State Senate Addresses Unplanned Pregnancy In Post Secondary Education

The Louisiana State Senate approved three amendments to Senate Bill 106 before it was recommitted to the committee on Finance on May 2, 2017.

Louisiana State Legislature, home of SB 106

SB 106 is a legislative act that would require Louisiana postsecondary schools to adopt and implement an action plan to address the prevention of unplanned pregnancies among unmarried college students. The bill calls for the state’s public postsecondary institutions to submit the required action plan to their respective management boards by December 1, 2017. Senator Wesley Bishop is the sponsor of this bill.

Senator Bishop cites the necessity of SB 106 from his 25 years of experience working as an administrator in higher education institutions, noting that one of the reasons for the withdrawal of female students from university is the consequence of unplanned pregnancy. “This happens a lot more regularly than you might imagine,” said Bishop during his presentation of SB 106 to the Senate Education committee on April 27, 2017. SB 106 mandates abstinence education as part the required action plan and strictly excludes dissemination of information regarding abortion methods, techniques or providers. Bishop said he hopes for SB 106 to be implemented in freshman orientation courses or freshman success courses.

“Southeastern has resources available for students who may be in such a situation,” said Southeastern 101 course instructor Mindy Notariano. A requirement for all incoming freshman, SE 101 is a college success course that also brings awareness to particular social issues such as drug and alcohol use and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

With the exception of practicing abstinence as a measure for preventing STDs, information specific to the prevention of unplanned pregnancy is absent from SE 101 curriculum. Notariano stated that she has encountered pregnant students who continue their education both before and after giving birth. There is currently no information available on the withdrawal rate by female students due to unplanned pregnancy at Southeastern.

According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the most recent data on Louisiana shows that 60 percent of all pregnancies are described by women themselves as unplanned.

 

 

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Joseph Palmisano

Joseph Palmisano

Joseph is a senior Communication major at Southeastern Louisiana University.

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