Students for Life is Helping a Young Mom Finish College After Launching ‘Pregnant on Campus Initiative’
“I don’t like to imagine my life without my son or my education. In fact, it breaks my heart knowing at one point I had to choose between the two.”
Students for Life of America (SLFA) has stepped in to help one young mother finish her education after she lost her financial aid due to her pregnancy with her son.
Ruth Asmarzadeh felt pressure to have an abortion but chose life. In the process, she lost her financial aid to Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado and couldn’t reschedule her exams.
Asmarzadeh asked SFLA for help, claiming the school violated her Title IX rights:
“I don’t like to imagine my life without my son or my education,” she told Fox News. “In fact, it breaks my heart knowing at one point I had to choose between the two.”
She said she felt “helpless” when she lost her financial aid and wasn’t able to reschedule her exams, so she reached out to the pro-life organization, which helped her get financial aid back — and threw her a baby shower. This week, SFLA surprised her with $6,000 to ensure she could finish her education.
SLFA president Kristan Hawkins called Asmarzadeh, who is currently working three jobs, to let her know about the surprise after the group launched a national campaign, the “Pregnant on Campus Initiative,” to help pregnant and parenting students get the resources they need on campus.
“One of the things we always say at Students for Life is no woman should have to choose between her education and her child,” Hawkins told Asmarzadeh. She also informed Asmarzadeh about the fundraising page reaching the amount she needed to get her degree and “the job of her dreams.”
“Thank you. I’m honored and grateful for all of this,” Asmarzadeh said, as her son, Eli, could be heard talking in the background. “I’m sure he will be very thankful when he’s able to understand one day. Thank you.”
SFLA told the school it violated Asmarzadeh’s Title IX rights since students “cannot be discriminated against or face the loss of scholarships, housing, athletic eligibility or an opportunity simply because of their pregnancy or parental status.”
This is why SFLA has chosen to educate students with its “Pregnant and Parenting Bill of Rights.”
The organization will provide the students with support along with “legal assistance from Alliance Defending Freedom.” Here are a few points:
- Pregnant students cannot be barred from activities enjoyed by fellow students, including but not limited to club memberships, academic programs, and intramural activities.
- Pregnant students should not be barred from utilizing campus housing and, upon birth of her child, should be permitted to make her own decision about off-campus housing.
- Pregnant students cannot have their academic or athletic scholarships revoked due to pregnancy or be subject to penalty regarding any other type of financial aid.
- Professors and other staff may not punish pregnant students as a result of a medically necessary absence. Concessions must be made to re-take tests and complete other assignments if necessary.
SFLA will provide materials to its 1,220 groups and chapters across the country so they can inform students and administrations on the rights of pregnant students.
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