Program gives pregnant students support to get their degree… without abortion

Students at a North Dakota Catholic university are singing the praises of a campus program which allows them to continue pursuing their educational goals while pregnant.

Katie Chihoski, a sophomore at the University of Mary, spoke to US Catholic about her experience with the St. Teresa of Calcutta Community for Mothers, which provides housing and support for pregnant and parenting students on campus. In addition to providing room and board, they help students in other ways, with assistance like childcare also arranged.

Jerome Richter, the executive vice president and chief of staff at the University of Mary, told the National Catholic Register that women enrolled in the program don’t have to pay anything to get the support they need.

“They are still responsible for tuition,” he said. “We can help them to find the necessary programs. There’s federal aid; there’s federal loans. They’re not walking away from this with a free education; they’re walking away with an education that they’ve earned by working hard, but at the same time greatly supported by those that are around.”

Chihoski said she found out she was pregnant during a trip to Rome, and wasn’t sure what to do at first – until she found the St. Teresa of Calcutta Community for Mothers. “I wasn’t sure if I could actually raise a child while going to school,” she said. “But I was blown away by how supportive everyone has been.”

As US Catholic pointed out, programs like these are becoming more common at Catholic universities. Misericordia University in Pennsylvania has a program providing free housing for mothers with children, as well as free books and academic supplies, scholarships, meal plans, emergency funds for car repair and insurance, and help with accessing child care and food stamps. The College of St. Mary launched its Mothers Living and Learning Program after a student told administration she would have to drop out because she couldn’t balance parenting and her education. Wisconsin’s Mount Mary University has housing for single mothers at their Trinity Woods complex, which — for $1,200 per month — provides a furnished two-bedroom apartment, meal plans, utilities, parking, laundry, and a day care on the ground floor. Those are just a few examples, showing how these universities are stepping up to ensure pregnant and parenting students don’t get left behind.

For the St. Teresa of Calcutta Community, pro-life volunteers on campus also serve as babysitters — not just during class time, but free time as well, so the student mothers can have time for themselves. If need be, students can bring their children to class with them, which professors told the National Catholic Register they love. “One of my professors says that Lucia is his favorite student,” one student said, “so whenever we bring her to class, he’s very happy — and that goes for most of the professors.”

College campuses, in general, are not friendly to pregnant and parenting students; oftentimes, a woman thinks abortion is her only option if she gets pregnant and wants to continue getting her education. Yet as programs like these show, what these women need isn’t abortion — it’s support.

Women are more than capable of raising a child and getting a degree at the same time. They just need to be given the opportunity to do so.

Walgreens CVS banner


What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top