On Monday, July 16th the opening of an unprecedented resource for women will bring hope to many. Room at the Inn will be in operation as the first of its kind. This new residential facility at Belmont Abbey in Belmont, North Carolina will serve pregnant college women in order to allow them to give life to their babies while continuing their education. There is also an after-care service to further help mothers balance parenthood and school. Room at the Inn offers this residential and after-care service free of charge due to generous donations from individuals and from land donated by the Benedictine Monks of Belmont Abbey. Mothers do not have to be Catholic or students of Belmont Abbey College to be considered for the program. They may stay there for up to two years while enjoying services including around-the-clock staff, material assistance, life skills classes, peer support, and more.
After carefully considering the need of mothers who experience unexpected pregnancy, Room at the Inn board of directors understood that college women make up a large population of underserved pregnant women. After already helping more than 3,500 women and children through pre-natal counseling and extended care and outreach programs in Charlotte, the new facility will serve even more, with accommodations for 15 mothers, 15 infants, and 8 toddlers.
Room at the Inn’s goal to help those who may consider abortion is one that needed to be pursued, and they were able to achieve it. This facility serving college women in this way is the first of its kind, but here’s to many more developing so that mothers and children can receive care they deserve in order to choose life. People often argue that abortion should be an option because we need to protect children from being born into a life that lacks resources to care for them. Room at the Inn directly debunks that argument.
The following is a guest blog from Jon, our Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator, on the Pregnant on Campus Initiative.
This year SFLA launched our Pregnant on Campus Initiative – a project that works to create a life affirming environment on college campuses through tangible resources for pregnant or parenting students.
This semester in particular, I have seen a rise in these life affirming pregnancy resource projects on college campuses across the Northwest. For example, at University of Washington, UW Students for Life, working in conjunction with other campus organizations, raised money to place diaper decks in the bathrooms on campus. Diaper decks serve not only the students with babies, but also creates a visual clue to let students who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy know it is possible to be a student and have a baby. The success of the diaper decks have sparked another project, to establish an on campus pregnancy resource center to provide real help for pregnant college students!
At Seattle University, the pro-life group on campus has worked with school administration to open a lactation room on campus for new mothers to breastfeed their babies in a private setting. Similar projects are underway at Clackamas Community College in Oregon and throughout the Northwest.
Why is this important? The pro-life campus movement is shifting from reactionary activism to proactive solutions. Creating a campus environment and culture that not only affirms but actively supports a young woman’s decision to give birth to her baby. Sometimes a diaper deck, a lactation room, or organized baby sitting is all it takes to tip the scales towards a Life decision.
The day that Roe v Wade is overturned our groups will be ready to help women in crisis with tangible resources already established. As our groups continue to swell in numbers and engage in positive proactive projects more babies will be saved and more mothers will be spared the trauma and loss of abortion. Already, one baby save has been reported at UW because of their work with the Pregnant on Campus initiative, and I believe this is just the beginning!