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Chairwoman Foxx Advocates for Pregnant Students' Rights

WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) spoke on the House Floor in support of Rep. Ashley Hinson's bill H.R. 6914, the Pregnant Students' Rights Act. This bill would require institutions to inform pregnant students of their rights and resources on campus so they are supported in pursuing both motherhood and education. 

Chairwoman Foxx's remarks (as prepared for delivery):

"Today, I rise as a mother, a grandmother, and a former college instructor, administrator, and student, to support the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act.

"In debating the tenets of this bill, I keep coming back to the dual mandate that it represents: more educated young women and more healthy babies carried to term.

"It reminds me of the two great sources of hope and joy in my personal life, the first of which is education. I have dedicated my life to helping others get a good education, as I was able to do; a good education is a major element of a good life. 

"The second great source of hope and joy in my life has been to rear a child. Having children, and then grandchildren, is the highest calling and truly the ultimate blessing. 

"Pursuing knowledge and having children—these are two virtues that carry immense social value and should be celebrated. I say should because, as is more often the case, modern society holds them in conflict with one another.

"Pregnant students should not be faced with the dilemma that their academic and future success must be sacrificed to an unplanned pregnancy. Data show carrying a child to term does not have to hinder one’s educational journey. As a woman who understands the strength and resilience of other women, I found it unsurprising that student mothers outperform their childless peers in the classroom.

"It is a long-held belief that pregnancy should never be a barrier to a student completing her education.

"It is a belief enshrined in Title IX, which establishes that universities receiving federal funds must provide equal opportunities for all students, regardless of pregnancy or parental status.  

"In order to receive federal funding, campus classroom and education-related activities, from athletics to scholarships to lab work and more, must allow protections and accommodations for pregnant women. 

"That means coaches cannot remove players, universities cannot revoke scholarships, and teachers cannot penalize absences due to medical reasons related to a pregnancy.  

"Yet, despite the legal equality for pregnant students established under Title IX, a significant challenge persists to informing women of the rights and the resources at their disposal. No expectant mother should be left in the dark.

"The Pregnant Students’ Rights Act seeks to bridge the gap between legal protections and practical awareness. It ensures that universities make information regarding pregnant students’ rights and protections accessible through handouts, emails, and the university websites.

"This bill comes at a time when the non-traditional college student is becoming the norm. Over 20 percent of college students are parents, many of whom are single mothers.

"With more people entering college at every station of life, it is critical that we pass the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act. All students should know the rights and protections available to them, including young pregnant women."



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