Last summer, college senior Chaunie Saelensí Feminists for Life internship launched her on a new course of pro-woman activism on campus. When she returned to school in the fall, Chaunie encouraged the leaders of her campus pro-life group to advocate for more resources and support for pregnant and parenting students. Little did she know, in a few short weeks she would become one of the women in need of support. Chaunie has asked me to share her story with you, and she invites you to join her journey as she faces challenges, receives support, and, most of all, celebrates her unplanned joy.

Because women deserve better,     
Serrin M. Foster      

August 15, 2008

Dear Serrin,

Please pass along the news that my daughter Ada was born at the end
of my senior year in May, when I also graduated on time with honors.

Ben and I thank everyone at Feminists for Life for their encouragement
and support over the months.

With FFLís help, I founded a club on my campus to support pregnant
and parenting students. I was able to use my experiences to help other
students facing the same challenges. And I was able to meet women just
like me, pregnant and parenting students who are arenít giving up on
parenthood or their right to an education! It is vital and inspiring
for student parents to connect with one another.

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May 5, 2008

Dear Serrin,

When our club began planning our Rally for ResourcesTM I was struck by
the desperate need to change the social stigmas attached to being a
student parent. I have worked so hard to find the resources that are
available to students like me, only to find out that using those resources
is often associated with shame.

Student parents may need to turn to assistance programs and government
healthcare to help them make it through school, but utilizing these
resources is made difficult for women, even married ones like me, thanks
to the negative stigmas that surround them.

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February 14, 2008

Dear Serrin,

Near the end of the fall semester, as students were clearing the campus,
I found myself alone in the library, balancing to-do lists with my final
exam notes. I began to feel my baby kick.  At first, the gentle fluttering
against my abdomen was easy to miss, but since then it has been growing
stronger by the day.

I find myself marveling at my life and how quickly it has changed.  Just
a few months ago, I was enjoying an internship with Feminists for Life,
supporting student leaders and fighting to overcome the challenges faced
by student parents.  Now I am fighting for myself.  The journey thus far
has been exhausting, at times overwhelming, but it has also been a
wonderful journey of self-discovery.  I have begun to discover my strength
as a woman.  I realize that the world may see me, a pregnant young college
student, as an unlucky statistic, a person to be pitied. But I am learning
to hold my head high and realize that I have become stronger than I ever
thought possible.
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December 21, 2007

Dear Serrin,

A week after I discovered I was pregnant, I went to meet with
our club's advisor. After my experience at the campus Health Center,
I decided I needed to address the issue of how our school responds
to pregnant women. I spoke with my club advisor, and together we
made an appointment with the Director of Health Services to discuss
what had happened and broach the issue of bringing the proper
resources to campus.

I was incredibly nervous about the meeting. It's one thing to stand
in front of fellow students and hand out pamphlets. It's another to
bring your concerns to those in your administration who have the
power to make change. The stakes were heightened by the fact that
the Director's decisions were directly impacting my decisions about
how I would proceed in my education, my work, and my pregnancy -
and how it would affect other women facing similar decisions.
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November 22, 2007

Dear Serrin,

I left my Feminists for Life internship this summer fired up
about helping pregnant students on my campus. I had no idea
that in a few short weeks I would be one of them.

Four weeks into my senior year I took a pregnancy test, sure
that the result would be negative, that I was just easing my
mind. I looked down to find two bright blue lines staring
back at me. Frantic and disbelieving, I immediately took
another test. Positive again.
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