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Family act would ease student parents' load

Nov. 30, 2005


People say your entire outlook changes when you have a child.

That's certainly true for a number of students who marry and have children while at Baylor. Parenting while taking classes means a lot of early mornings, late nights and stress.

Ben Humeniuk | Lariat staff

Because of that, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and Rep. Melissa Hart, R-Pa., proposed the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act of 2005. The bill, if passed, would provide 200 grants totaling $10 million for institutions of higher education. The grants would establish offices at colleges to help provide child care, health care and financial aid.

It's critical for Congress to pass the bill and get the grants into university hands. If it does pass, Baylor should take the opportunity if the bill is passed and start such an office.

While there might not be an overwhelming number of students who have children, there are certainly some, and they live hard lives. The university should be doing everything it can to make life easier for students.

Pro-life groups have supported the bill, saying it would cut down on abortions because students wouldn't feel like they needed to drop out of school after having a child. Cutting down on abortions is certainly a goal the entire Baylor family can agree on, which makes adding a center make that much more sense.

The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research branch of the Feminists for Life anti-abortion organization, found that 45 percent of all abortions are performed on college-age women.

Helping students with children is perfectly in line with the Baptist ideals, something president-elect Dr. John M. Lilley has said he wants to uphold. We, as Christians, are called to help those in need -- the alien, the fatherless, the widow. Young parents, whether married or unmarried, should be no exception.

By aiding single parents, the university wouldn't be condoning their actions, but helping them live with their choices.

The bill would only help start the office, so Baylor would have to shoulder the load after the grant money ran out. But of all the causes the university pursues, saving unborn babies should be near the top.