By Amber Broaden, News Editor
Posted 8:55 PM EST, Sat, Sept. 3, 2016
Pro-life organization Feminists for Life of America (FFL) hosted a conference briefing to advocate for resolving systemic problems in society that result in necessary abortion, at D.C.’s Capitol Hill on July 7.
“Our mission is to recognize that abortion rights are a reflection of our failed attempts to recognize the needs of women,” said FLL president Serrin Foster on the organization’s webpage. “By allowing women to recollect on their sexual assaults from college in order to further the connection between being a woman and having a child, as Feminists for Life takes a stand against choosing between woman and child.”
Foster has led FFL of America since 1994 and advocates for impoverished and pregnant women welfare through the State Child Insurance Program.
Women who experience domestic abuse at college often experience victim blaming and consequently opt out of the emotionally harrowing process of holding their rapist legally accountable. In some cases, incidental pregnancy from the assault forces students to choose between abortion or dropping out.
“No woman should be forced to choose between college, life plans and children,” said Johanna Young, a women’s rights activist and panel speaker at the conference this summer, on how abortion affected her college career.
The Clery Act, enacted in 1990 by Congress, requires higher education institutions to publish crime statistics and safety information for students and faculty. In 2013, it was specified by the Obama administration to address women’s issues as the Violence Against Women Act.
“[FFL] works for the Violence Against Women, which is very important because this raises women out of poverty, and on college campuses securing support for assistance to any sexual assault victim,” said Foster.
Under the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking have more access to resources in their communities to alleviating the stress of trauma.
The National Campaign for Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reports that nationally, unplanned births occur in one of 10 dropouts among female students at community colleges, and accounts for seven percent of all dropout students.
The impact on students is significant—61 percent of community college students who have children after enrolling do not finish their education.
Foster said that FFL’s mission is for women to stay out of poverty as they can be allowed to continue an education.
“It is important to have policies that communicate women’s health rights to students, such as the Title IX rights,” she said.
FFL’s College Outreach program strives to meet the needs of college-aged women, the demographic with the highest rate of abortion. Since the program began in 1994, there has been an overall 30 percent decrease in abortions among college-educated women.
“Education is the answer to poverty and anyone is able to make a big difference,” said Foster. “[It] leads to . . . education on pregnancy support and panel discussions to normalize the stigma against women who are pregnant.”