Ivy League Women Deserve Better

Feminists for Life Reports

After more than three decades of co-ed Ivy League education, schools still failing pregnant and parenting students

It was not until 1983 that all eight Ivy League schools equally admitted male and female students, but according to a report released by Feminists for Life of America on October 24, there is still much progress to be made in achieving equal access to pregnant and parenting students on campus.

FFL surveyed students, staff, and campus ministers at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, and Yale. Respondents from all eight schools reported that they are generally not aware of any visibly pregnant and parenting undergrad students and rarely as grad students.

In reviewing these results, Feminists for Life of America would like to first commend the Ivy League for helping their students obtain the medical services necessary while pregnant.

However, as of the end of this summer when the research for this report was conducted, none of the Ivy League schools explicitly includes the rights of pregnant women in its Title IX policies. Pregnant students are already protected by Title IX, so FFL recommends that the Ivy League make the protection of pregnant students evident in their Title IX policies so that students are aware of these rights.

FFL also recommends that the Ivy League expand child care options. If on-campus child care centers are open to students, they should make it evident that they are a resource for students to use. If they are not currently open to students, they should evaluate what measures might be taken so that they can accommodate parenting students. These universities should also take measures to offer subsidies for students who may have difficulty affording child care.

FFL also recommends that the Ivy League expand housing options for students who are parenting.

Feminists for Life has been advocating on Ivy League campuses for pregnancy resources and support since 1997 at Cornell and Columbia, Harvard in 1998, Dartmouth and Princeton in 1999, Yale in 2000, University of Pennsylvania in 2005, and Brown in 2006, for a total of 29 events including:

• FFL President Serrin Foster taking part in a historic debate at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard in 2000 at the invitation of Sen. Alan Simpson. In closing remarks, Foster challenged Gloria Feldt (then-President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America) to work with FFL to advocate housing, child care, maternity coverage, and more on campus resources;

• The following year, Ms. Foster returned to moderate the first FFL Pregnancy Resource ForumSM at Harvard in 2001;

• A parliamentary style debate at the Yale Political Union debating the motion “Pro-Life Is Pro-Woman” in 2016, which we won after Foster asked if they had ever seen a visibly pregnant student or parent. The debate lasted over three hours and was debated by seven political parties. FFL made history by sponsoring the first pro-life resolution ever to win a YPU debate.

The report in its entirety here and the individual survey results here.

FFL invites the administrators of the Ivies to contact us at info@feministsforlife.org to make clarifications about the resources they have for pregnant and parenting students on their campuses and/or to inform us of updates they have made to these resources. FFL will happily update this report accordingly.

Finally, Feminists for Life offers our assistance and recommends annually hosting an FFL Pregnancy Resource Forum as Georgetown University has done since January 1997, and most recently this past Tuesday, October 16.

To host a Pregnancy and Parenting Resource Forum(SM), email us at info@feministsforlife.org. Thank you.