When I started my university experience at Guelph, I wasn’t sure what to expect of this school. Orientation week was when Guelph made its first real impression on me, and one thing really struck me when this school was trying to win me over; I was told that my new university had actually been voted in the past as the “Most Caring University“. I thought that was pretty cool, and as the semester rolled on I realized my school definitely lived up to its title. Guelph cares. With so many support services for mental health, physical health, sexual health, financial help, gender equality, minorities and disabilities of all kinds, Guelph truly takes on the identity of being an all-around loving institution.
Wow, I live in the ideal university world, right? Well actually, in all its efforts to care, the University of Guelph seems to lack support services in one particular area… services for women with an unplanned pregnancy.
Let me ask you- what does a student need when she finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy? Support, information, and options, right?
Well, I don’t think the University of Guelph offers enough of these things…particularly the third thing.
Woah, wait Alex… you’re pro-life, you don’t believe in options! Guelph on the other hand, is pro-choice. They support all the options and offer all the options.
Do they? Or do they offer just one?
Looking through the uoguelph website and researching what someone looking for pregnancy options would find, and here’s what I discovered:
Hmm. Interesting how our school says “there are many places you can go for comfort and support where you will be given information to help you reach the decision that is right for you…” but the only decision that’s mentioned is abortion, and the friendly reminder that abortion is free.
What about the option to go through with the pregnancy? The option of parenthood? Or adoption? Yes maybe these options aren’t free and aren’t easy, but is it really pro-choice to not mention them?
Last year, our Life Choice club went to the school’s Wellness Centre with the idea of implementing a care package program through them: diapers, baby blankets, and other little things all packed in a diaper bag and completely funded by Life Choice, to give to any woman who comes to them pregnant and who’s not going to have an abortion. Surprisingly enough, the care packages weren’t accepted because that would go against the Wellness Centre’s “Choice Model“. Offering care packages could be considered a reward or a bribe for women to keep their babies, which would go against their un-pressuring philosophy.
“No no, it’s your choice. I won’t tell you what to do or push any diaper bags on you, but I’ll just kindly remind you that abortion is free.”
Does anyone else smell a double standard…?
The Sisters of Life, a group of women who have devoted their entire lives to help pregnant and post-abortive women say that the main reason women choose abortion is fear- fear that they can’t do it, fear that they don’t have what they need, fear that abortion is their only choice.
Guelph, I know you care, I see that in so much of what you do. Please recognize what is lacking. Don’t point a pregnant woman in the direction of an abortion. Don’t make her feel that it is her only option. Give her HOPE. If there is even one woman out there who chooses abortion because she doesn’t think she has a choice, don’t you care to prevent that? Shouldn’t this change?
Offering pregnant women on campus more resources that don’t point them to abortion, or to places that’ll profit from talking them into an abortion, is the mission of the Life Choice club this year. This Tuesday we’re having a bake sale to raise money for Michael House, an organization that offers shelter and support to pregnant and parenting women. There is help and support for the students on campus who will become mothers- they just need to know about it. I feel like this is a mission that both pro-choice and pro-life people can fight for together.
Motherhood is scary. And I don’t think any of our mothers would tell us it was easy, yet they all believed that it would be worth it. Because of that, we now live. A woman needs to be believed in, so don’t be so quick to tell her abortion is free putting that single choice in her mind as though she’s not strong enough to consider or do anything else. She is. She is strong and good and has the heart and the courage to be an amazing mom whatever circumstance she happens to be in. She is beautiful, supported and capable. And it’s your job to make sure she knows that.
So don’t take away that choice.