Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues introduced the Pregnant Students Rights Act. The bill would protect the rights of pregnant students and their babies by strengthening 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. Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Mike Braun (R-IN), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Tim Scott (R-SC) are original cosponsors. Representative Ashley Hinson (R-IA) previously introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
 
“Pregnant college women should never feel like abortion is their only option,” Rubio said. “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.”
 
“We must do everything we can to protect the unborn, which includes ensuring that female students fully understand the extent of the resources available to them from higher education institutions in the event they become pregnant," Inhofe said. “That’s why I am glad to cosponsor the Pregnant Students Rights Act alongside Sen. Rubio that would require these institutions to ensure pregnant students are aware of their rights and resources. It’s commonsense legislation and we should pass it quickly.”
 
“When young women become pregnant on campus, they are often pressured into having an abortion and not made aware of other resources,” Hinson said. “I’m grateful that Senator Rubio is championing the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act in the Senate—this bill will ensure young women know about all resources available, including flexible class schedules and excused absences, empowering them to choose the best future for themselves and their baby.”
 
Specifically, the Pregnant Student Rights Act would: 
 
  • Amend the Higher Education Act to ensure 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 imploring 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.