[Today's guest post is by Samantha Serrano, President of the Students for Life at the University of New Mexico.]It’s easy in the pro-life movement to complain about the problem of abortion. What is difficult is actually providing concrete and helpful solutions for women facing unexpected pregnancy. If we are truly dedicated to ending abortion, we need to direct our attention to the reasons many women give for having abortions. By understanding the underlying reasons for a woman choosing to get an abortion, we can begin to find solutions for her that will solve the problems she’s facing without her feeling like she has to eliminate her child.
When we began the Students for Life group at UNM, I knew that I didn’t want to just do education and activism events. I wanted to actually begin changing the environment on campus to be more accepting to pregnant women. I looked on the Students for Life of America website and found what they call their Pregnant on Campus Initiative. This initiative is designed to provide resources, help, and understanding to women facing unplanned pregnancy while they are still in school. The goal is to help the woman have her baby and continue pursuing an education.
We table every Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in our Student Union Building, with booklets and brochures full of information regarding home-visiting programs, local pregnancy resource centers, day cares, etc., and we have post-abortive counseling information ready in the event that we encounter post-abortive women. Any time someone approaches our table we give them information and ask what they need help with specifically. We never judge them for their past and do our best to show them understanding and compassion.
In addition, we recently launched a website with pregnancy and parenting resources for students who do not feel comfortable approaching us about their situation. Our goal is to be available for women in their time of vulnerability so that they know that they are not alone. We want to show them that choosing life for their baby does not mean they have to give up the life they want. Unplanned pregnancy is not a dead end for parents; it is just a new path that leads to a different but equally fulfilling life.
If we are serious about ending abortion and providing real solutions for women, then we need to begin providing those solutions now. Not just on our campuses, but throughout our nation. Unplanned pregnancies are not going to go away when abortion is made illegal. By understanding this, we can begin creating a culture of life that will continue to grow after we've abolished abortion. It is our job in the pro-life movement to be the solution for women, so that abortion is no longer even a consideration for them.
|(Check out UNM's Students for Life FB page here.)|