For Immediate Release
Michigan Legislature Historic Support for Pregnancy Services on Campus
Michigan has passed the first legislation in the country supporting colleges and universities that establish offices to aid pregnant and parenting students. Grants would be received from a fund allocated or donated from state and private sources. The Michigan Senate passed the bill 26-8 on Wednesday, December 1, and the House voted 99-0 in support of the legislation on Thursday, December 9. Governor Granholm signed the bill into law on December 29. The law will offer an incentive to schools to provide pregnant and parenting students a single location on campus where they can acquire information about prenatal care, foster care, adoption, and other services.
Michigan Senate Bill no. 72, introduced in January 2003, was inspired by Serrin Foster's keynote address to the bipartisan Pro-Life Women Legislators Caucus, which was sponsored by Right to Life of Michigan in October 1999.
"For too long women have been pressured-primarily by a lack of practical resources and emotional support-to choose between sacrificing their education and sacrificing their children. Women deserve better. Pregnant and parenting students deserve better information, resources and support," said Foster. "This bill is a revolutionary step for women-and the country. "
Since 1996, Feminists for Life has been focused on serving pregnant and parenting collegians. Through its College Outreach Program, FFL cuts through the rhetoric that pits women against their children and challenges universities to reexamine their policies and promote creative, cost-effective and women-centered solutions to the unmet needs of pregnant and parenting students.
At FFL-moderated Pregnancy Resource Forums around the nation, students, administrators, health services staff, residence life and student affairs representatives, financial aid staff, counselors, and community service representatives come together in non-confrontational panel discussions to identify needed services and create a blueprint for progress.
"The pregnant and parenting student services bill is a very hopeful sign," says Foster. "This bill will likely become a model for other states to develop and build upon."
The program will debut on two university and two community college campuses. During this initial stage, funding from private donors will be used. After two years, the success of the program will be evaluated. If the program is successful, it will be extended to other schools, and state funding may also be allocated for this purpose.
For more information about Feminists for Life's College Outreach Program, please visit FFL's website (www.feministsforlife.org/cop), email email@example.com, or call the national office at 202-737-FFLA. Right to Life of Michigan may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and more information found on their website at www.rtl.org.E-mail this page to a friend
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