Rounds, Rubio and Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Protect the Rights of Pregnant Students and their Babies
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and other Senate colleagues introduced the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act. The bill strengthens existing requirements for higher education institutions to publicly disclose the resources and rights available for pregnant and parenting students, including information about how to file a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if their school does not provide these accommodations.
“The Pregnant Students’ Rights Act requires colleges to provide helpful information to pregnant students who are enrolled at higher education institutions,” said Rounds. “By making certain an expected mother knows her rights under Title IX, this bill not only encourages students to continue their education, but also protects the lives of the unborn.”
“Pregnant college women should never feel like abortion is their only option,” said Rubio. “This bill would help pregnant students choose life by ensuring women are aware of the information and resources provided by their school to support them and their babies while pursuing their education. Every life is precious and college campuses should never make young women feel marginalized for choosing life.”
Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) are cosponsors of the bill. Representative Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Specifically, the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act would:
- Amend the Higher Education Act to make certain college students know their protections and rights other than abortion services through more thorough information dissemination activities, such as placing the resources on the school’s website, in student handbooks and emails or shared during student orientations.
- Reinforce current law requiring schools to adopt and publish procedures for students to file complaints of discrimination related to their sex, pregnancy or parental status by calling on colleges to make these existing protections and accommodations more widely known.
- Require every higher education institution to complete and submit an annual survey of their students to gather information about how pregnant students used their campus resources and Title IX violations.
The bill has been endorsed by Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, Students for Life Action, Feminists for Life and the U.S. Conference for Catholic Bishops.
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