A university campus may be one of the worst places for a pregnant woman to be. The thought seems odd at first, but there are little-to-no resources for women experiencing unexpected pregnancies while going to college. Most universities send the message that pregnant women are not welcome, leading these students to feel that they have no option but to choose between the life of their preborn child and their future. Women are encouraged to choose abortion, and in California, there are plans to provide the dangerous abortion pill on campus, making the supposed choice even easier to make. But when abortion is encouraged and readily available, while resources and support for women who want to keep their babies is non-existent, are pregnant students truly given a choice?
Luckily, across the country, pro-life activists are working to change that. The latest example comes out of Ball State University in Indiana, where Ball State Students for Life successfully worked with the Ball State Student Government Association to provide parking spaces for pregnant mothers. Now, students who are pregnant will be able to park closer to academic buildings, making it easier for them to attend classes and get around on campus.
“After building relationships with many student parents over my four year experience at Ball State University, I discovered how important small accommodations can be in the success of parenting students,” said Nora Hopf, president of Ball State Students for Life from 2017-2018, and a recent graduate. “They have expressed their concerns and as an advocate I made sure their voices didn’t fall on deaf ears.”
While parking spaces for pregnant women is a small step, it’s an important one, helping to change the campus culture to one that is more inclusive and welcoming towards pregnant students, a sentiment echoed by Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins. “Ball State Students for Life is a great example of the work that Students for Life groups do every single day to advocate for a pro-life culture on their campuses,” she said in a statement. “Ball State University should be commended for taking the right steps to ensure their campuses welcome pregnant students by making it easier for them to get to their classes and feel welcomed. This change is a commonsense policy that we want to see at every campus across the country.”
When the pro-life students approached the student government, they took their idea to Ball State Parking Services, and the administration wanted to know what the need on campus was. Hopf worked with Kyleigh Snavely, a student government representative, to create a survey which was sent to the entire student body, and at least 50 students responded, saying they wanted the parking implemented.
Ball State also implemented a Pregnant and Parenting Support Group on campus last year. At other colleges and universities, pro-lifers have likewise been the leaders of providing help for pregnant students, such as at Notre Dame, where the student Right to Life group has begun offering free babysitting. Notre Dame also has other programs in place to help pregnant and parenting students, but even at a Catholic university, pregnancy is still stigmatized on campus, and those resources are not widely known.
Abortion advocates claim to want to help women, but it is, in actuality, pro-lifers leading the way to do just that, by giving women real support, giving them real options… because making life more difficult for women who choose life isn’t really giving them a choice at all.