Perception Is Reality

Does a woman who is pregnant really have a choice on campus? Or is she forced to choose between having a baby and sacrificing her education and career plans?

Do parents, who are keenly aware that their education has a direct impact on their ability to take care of their family, have the resources and support they need and deserve in order to complete their education?

Our questions began after a Feminists for Life board member revealed her pregnancy in college and said, "Without housing on campus for me and my baby, without on-site daycare, without maternity coverage in my health insurance, it sure doesn't feel like I have much of a free choice."

As she traveled to campuses across the country, FFL's President Serrin Foster realized that she had never seen a visibly pregnant student-or faculty member. In response, FFL held our first Pregnancy Resource Forum in 1997. After moderating Pregnancy Resource Forums for more than a decade, Foster knew this was not an isolated problem.

We wondered, what would student leaders from Ivy League, top state, private and religious universities and colleges, activists who were not in a crisis situation, find out about resources on their campuses?

In order to determine what students perceived about their schools' resources and support for pregnant and parenting students, Feminists for Life launched its first-ever nationwide Pregnancy Resources SurveySM in the fall of 2007.

The students' revealing answers to our comprehensive study are unveiled in Feminists for Life's groundbreaking study, Perception is Reality.

Read more about this study and FFL's pioneering work on college campuses:

The results of this study shine a new light on the perceived (and likely real) lack of resources, policies, communications and central location to find help on their campuses.

Feminists for Life is committed to continuing to help administrators and college students evaluate their campuses and work toward new solutions. If you are a college or university administrator or a student and would like to take FFL's Pregnancy Resource Survey® to evaluate woman-centered solutions on your campus, please contact FFL's College Outreach Coordinator at

In response to the overwhelming perception that colleges and universities lack resources to support pregnant and parenting students, Feminists for Life invites student activists to hold their first annual Rally for ResourcesSM on their campus this year.

We depend on the support of others because women and student parents in need are depending on Feminists for Life. Please consider your choices to help these student leaders:

On behalf of those who too often feel they are forced to choose,
thank you for helping us help pregnant and parenting students complete their education.