EXCLUSIVE: 'You deserve better than abortion!': Students defend life at a pro-abortion film screening

University of Kentucky students informed fellow students of pregnancy protection rights at a school-sponsored pro-abortion film screening.

Pro-life students contend, 'We women can have hearts and brains, be mothers and students, and so much more!'

Two students at the University of Kentucky (UKY) handed out pro-life literature outside the entrance of a school-sponsored pro-abortion film screening to inform fellow ­students of their rights against pregnancy discrimination under Title IX.

Several controversial films were shown as a part of the UKY International Film Studies “Reproductive Lives” series, but Rebekah Keith and Mak Dunham saw the film “Happening,” shown on January 31, as an opportunity to advance the pro-life movement by supporting pregnant and parenting students.

The film is based on the autobiographical memoir of a young French college student in the 1960s who obtains an illegal abortion because she believes that doing so is the only way to preserve her career. The synopsis of the book version explains that the main character “knows that she cannot keep that child” and that her unplanned “pregnancy will mark her and her family as social failures.”

Keith and Dunham contend that this message reinforces the stigma against pregnancy while in college. By informing students of their rights under Title IX, Dunham and Keith seek to combat discrimination and encourage mothers to choose life.

Title IX includes pregnancy as a protected condition, and institutions “must ensure that its teachers’ policies and practices do not discriminate against students because of pregnancy and related conditions,” according to guidance from the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.

Keith, co-president of the Pro-Life Wildcats, told Campus Reform in an exclusive interview that prejudice against pregnant students “can make abortion an attractive option” for those who experience an unplanned pregnancy.

[Related: Catholic universities continue to endorse pro-abortion agenda]

“Being pregnant does not mean you have to change your goals,” reads one of the Feminists for Life cards distributed by Dunham and Keith. “You have legal rights as a pregnant and parenting student, and there is support to help you finish your education.”

The card continues by advising pregnant students to contact their school’s designated Title IX coordinator, a position required by federal law.

“We just wanted to be there and be a presence and say ‘Hey, women! Hey, fathers! You deserve better than abortion, and you can be successful,’” clarified Keith.

A flyer made by Keith specifically for this event explains that a pregnant student cannot be penalized by going to doctors appointments and must be granted physical accommodations “like a larger desk, elevator access, or…frequent trips to the restroom” during her pregnancy.

[RELATED: Ohio Board of Education Rejects Title IX Gender Identity Protections]

“You deserve help, and are entitled to help under Title IX,” reads the flyer, and “[i]f you feel you are being taken advantage of by [UKY], [the Pro-Life Wildcats] will fight for your rights.”

Dunham told Campus Reform, “What we’re trying to get [at is that] we are willing to fight for a group of people, pregnant students, the way that we would fight for any other group, because if we all have the right to be here, we all have the right to be equally represented.”

Resources for pregnant students have been increasingly targeted since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. For example, five crisis pregnancy centers that were listed as student resources by local universities were vandalized in May and June 2022, as reported by Campus Reform.

Universities and colleges across the country also continue to support the pro-abortion agenda in various ways, sometimes in spite of their religious affiliations.

Keith and Dunham contend pro-abortion bias on campuses perpetuates the stereotype that women cannot be mothers with prosperous careers.

In the initial Instagram post obtained by Campus Reform that advertised the event, Dunham and Keith expressed, “We women can have hearts and brains, be mothers and students, and so much more!”

 Follow Gabrielle M. Etzel on Twitter.