Barriers to Education
Pregnant and parenting students face unique barriers to education: limited enrollment, being pushed out of school for absences due to medical or legal issues, limited or no childcare options, little support towards completion of schoolwork and graduation requirements, and general lack of accommodations for pregnant and parenting students on school grounds. As a result of these challenges pregnant and parenting students find themselves unable to finish their education and are pushed out. In 2015, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland began a policy research project that led to the 2017 passage of HB616, the second bill in the nation to clarify and define excused absences for legal and medical reasons for pregnant and parenting public school students in the effort to stop Title IX violations by faculty, staff, and administrators. However, many Maryland students still face additional barriers to their education, especially in areas related to childcare and lactation accommodation.
At NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, we are committed to advocating for and advancing the reproductive rights and freedom of all youth in the State of Maryland. Ensuring pregnant and parenting students have access to a quality, academically rigorous education and appropriate accommodations to complete their education should they desire to is essential to our work.
We are collecting information regarding school policies on pregnant and parenting students’ rights, particularly on issues related to expressing and storing breast milk at school, access to reliable childcare, and other barriers to education for pregnant and parenting youth. To do so, we developed two online surveys which launched in December 2018 to help inform our work in 2019. You can find our anonymous survey for students and our survey for school staff and allies of pregnant and parenting students below. You can also find links to these surveys embedded on our “Youth Issues” webpage.
If you or someone you know works with or currently is a pregnant and parenting student, follow the links and fill out the survey(s). We welcome any and all responses. Your assistance brings us one step closer to advancing the reproductive rights of youth in Maryland.
If you are passionate about working to advance the reproductive rights of Maryland youth or are interested in discussing future collaboration on these and other projects, contact our Policy Research Intern, Adrienne, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact our office at (301) 565-4154.
For Pregnant and Parenting Students: Experiences of Pregnant and Parenting Students in Maryland
For Allies and School Officials: Survey for Allies of Pregnant & Parenting Students