Support Builds for Legislation Helping Women Find Abortion Alternatives
by Maria Vitale Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
January 25, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Support is building for federal legislation that would ensure that college women facing unexpected pregnancies know about alternatives to abortion. The Congressional measure would help women find resources they need to avoid financial and other pressures that make them feel abortion is their only solution.
Sen. Elizabeth Dole, a North Carolina Republican, has teamed up with Rep. Melissa Hart of Pennsylvania for legislation that would provide colleges and universities with grants to set up “one-stop centers” offering information and resources for child care, parenting, family housing, and adoption.
A spokesperson for Dole, Lindsay Mabry, told the Winston-Salem Journal, “The goal here is to provide resources so that students know they can get their education and be a parent.”
Under the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Students Act, the federal grants would also be used to provide maternity coverage in student health plans, diaper changing stations in campus restrooms, and desks for pregnant women.
The director of the student health center at Winston-Salem State University, Ether Joe, told the Journal, “Anything that is going to help these young women is a good thing. They have a lot of big decisions to make.”
A spokesman for Planned Parenthood, Christopher Hollis, told the Journal he has concerns about the language of the bill. He’s questioning who would provide the information at the centers and how broad the information would be. However, he told the Journal he was supportive of the proposal.
The bill’s goal is to reduce the number of abortions by ensuring that mothers and fathers know their options. Many college-age women are concerned that a pregnancy and parenting will interfere with their educational goals. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, 52 percent of all abortions are performed on women under age 25.
Last year, Serrin Foster of Feminists for Life, a pro-life organization that has an extensive college outreach program, said, “Today’s parents need creative solutions that challenge the status quo.” Because of the bill, “more women, children, and families will be better served,” Foster added.
Related web sites:
Feminists for Life of America – https://www.feministsforlife.org