New website from Students for Life of America centralizes local resources for those in need
Pregnant young women on campus are almost certain to hear that they must choose between their baby and their education – a “pro-choice” message with no choice at all.
Students for Life of America (SFLA) has launched a new website that combats that prevalent falsehood by connecting pregnant students with help and resources near them.
PregnantOnCampus.org is a “huge step in terms of catering to students on each individual campus,” Beth Rahal, the coordinator for the initiative, told The College Fix.
For the past two years, SFLA focused its Web information on its campus chapters and their advocacy.
But the national organization kept getting contacted by pregnant students who didn’t realize they often had access to resources on campus or the immediate vicinity, so it created a new site just for pregnant students.
The group has 838 student groups at 530 colleges. Those chapters can now advertise the page specific to their campus as well as work with health centers and campus ministries to publicize the site and the resources it points to, Rahal said.
No more running around campus for information
Those looking for pregnancy resources can click on a map at PregnantOnCampus.org and pull up their particular campus. Each campus page includes information on local resources such as childcare, food assistance, adoption, counseling and scholarships.
SFLA chapters previously had trouble keeping track of resources, so the new site keeps track of all that information, providing immediate answers for pregnant women in need.
PregnantOnCampus.org will let campus groups more effectively help students, Louis Vitti, vice president of the Boston University chapter, told The Fix.
“We no longer have to send [women] running around to different offices on campus to get further referrals or information,” Vitti said. Each chapter’s page will also help train its members to “answer questions from pregnant or parenting members of our community in a clear, concise, accurate, and prompt manner.”
Fighting the perceived shame of pregnancy
The new site addresses the problem of shame that’s common among pregnant students, Treasurer Kaitlyn Cocuzzo of Fairfield University’s chapter told The Fix.
“Many campuses have amazing resources available to students that they are either unaware of, or too ashamed to ask about publicly,” Cocuzzo said. The site will connect “students in similar situations” and provide them with “confidential resources … without having to worry about the opinions of their parents and their peers.”
“Our school seems to be lacking in well-advertised pregnancy resources if any at all,” the University of Northern Colorado’s chapter told The Fix. The site will help the club “provide real alternatives to abortion” and protect mothers as well, it said.
Emotional and moral support is a crucial part of the new endeavor to reach expectant students, Sade Patterson of the University of New Mexico’s chapter told The Fix.
“We see a great need on campus for women to know that they have the support they need if they are pregnant,” Patterson said.
Not only does the new site help pregnant students “in very tangible and practical ways,” said Hawkins of SFLA – it “shows the college campus that the pro-life movement is very much pro-woman and that we all could do more to support women in crisis.”
The effects of the project are profound, according to Lauren Galvan, president and founder of Brown University’s chapter.
Beyond pointing men and women to local resources, the site is “helping to change our culture’s attitude toward pregnancy from one of impossibility and shame to one of empowerment, support, and love,” Galvan told The Fix.
Or as Rahal put it: “Yes, you can.”
College Fix reporter Mairead McArdle is a student at Thomas Aquinas College.
IMAGES: Trevor Bair/Flickr, PregnantOnCampus.org