Feminists For Life Will Hold Pregnancy Resource Forum
Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
What are the resources on Boston College’s campus for a student who becomes pregnant? Are they such that keeping the child is a viable option for a student who wishes to stay in school?
Perhaps as a result of the taboo nature of the topic, especially at a Catholic school, few students know the answers to these questions. Gabriela Garcia, A&S ’14, and Katie Martin, A&S ’15, hope to provide these answers on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., during their Feminists for Life Pregnancy Resource Forum in Gasson 305.
The Feminists for Life of America is a national organization devoted to increasing the availability and affordability of resources that enable women to have a child and still go to school or pursue a career. The president of the organization, Serrin Foster, will moderate the Pregnancy Resource Forum. The panel at the event will feature representatives from the Office of Health Promotion, Campus Ministry, UGBC, Counseling Services, and the Brighton Pregnancy Resource Center.
The idea for the event started at the BC Pro Life Club’s final meeting last year. Members realized that BC had no maternity housing for students with children, which made the idea of keeping the child far more unrealistic for a pregnant student.
“We came up with this idea of maternity housing, and from there we really had no idea where to go,” Martin said.
“We started calling different organizations that we thought might be able to tell us where we could start, and we stumbled across Feminists for Life,” Garcia said. “They were super excited about the project and were really entwined with a similar project at Georgetown.”
Feminists for Life invited Garcia and Martin to a conference they were having in Washington, D.C. in August for college students interested in increasing pregnancy resources for women on college campuses.
It was there that they learned about FFL’s College Outreach program, which involves hosting Pregnancy Resource Forums at different colleges to increase awareness of the resources already available for pregnant women on that campus and begin a discussion about what more can be done.
“The goal of the forum is to have an overall assessment of the current resources at BC,” Garcia said. “From there, we can look at how those existing resources can be improved, what additional resources should be developed to strengthen our support of women on campus, and then what we can do moving forward and creating new ideas.”
Despite the origins of the event and the fact that the Forum is funded by an anonymous pro-life organization, Garcia stressed that the Pregnancy Resource Forum is not a strictly “pro-life” event.
“It’s not a debate on abortion, it’s really just a way of trying to find practical solutions to the reality of unplanned pregnancy,” Garcia said.
By bringing together representatives from several different departments that all have individual means of dealing with pregnancy, Garcia and Martin hope to be able to achieve a comprehensive view of the options at BC for a pregnant student.
The Women’s Resource Center, though invited to participate, declined to send a panelist due to the Pregnancy Resource Forum coinciding with an event for Love Your Body Week.
In the long run, Garcia and Martin hope that BC will be able to provide enough resources so that a pregnant student does not have to choose between having an abortion and dropping out of school. Specifically, they would like to achieve their original goal of having maternity housing available on campus.
“Women have a choice legally, but because there are so many obstacles to carrying out a pregnancy, the only choice women see when they’re a student and facing pregnancy is to have the abortion,” Martin said.
“It’s essentially just addressing the fact that today women have a choice, but we don’t have options,” Garcia said.