Pregnant in college

The local campus newspaper carried an article about a student who, with the help of her partner and family, is on track to graduate with her class in 2010 despite taking time off to give birth to her daughter.

Maria Moreno, Deanna’s mother, talks about her daughter’s initiative and determination.

“One thing that I have noticed, now that she has a child, is that she is very independent and has been able to carry the accomplishment of raising (Sofia) and being able to balance school,” Maria Moreno said.

Between having a baby, going to school and planning to go back to work, Maria Moreno added, Deanna is making it all work, with the support of her family and her boyfriend, Dennis Hernandez.

“I was really concerned at the very beginning, but right now I am so proud of her. She has been able to adapt and take care of her child very well,” Maria Moreno said.

The article itself is uplifting and encouraging. The comments section — not so much. The first comment (using the handle “Pro Choice”!) simply says:

Having a child while in college is statistically highly correlated with college dropout rates. She would have been well advised to abort the fetus.

“Tyrone the Rapist” takes Moreno to task for decreasing the prestige of the University and says, “This is what the University gets for accepting people who have no business being in college.” “Don H” gets in his own racist jab with, “*puke* Story about ghetto love.”

Another commenter, “Cassidy C Browning”, has no problem with Moreno, but questions why the paper featured her story:

Getting pregnant while in college is not a unique situation – nor is choosing to carry the fetus to term and raise the child.

As I replied to Ms. Browning, choosing to carry to term and raise the child while in college may not be a unique decision, but it’s a rare one compared to abortion or dropping out. Looking at the hatred and scorn that supposedly enlightened people are heaping upon this young woman for daring to bear a child, it’s not hard to understand why so many women in Ms. Moreno’s place end up where she was when this story started — on the way to an appointment for an abortion.

8 thoughts on “Pregnant in college

  1. It figures. The pro-death people are getting less and less tolerant of those who want to choose life. When someone chooses life, even if they are successful in spite of it, they criticize, because it might inspire others to choose life too. (Oh horrors.)

    As for ‘Tyrone the Rapist,’ his tag says it all. He is anti-life scum whose thinks it’s his job to pull people down and degrade them. He needs to lose his penis and have it stuffed in his mouth. Or if we are a little too civilized for that, then a padded cell will have to do.
    In any event, he has no business stating who does and does not belong in college. His lust for power makes him pretend he does.
    Isn’t it interesting that the people who least deserve power over others are the ones most desperate to have it.

  2. Every woman who chooses to have the baby in difficult circumstances is a smack in the face to women who aborted in similar or less drastic circumstances. They are a blow to the ego. Thus, they must be beaten down with great force so the aborter can asuage her own feelings of inadequacy.

  3. Wow, the sheer nastiness of some of those comments left me sick to my stomach!

    On the other hand, I was delighted to read the article itself. With any luck, it will raise awareness of other options and let pregnant/parenting students know they aren’t alone.

  4. Ceecee: I’m sure you were exaggerating, but yeah, not so much with the advocacy of violence around these parts. That Tyrone character does sound like a nasty piece of work, though. I wonder if he’s young enough that he might eventually learn some empathy and compassion, or if I’m being optimistic again.

    Christina: I think that’s part of it, yes. There’s also a whopping great dose of sexism, classism, and racism in those comments.

    Sarah: I agree, it was great to see the article!

  5. While I appreciate your critical engagement on The DI website and here, on your own site, I do not appreciate you taking my comments out of context. When I made the statement about the frequency of pregnancies for college students, it was part of a larger statement about why I felt that The DI was featuring this particular story in such a particular way. (Also, I have several friends who have been pregnant and given birth while in college, so I was basing the statement on personal experience.)

    As clearly stated in my original post:

    “It is the individual’s choice as to what decision to make, and I absolutely respect the choice that she made.

    However, I question why she has received the DI’s attention. I have rarely seen the DI give space to personal stories of struggle and triumph. While common in other newspapers and television news shows, the DI – as far as I have seen for the last several years – does not commonly do this [. . .]

    Again, I am questioning the unique media attention which her story has received, not her decisions or the validity of the sacrifices which she has made.”

    I was making an argument about the representation of this individual and her story, which I feel was highly dramatic and meant to herald pro-life politics. You certainly have the right to respond to my post, but I also have the right to tell you that I think you misrepresented my point by addressing one sentence out of context.

    I, too, was appalled by the reactions in the comments – as I most often am. However, what I seek to do is critically engage with the media produced by The DI and attempt to hold posters accountable for their arguments and claims. (There is a clear example of this in my second post on this thread where I confront “Don H.,” an all too common voice of racism, sexism, classism, and general hatred on The DI Online.) For you – and other commenters here – to group me with voices of intolerance is as insulting as it is inaccurate.

    For anyone who is interested, the full list of comments is available at http://www.dailyillini.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticleComments&ustory_id=0c5ca1de-48e2-4ae3-bcdd-10d30edd833d.

    For anyone interested in engaging the topic of online behavior further, please attend the free UIUC CDMS Race, Diversity, and Campus Climate Conference on April 10, 2008 at the Union. I will be co-presenting a piece about cyberbullying and my experiences on The DI.

  6. Ms. Browning, I apologize. I didn’t consider your comment to be one of the intolerant ones, and didn’t mean to represent it that way (which is why I mentioned that you actually had no problem with the mother in the story). If that’s the way it comes across, I was insufficiently clear.

    I pointed out your comment simply as a springboard to talk about the fact that it is uncommon for pregnant women on campus to carry to term, and to point to the other commenters as an example of why that is. Again, I’m sorry if I didn’t express that well.

  7. Thanks for the clarification.

    This is what I thought you originally meant, which is why I did not respond on The DI when you posted. I just did not want you or your readers to think that that was what I think or was trying to communicate.

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