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Pregnant college students need support, not abortion, speaker says


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BOSTON -- A college student staring at a positive pregnancy test has limited options. She likely has few financial resources and may find that her school offers scant help.

Many college health plans do not cover pregnancy and would not cover her child after birth. Family housing and daycare are limited if available at all. There are probably no changing tables on campus. Even if assistance is available, she may not know how to find it.

Each year 10 percent of college-age women become pregnant, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization founded by Planned Parenthood. Women 18-24 accounted for 44.4 percent of all abortions in 2008, and 74 percent of women who have abortions say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities.

Recently, a group of students from Northeastern University were asked what they would do if they faced a positive pregnancy test -- theirs or their girlfriend's.

Many of them were unaware of the fact that Northeastern does not provide family housing, daycare for newborns or changing tables. A pregnant student would have limited options for making a flexible class schedule. On the other hand, the school health plans do cover maternity and children born to students.

The March 24 event, sponsored by Northeastern University Right to Life, featured a speaker who was a pregnant college student four years ago.

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