChalking is a simple, fun, and effective way to advertise resources. Like your posters, chalk displays should have a mix of resource information and positive messages. You can also get creative and use chalk to draw a trail or arrows to your pregnancy resource table or to your Life Chain. Make sure that your display is in a high traffic area of campus– such as paths to academic buildings or in a brick quad close to the Student Union. The more people who see this, the better! (See more chalking tips here.)

Write an article for your campus newspaper.

Write an article for your campus newspaper explaining the challenges of pregnant and parenting students. In the article, be sure to note helpful resources on campus and in the community– such as your local pregnancy resource center’s free services. You may even want to include notes about pregnant and parenting students’ rights to ensure students that they will not be punished academically or otherwise for their pregnancies.Don’t forget to give your group a shoutout for your efforts on campus! Share what your campus what your group does on campus, and tell students how they can support your efforts!

Remember to keep an eye out for other opportunities for you to insert yourself into campus media. Lookout for articles mentioning abortion, pregnancy, student parenting, etc. to jump on opportunities to write a letter to the editor.

car window signs

Pregnant- Car SignYou never know when or where you may run into a young woman who needs your support. Candle in the Window has created awesome car window signs to help spread awareness and support for women in unplanned pregnancies. On the front, it encourages passersby to ask you for help. On the back, it lists national resources that support pregnant and post-abortive women so that you can quickly offer help. You can request these signs from Students for Life, or your group can create unique car signs using sturdy cardboard and small suction cups (to hold the sign to the window). These signs can also be stuck on your dorm room door or on the door of your group’s meeting room!

You have unlimited potential to transform your campus with resources! Take these tips and get creative. You can make a difference in your classmates’ lives.

 

This post has been contributed by Beth Rahal, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. If your group is interested in expanding pregnancy resources on your college campus, contact your SFLA Regional Coordinator or Beth Rahal to get involved in the Pregnant on Campus Initiative.

Great Pregnancy Outreach Resources (FREE!)

Effective activism and outreach require the right tools! Our materials need to reach a vulnerable audience with a message of hope, and they have to have good information to guide a peer to resources and support. Check out these great outreach tools that you can use on campus or in your local community. Contact Beth to find out what other free resources are available to assist your pro-life student group.

Please note: SFLA distributes free resources to active pro-life students or student groups only. Pro-life organizations, community groups, and adult activists may order these resources using the provided links.

 

This is not your only choiceThis is Not Your Only Choice

This street mag, published by Human Life Alliance, is a handy size with awesome content. The magazine includes information on fetal development, abortion, adoption, and a woman’s legal rights. It also details the stories of women who have been through these experiences. Last but not least, this magazine includes resources for pregnant, parenting, and post-abortive women.

How this tool can be used: Tabling, abortion clinic outreach, distribution at events, peer-to-peer support.

  •  Click here to order Human Life Alliance “This is Not Your Only Choice” street mags.
  • If you are a student, email Beth to receive FREE copies!

 

 

Car Window Sign

Candle in the Window- Car signThis pink car sign was created by Candle in the Window. It reads, “Ask me for help. I CARE!” On the back, there is a listing of resources to readily provide information and support for someone who sees your sign. This is a great outreach tool to add to your car window. You never know who may see it!

How this tool can be used: Place in your vehicle, in the window of Campus Ministry, on your dorm room door or window.

  • Click here to order Candle in the Window car signs.
  • If you are a student, email Beth to receive FREE signs.

 

Adoption vs. Abortion

Bethany Christian- Card- PromoWhat are the similarities and differences between adoption and abortion? Thanks to Bethany Christian services, we have a great card to explain these answers. Use this awesome outreach card to explain the wonderful choice of adoption and to show how adoption is a “quality-of-life decision” for parents facing unplanned pregnancies.

How this tool can be used: Tabling, abortion clinic outreach, distribution at events, peer-to-peer support.

  • Click here to order these Bethany Christian cards online
  • If you are a student, email Beth to receive FREE cards.

 

Adoption vs. ParentingBethany Christian- Card 2- Promo

We know that there are 2 positive life-affirming options for women in unplanned pregnancy situations. How are they similar? How are they different? Share Bethany Christian Services’ “Adoption vs. Parenting” card to explain to outreach to women on your campus and in your community.

How this tool can be used: Tabling, abortion clinic outreach, distribution at events, peer-to-peer support.

  • Click here to order these Bethany Christian cards online
  • If you are a student, email Beth to receive FREE cards.

 

Raising Kids on a ShoestringRaising Kids- FFL- Promo

Raising Kids on a Shoestring is a great publication to share with your health center, campus ministry, or residence life. This guide presents resources, solutions, and support for expecting and parenting peers. “We’ve never said that being pregnant, placing a child for adoption, or parenting is easy, but we are going to do our best to make it easier,” said Serrin M. Foster, President of Feminists for Life. 

How this tool can be used: Distribution to departments on campus, tabling, distribution at events, peer-to-peer support.

  • Click here to order these guides through Feminists for Life.
  • If you are a student, email Beth to receive FREE guides.

 

 

Do you need more outreach resources? Check out our Social Media and Flyers pages for downloadable images for cyberspace and campus outreach.

This post was contributed by Beth O’Malley, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. If you would like to access or recommend a resource, please contact Beth at bomalley@studentsforlife.org.

Post ALL the Flyers!

Post ALL the flyersYou’re walking to class minding your own business, and then BOOM! Your eyes rivet to a sheet of bold color with a glaring headline. 

FREE FOOD IN THE QUAD! Come and get it!

Colored across this glorious rectangle is a grease dipping pizza and 3 smiling college students. You’re staaaarving (or so you think), and this flyer reaches out to you right in your moment of need. You weren’t expecting it. You weren’t looking for it. But there is was. By golly, someone did their job right! With these powerful words and saliva-inducing images, that flyer caught your attention, attracted you to the event, and satisfied your need.

This is the power of a flyer. A flyer creates a moment for someone to discover something that they need (e.g. resources, services, opportunities).  It sits quietly on a wall begging to be read by the one person who needs that information. Now, when we are talking about your pro-life group’s outreach efforts, the need to be met is much, much more important than any free pizza event catering to your growling stomach.

Our flyers provide education, hope, help, and support. Our flyers serve to assist women in unplanned pregnancies, offer resources for mothers, and provide healing for post-abortive peers. If you aren’t out there posting and re-posting, noone is going to know about the resources, services, and opportunities that your club offers!

We challenge you to POST ALL THE FLYERS. Check out our selection of flyers for campaigns that you can host on your campus. Pick your favorites, download, and print. Get a team together and split up across campus to cover your campus. Here are some quick tips for a successful campaign:

    • Follow the rules. Some campuses require you to have flyers approved before posting. Go to your Office of Student Activities for this information.
    • Post in easy to view spots. Do not let students cover or rip down your flyers!  If others do this, go back and post another flyer. Check your locations from time to time to ensure that your flyers are still there.
    • Choose high traffic locations on campus. Great spots include the cafeteria, dorms, academic buildings, and bathrooms.
    • Keep posting! Organize your campaigns to last a couple weeks or a full month. Add new flyers throughout the month, and make sure that others posted remain up.

PRINT AND POST. Choose one of these categories, and pick the right flyers for your campus. For more Pregnant on Campus flyers, go to the Flyers pageContact Beth for files if needed.

 

This post was contributed by Beth Rahal, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. For comments and questions, please email Beth at brahal@studentsforlife.org

Cosmo & the A Words

Cosmo March 2014 coverFashion, sex advice, dating tips, and celebrity gossip, Cosmopolitan’s glossy pages dictate what’s hot and what’s not to an audience searching for advice, pleasure, and distraction. As one of the most popular women’s magazines, Cosmopolitan reaches millions of women with each publication and internet post.

In reviewing a variety of Cosmo articles, it is true that the magazine will occasionally provide a quick post on pregnancy-related tips and comments. However, Cosmo’s audience may look no farther than the cover girl’s edited curves for avid promotion of fabricated beauty. (If you’re waiting for stretch marks and hips, don’t hold your breath!)

Looking beyond the superficial, we discovered a few interesting pieces that reveal Cosmo’s relationship with the A words (i.e. abortion and adoption). While we won’t be ripping these magazines from your hands, we do ask that you take a moment to consider the message that Cosmo sends our lady friends, particularly the moms and birth moms among us.  Then, we will discuss how you can combat pregnancy stigma in the media.

What is Cosmo telling women about abortion and adoptionLet’s find out!

“How Our Abortion Changed Our Relationship”

Cosmo- Abortion- 2In a January 2014 article entitled “How Our Abortion Changed Our Relationship,” Liz Welch shares the stories of 4 couples who chose abortion. She highlights statements from Cecile Richards, President Planned Parenthood and #1 cheerleader for abortion “rights.” Richards comments on a generational shift which has resulted in men becoming more involved in the abortion process. “These men care deeply about the women getting an abortion,” Richards states.

Here’s a quick recap of the couples’ stories:

  • Cindy, 23, shared the story of her 2nd abortion. At the time, she felt that the pregnancy interrupted her plans and that it would present a financial burden.  “I had all sorts of plans, and becoming a mother that young was not one of them.
  • Kristina, 24, talked about the confusion, anger, and emotional turmoil that surrounded her pregnancy and her abortion. I had this idea that once I ended the pregnancy, I’d be fine. But I’m not the same person I was, and I never will be. I felt conflicted…and then angry at myself for feeling that way… I would not do it again.”
  • Brittany, 23, shared the strains in her relationship. “Brandon wanted to come, but I told him not to. Instead, he sent a check for $500… I was so pissed. I thought, I have to get this thing done, and he gets to sleep in? … Later, when I told Brandon I had been 10 weeks along, he Googled what that looked like and the image shocked him. I did not want to see it… I got mad at him a lot that summer. He was going out while I was in bed, watching movies, healing — not physically but emotionally.
  • Emily, 32, said, “It was the humane thing… and it devastated us.” Emily and her husband, Dave, talked openly about the abortion of their preborn son, Aaron Jack. “I thought since I do this for a living that I was going to be fine. But then two days later my milk came in, and I completely lost it.”

With each story, the author allowed for the couples to share openly and honestly, without adding any comments or critique. It certainly took great courage for these couples to discuss these heartbreaking moments with a national audience. Unfortunately, what we read is a great lack of support from the men to seek out other resources and even to be strong for these women when they were going through such turmoil.

Yes, we agree that men should become more involved in women’s pregnancies and in the discussion about options. Yes, we agree that we should hear more of these personal stories about abortion. However, Cosmo has failed their female audience.

Cosmo gave the “okay” for men to hand over a check and wipe their hands of this situation. Sure, the men added a comment or two about their experience, but what good does this serve the women involved and the female audience? Shouldn’t men be offering more than conversation– like compassion and support?

In addition to trivializing the significance of this decision (i.e. that abortion kills a child), this article fails to provide a proactive solution to the problem. Instead of encouraging their audience to seek out resources and a full range of options and support, the article ends abruptly with a suggestion to call Exhale, an organization that supports abortion. The article fails to provide information for resources that could assist other women in similar situations so as to help them make a fully informed decision.

These stories, while difficult, noted common reasons for why women make the desperate and devastating decision to abort their child. Unfortunately, each reason could have been addressed with the right resources. Rather than wait for women to make such a emotionally devastating (and life ending) decision, it would have been appropriate to provide a proactive answer to their female audience by including information for seeking out resources.

Hope is not lost

 

Cosmo- Adoption- 2After reading several other Cosmo articles promoting abortion, one would think that all hope is lost for this media empire.  (See here, here, and here.) Nevertheless, a recent article featured the other rarely seen A word– adoption. 

In Liz Welch’s March 20th article, “I Placed My Daughter for Adoption, But I Didn’t Give Her Up,” Jessa Speight shares the confusion, anger, sadness, and eventual peace that she found in adoption. At the end of the article, Jessa emphasizes the empowering choices of the birth moms to whom she now ministers.  “These women leave feeling less alone and more empowered. They realize their lives are not over and that their choice, however painful, was always made out of love for that child.”

With this article, we are grateful that the author took the opportunity to highlight a birthmom and her experience with adoption. This effort acknowledges the hundreds of women who pursue adoption as a loving choice to better benefit their child.

Cosmo: Here’s Your challenge

Let’s be honest. We don’t expect a magazine like Cosmo to ditch the pro-abortion posts and join the chorus of “Abolish abortion!” In a perfect world, it would be wonderful if they opened their eyes to the emotional and physical harms of abortion. For now, our expectations are simpler. We hope that in future posts the magazine will promote a greater support for pregnant women by promoting resources and support. We hope that they will move away from such articles as “How to Handle Your Best Friend Getting Pregnant” (which emphasizes the selfish “betrayal” of friendship caused by pregnancy) and instead promote more life affirming articles like “I Placed My Daughter for Adoption, But I Didn’t Give Her Up.

What Can I Do?

The media has a powerful influence over our society, and it can certainly effect a woman’s morale, decisions, and perceptions of motherhood and pregnancy options. We encourage you to speak out against the stigma against pregnancy and to promote life affirming support and resources. Offer your stories. Share resources. Empower women to make an informed choice for parenting or adoption. Here’s what you can do:

  • Get on social media. On Facebook and Twitter, post pregnancy help information, such as the phone number and services of a local pregnancy resource center. Post life affirming messages, articles, and images. Like and follow groups that offer support, assistance, and encouragement for moms. If you are more tech savvy, create a YouTube channel to offer viewers a peek into the mom life or to promote education about pregnancy, parenting, and available resources.
  • Join social media campaigns. Remember the campaign #WhatWomenNeed? Cecile Richards and her pro-abortion cronies tried to promote abortion, and pro-lifers responded with pregnancy support, resources, and true compassion. Stay alert for social media campaigns like this, and join in the action!
  • Write a blog. If you are a mom, put your fingers to the keyboard! Share your stories, tips, and encouragement. You can also fight against stigma by writing blog posts that counter other blogs to point out misconceptions and assumptions.
  • Get active in a pro-life groupIf you are a college student, join your pro-life group, and encourage them to take part in the Pregnant on Campus Initiative. With more people committed to the same goals, you can make great changes happen!

 

 

 

This post was contributed by Beth O’Malley, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. For comments and questions, please email Beth at bomalley@studentsforlife.org

 

 

 

 

Creating a Pregnancy Resource Website

UA Pregnancy websiteA common trend among pro-life student groups is to create a pregnancy resource website that is separate from their pro-life student group’s website. This effort helps broaden their audience by avoiding bias that may result from your pro-life position. In turn, these websites provide strictly pregnancy resource information for peers at your school and women in your community.

A pregnancy resource website can be a simple, effective project if organized as a group project. You can assign members to divide areas of research to collect all the necessary information to serve a woman in an unplanned pregnancy situation. Do you have a tech savvy member? Assign them to develop the website. Members can be enlisted to create graphics (or purchase appropriate stock images), and others can be assigned to developing the website content and checking the pages for edits.

Does this project interest your group? Here are some basic steps for developing an effective pregnancy resource website.

1. Decide on your initiative’s title.

It is important that you are clear about the name of your campus initiative and that you are consistent in using it on your website, in promotional materials, etc. This promotes good branding by strategically identifying your actions and activities as affiliated with this initiative. You may call your initiative (your school’s name)‘s Pregnant on Campus Initiative, Pregnant on Campus at (your school’s name), or Pregnancy Resources at (Your school’s name). Choose wisely! Your initiative should be a consistent, lasting part of your ministry; so you don’t want to be changing it every year.

2. Choose your host site.

A host site is a website which provides the tools for you to create and publish your own website. Some host sites that are easy to use and navigate include WordPress.comWix.com, or Weebly.com. These sites offer free blogsites, templates, and more. You may want to shop around and test different templates before deciding on your host site.

3. Pick a domain name.UMiami Pregnancy website

Choose a website domain that accurately describes your initiative. For example, Bama’s site is www.uapregnancy.org, and UMiami’s site is www.umiamipregnancy.org. You may purchase a domain at GoDaddy.com or another domain registry prior to pursuing your host site, or you may choose a domain after registering on one of the aforementioned website hosts.

4. Decide on content.

Content for your pregnancy resource website is critical. You need to decide what information will be most helpful for students at your school. Here are some subjects to consider:

  • School Policies
  • On-Campus Resources: Health center, services, scholarships, support.
  • School Insurance Information
  • Local Pregnancy Resource Centers: Locations, services, contact information
  • Pregnancy Information: Identifying pregnancy, fetal development, health and wellness during pregnancy
  • Resource Guide: Comprehensive guide of campus and local resources (available for download and print)
  • Contact Information: Provide an email address to be reached at, a Facebook page (if applicable), and a contact form (if desired)

Your group may also want to include testimonies from pregnant and parenting students at your school (or elsewhere).

7. Design and messaging sets the tone.

How do you want your site visitor to feel when they land on your site? What do you want them to see and read? As a pregnancy resources website, your site is intended primarily for students who will be curious, confused, and/or desperate. Keep the colors and tone comforting. Your messaging should emphasize hope, support, and compassion. The words, pictures, and videos included throughout the site should be thoughtfully reviewed to consider the viewpoint of the audience.

6. Contact information is key.

Your peers need to know how to reach you! How else can they find support, ask questions, and join your efforts? In addition to providing contact information for campus and local support, your group should have an email address for website visitors to contact you. It is recommended that this is a unique address that is specific to your initiative. For example, yourschoolpregnancy@gmail.com . Your group can easily create a Contact Form using Google Form that can be embedded into the website. (Go to Google Drive > Create > Form.)

7. Keep it current!

Make sure that you are regularly updating and improving your site. Each year, confirm that your sources link and refer to current resources and active organizations. Email should be checked on a consistent basis and promptly responded to. Blog posts should be posted on a frequent schedule to provide interesting, engaging material. Don’t let your site get dusty! Assign a member to update and review content each semester.

8. Update us about your websites.

We want to know what resources are available! Tell us about your site, and we will add it to our campus resources page, and we will keep it on file to promote to students and to aid students seeking help.

Set a goal, and get this done! Make it your group’s goal to create a unique pregnancy resource website by the end of this semester. By expanding your pregnancy resources, you can be one step closer to transforming your community to a pro-life, pro-family environment.

For further assistance on this project, contact Beth with questions, ideas, and comments at bomalley@studentsforlife.org.

You Are Not Alone

What students don’t know CAN hurt them

“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 womenwe 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.

Adoption: Your Questions Answered

When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, one very important decision needs to be made- “Who will raise my child?” Will the mother choose to raise her child- alone or with the support of a partner and/or family? Or will she consider placing her child for adoption? Several factors may come into play when this mother makes her decision. She may consider her current relationship status, family support, financial stability, and emotional well-being.

Parenting and adoption decisions must be made with serious consideration to both the well-being of the mother and that of the child. For some new mothers, the idea of placing their child for adoption is a daunting prospect. They may not have previous experience with adoption, and therefore, the possibility is intimidating- and even frightening. Here are 7 frequently asked questions:

 

What is adoption?

Adoption is the legal process by which parental rights and responsibilities are transferred from one parent or set of parent(s) to another, ensuring that a child has the benefits of a permanent, stable, and loving adoptive family.

How can I be certain that my child’s adoptive parents will take good care of her?

Parents who pursue infant adoption are required to meet with an adoption agency representative, social worker, or other approved agent and complete a number of requirements, including a home study, to guarantee that they are emotionally and financially ready to parent. Prospective adoptive parents have to meet all criteria set by their home state as well as the agency in order to adopt. Also, if you choose an open adoption with contact between birthparents and the adoptive family, then you will be able to receive updates, pictures, and letters from the adoptive parents as your son or daughter grows up.

What is the difference between an “open” and “closed” adoption?

If you choose to have contact with your child and his or her family after the adoption takes place, this is called an “open adoption.” Contact may include letters and photographs, phone calls, or visits – whatever you and the adoptive family are comfortable with. In a closed adoption, contact is more limited; letters and photos may still be exchanged, but you could choose to do so anonymously, using your first name only, or sending information back and forth through another party. You can also choose to have no contact at all after the adoption has taken place. The level of openness in the adoption is up to you and the adoptive parents.

After a birthmother signs legal documents, can she still change her mind about the adoption?

Throughout the adoption process, the birthmother has the opportunity to receive counseling, weigh all of her options, and reevaluate her decision. She can always choose to make another plan up until the legal time as defined by the state in which the legal relinquishments were executed.

 What if the child’s father does not agree to the adoption?

A responsible, ethical adoption agency or attorney will try their best to locate the birthfather and inform him of his rights, though state law may require him to take action within a given time frame if he wishes to protect his rights. If the child’s father wishes to be involved in the adoption process and the birthmother agrees, he should receive the same counseling and support as the birthmother.

I cannot pay for my pregnancy expenses. Is there help?

If you do not already have health insurance, you may qualify for Medicaid, and your agency should also be able to help you secure coverage. Many adoption agencies will provide free legal services to help you plan for your adoption, and most agencies will also provide financial support for additional medical and living expenses, either directly or through referrals to local organizations that can help meet your needs, depending on what is allowed by state law. If you select an adoptive family for your child before you deliver, that family may also agree to help pay for your prenatal and maternity care.

Is there anyone I can talk to who has been in a situation similar to mine?

If you do contact an adoption agency, counselors should be able to connect you with other birth parents that have been in your situation, facing an unplanned pregnancy. They can tell you how they felt, explain what was most helpful to them, and provide additional support and encouragement as you consider your options. In the meantime, you can also read the birthmother testimonials on this website.

 

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