by Steven Ertelt
January 22, 2007
Los Angeles, CA (LifeNews.com) — A counselor at the UCLA student health center is coming under fire for advising a pregnant student to have an abortion and telling her the college has no resources available for students keeping their babies. The counselor also encouraged the student to get the state health system to pay for the abortion.
The advice came when freshman Lila Rose posed as a seven week pregnant student and talked with Ann Brooks, nurse practitioner and counselor at the UCLA Health Center.
Rose printed Brooks’ remarks in The Advocate, a new UCLA student newspaper which launched its inaugural edition today. She said the counseling was entirely aimed at encouraging an abortion — thinking that was the only option to help her stay in school.
The student said Brooks also advised her to use Medi-Cal to fund her abortion with taxpayer funds.
"I have a place I can send you where they will get you signed up for Medi-Cal coverage and they just don’t ask," the counselor reportedly said.
Brooks allegedly said Rose should have an abortion because of a lack of support for pregnancies on campus and the discomforts of pregnancy.
"Most of the students I talk to terminate their pregnancies," Brooks said, describing the unborn child as "a collection of cells."
She added that Rose could expect "physical difficulties" during pregnancy and the "embarrassment of your classmates" as a pregnant student living in the school dorms.
Brooks said "UCLA doesn’t support people who are pregnant and make things easier for them necessarily."
The student health center staff informed Rose that while UCLA had two medical providers of abortion on campus ready to assist, Health Services had no support for a woman who wanted to continue her pregnancy
"What about other options? That’s the definition of choice," said Rose, who reported the story in the new student newspaper.
Feminists for Life President Serrin Foster has extended an offer to help, noting lack of resources and support are common in higher education but that Feminists for Life has helped other campuses bring various university stakeholders together to support pregnant and parenting students.
“They don’t know how to deal with a pregnant student," Foster said of many college health centers. “On-campus resources and links to off-campus support are needed to solve this.”
"Policies and procedures for helping pregnant and parenting students should not be a secret. Students, as well as pregnant and parenting staff, should know who to go to for help and what support is available," Foster added.
Her group has brought pregnancy resource forums to numerous colleges across the country to inform women what options they have available when they become pregnant — especially if they don’t want to have an abortion.
The forums have helped pregnant college women find medical support and practical resources such as on-campus daycare.
The Advocate was founded by UCLA students who have formed a pro-life and pro-woman group called Live Action. Rose is editor in chief of the new publication.