Today I am spending my day at the library trying to write my graduate school paper which is due in just about four weeks. For my project, I chose to create a new program for the place I work that would reach out to college students who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. This is something I care a great deal about and is why I originally became involved with this organization in the first place.
When I was at MSU, I took a social work class. Our first assignment was to talk about our experience with social work. We wrote about our experience and then were required to present it to the class. It was supposed to demonstrate how we have all at one time or another needed assistance. Everyone in the class came up with some way in which they or a family member had been helped through social services.
A girl who always sat in the back of the class got up to share her experience. She told us that she was terrified of public speaking and would do the best she could to explain her experience to us. She shook through the whole presentation. She shared the story of how her freshman year of college she became interested in a guy. He asked her out and they went to a party together. During the course of the night, he put something in her drink and later raped her. She woke up not really knowing what exactly happened but knowing it was not right. A few weeks later, she discovered that she was pregnant.
At MSU, there is a center just like the one I work at close to campus. She went there and experienced the love and support she desperately needed at that time. No one judged her and no one pressured her to do anything she did not want to do. What they did was give her the information that enabled her to make the right decision. During her presentation, she shared with us that her daughter was now two years old and through the help of that center and her parents she was able to continue school and choose life for her child.
I strongly believe that no person should have to choose between their education or their job and their child. As the body of Christ, we are called to care for these women and that is what our center and thousands of other pregnancy resource centers do around the country every day.
The Guttmacher Institute tells us that over half of women who have abortions are under the age of 24. I’m about to turn 25. Since high school, I have had to make decisions about who I am and what I want to do with my life. I think this is the experience for most 18-24 year olds – can you imagine having an unplanned pregnancy during this time? I see how many would feel that abortion is their only choice but so many suffer for that choice later in life.
I’m having a hard time writing this paper today (well, I’ve been having a hard time writing it for the past three months). Putting all of this into the technical and theoretical terms that are required of me is proving to be very difficult.