College pregnancy

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act of 2007 introduced on February 15th by Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur and North Carolina Republican Sue Myrick will encourage colleges and universities to provide pregnant students pre-natal and parenting resources on their respective campuses.

If the bill is passed, a pilot program would be established that would provide up to $10 million in grants used too help institutions of higher education to create and operate pregnant and parenting student services offices.

At BGSU, the Health Center offers students pregnancy testing and contraceptives, but does not offer pre-natal care or parenting support.

And while the University does not offer pre-natal care or clinics, surrounding medical facilities offer a wide range of programs for mothers to be. Other pregnancy centers in Wood County, including the Wood County Health Department and the Wood County Hospital provide services for pregnant women.

The Wood County Health Department sees about 160 pregnant women a year from Wood County, and offers classes like and pre-natal care, according to Kathleen Ferrell, RNBSN and clinical supervisor for the Wood County Health Department.

The Wood County Hospital saw 551 births between 2005-2006, and have services available for expectant mothers including breast feeding, pre-natal education programs, childbirth prep sessions, infant CPR and more. The cost for these programs ranges from $10 to $35, said Catherine Harmed, director of marketing for Wood County Hospital.

Ferrel added that while there are sufficient pregnancy programs in Wood County, transportation to these facilities may be an issue, since there is a lack of public transportation in the Bowling Green area.

A pregnancy and parenting center on campus would elevate the need for transportation for students.

Mary Krueger, director of the women’s center, said that there is an adequate amount of pregnancy resources in the Bowling Green area, but where she sees a need is in parenting services.

“I’ve worked with students who have kids and are trying to get through school, and its just really hard,” Krueger said.

Krueger explained that pregnancy only lasts 9 months, and while care is important during those 9 months, once an expectant mother decides to keep her child is when a life changing decision is made, and they (both the father and the mother) may need assistance.

A parenting center on the University could help these students who are juggling schoolwork and parenting.

“I think that whether or not students see pregnant students on campus doesn’t mean they’re not around,” said Leyna McCord, sophomore. “If someone is pregnant and chooses to stay in school, they should get all the support that they need, and a center on campus could [provide] those specific needs.”