by Steven Ertelt
November 10, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — College-aged women tend to have the highest rate of abortions in the country and a new Congressional measure is intended to give them the financial and practical pregnant support necessary to help them avoid abortions.
This week, pro-life lawmakers introduced the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Students Act of 2005.
The measure would establish a pilot program to provide $10 million for 200 grants to encourage institutions of higher education to establish and operate a pregnant and parenting student services office. The office would serve pregnant and parenting students and help students who are considering adoption instead of abortion.
On many college campuses, student health insurance pays for abortions but won’t provide students with the support needed to carry a pregnancy to term. Most student health offices have staff that will gladly refer students to local abortion centers but won’t advice them of abortion alternatives.
Feminists for Life, a national organization that has long addressed the needs of women in the abortion debate, says this new bill changes that scenario.
“We are so pleased that we can share what we have learned from pregnant and parenting students through our efforts hosting FFL’s Pregnancy Resource Forums at top campuses across the country," says FFL President Serrin Foster.
"Today’s parents need creative solutions that challenge the status quo," Foster explained. Because of the bill, "more women, children and families will be better served.”
Senator Elizabeth Dole, a North Carolina Republican and the only pro-life woman in the Senate, and Rep. Melissa Hart, a Pennsylvania Republican, are the lead sponsors of the measure.
Research from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, points to the need for the legislation.
According to AGI, forty-five percent of women who have abortions are of college-age, 18-24 years old. Women with some college had a pregnancy rate that was lower than average, but still “had the highest abortion rate of any educational group.”
“The statistics support what pregnant and parenting students have been telling Feminists for Life for years-that they need more resources and support,” Foster said.
Among women who had abortions, 71% of 18-19 year olds and 58% of 20-24 year olds said having a child would interfere with their education or career.
“We need to listen," Foster said.
Colleges who participated in the grants authorized by the legislation would host an initial pregnancy forum to better understand how to help students. The forums would help set goals for improved services and access to services including housing, child care, maternity coverage and riders for additional family members in any student health care plan.
Related web sites:
Feminists for Life of America – https://www.feministsforlife.org