When Beth Kimailu got pregnant during her senior year of high school, she thought about having an abortion.
Kimailu told the Daily Nation that although she felt ashamed and afraid, she chose life for her unborn son.
Because of her strength and determination, Kimailu graduated from high school and eventually college as a single mom to her son, according to the report. Now, Kimailu is running an outreach program in her home country of Kenya to encourage pregnant teens to choose life for their babies and to stay in school.
Since the program began in January, she has helped almost 50 young women and their babies through her Tabasamu Kenya program, according to the report.
When she was pregnant in high school, Kimailu said she was afraid to tell her mother, also a single parent. She also feared losing her high school sponsorship. With all these things weighing on her mind, plus her future college plans, abortion seemed like an easy solution.
However, Kimailu rejected abortion and decided to parent her son as a single mom. Since her son’s birth seven years ago, the 28-year-old said she has felt a burden to reach out to other pregnant and parenting teens.
“It is a dream that I had since I gave birth to my child a few months after sitting for my KCSE exams but came to life in 2013 when I was pregnant with my second child. I had medical complications that resulted in my uterus rupturing,” she told the newspaper.
She lost her second child to a miscarriage as a result, and doctors said she will not be able to have more children, according to the report.
“This made me ask myself questions of what if I had an abortion and never gave birth to my son, right now I would be childless with no hopes of ever being called a mother,” Kimailu said.
Kimailu decided to use her own difficulties to help other teen moms in Kenya. Through the program, she encourages teen girls to reject abortion for their babies and to stay in school, the report states. Kimailu also talks with the teens’ parents and urges them to support their daughters and grandchildren.
“My message has always been that getting pregnant is not the end of education for a girl,” she said.
In the U.S., pro-life organizations, including many pregnancy centers, Students for Life and Feminists for Life, also have support programs for pregnant and parenting students. The Pregnant on Campus Initiative provides an online resource guide for students in all 50 states.
College pro-life groups also have been working to make campuses more friendly, welcoming environments for parenting students by advocating for diaper changing tables in restrooms, offering free babysitting, and encouraging the school to adopt policies to accommodate pregnant/parenting students.