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SMC Right to Life Club launches campaign

Megan Loney | Friday, November 6, 2009

The five life-sized silhouettes of pregnant women around Saint Mary’s campus are not part of a display sponsored by the art department; they are part of a month-long campaign by the College’s Right to Life Club to advocate support on campus for pregnant women.

The Right to Life Club made the cardboard cutouts after getting the idea from the Students for Life of America Web site.  The cutouts are meant to be a visual reminder for students on campus to ask the question ‘Are we supporting them enough?’ Anne Maguire, the club’s vice president, said.

Another concrete sign of support for their peers who are currently or may become pregnant is a list of students’ names that pledged their support to their fellow students.

“Think if you were a pregnant student walking around campus,” said Maguire.  “If students feel that they are welcome on campus among their peers, it can make all the difference.”

The club’s goal for the month is to spread the knowledge that support is needed for pregnant women on campus. 

Maguire said she believes this topic is especially pertinent to Saint Mary’s as it is an all-women’s college.

“Being Pro-life is a women’s issue, since abortion hurts women so much,” she said. “Not that the baby isn’t important — it is. But the women are sometimes forgotten.”

The message of support for pregnant women is geared toward students, although the College does not have specific outreach programs to students who are or have been pregnant, Maguire said.

“There is nothing advertised on campus for anywhere a pregnant woman can go for advice and support,” Maguire said. “But there has to be a need for it. We are all Belles, and we support one another. That’s what Saint Mary’s is about. We have to feel the need to help the women on campus. It just makes sense.”

“Letting them know where they can go for help in the community or having places on campus is important,” Maguire said. “We need to think about providing support on campus through like the health center.”

The goal is to have someone in academic affairs, in the health center, and in the counseling center that can offer these students the support they need, Maguire said.

A table of information for local and national programs that do offer support to women who are currently or have been pregnant will be set up each Thursday during November in the Student Center. The list of names showing students’ support for pregnant women will also be at the table for those students who wish to sign it.

Not all of the feedback has been positive.

“We have had both positive and negative responses,” Maguire said. “But both are good.  As long as people notice, and they think about it and it challenges them, we know it’s been a success.”