By Maya M. Noronha, Graduate of Georgetown University college and law school
Georgetown University Law Center alumna Sandra Fluke published an op-ed this month entitled, “What moms really need this Mother’s Day.” It’s strange that Sandra Fluke writes this because she, as part of an unfunded student group, wanted Georgetown University to provide coverage for contraceptive means to prevent motherhood.
If Sandra Fluke wants to really know what moms need, she should ask them. She would hear a different story if she let mothers speak for themselves.
I started asking about the needs of mothers when I was a student at Georgetown. What did I hear? I heard that students wanted to be able to keep their babies and finish college. They needed support. One of my Georgetown Law classmates was a woman who shared with me the pain of a past abortion. She needed healing. A college student told me she got pregnant even though she used a contraceptive. She needed to tell others that contraception doesn’t work every time.
Georgetown administrators also heard a need from Hoya moms, and answered it. Georgetown became the very first college to hold a pregnancy resources
Through student groups at Georgetown, I also did service in response to what mothers said was needed. At Georgetown University Law Center, the Advocates for Life actually ran out of space in a donation bin benefiting a pregnancy center, because of the overwhelming outpouring of support – in the form of strollers, diapers, baby clothes, and other items. My work in social justice for mothers also went off campus to two crisis pregnancy centers– the Northwest Center and the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center. I then worked as a law clerk for a family law attorney who helped mothers who came to us for legal help with adoptions and others who needed protection for themselves and their children from abusers.
I have dear friends I met at Georgetown who were adopted. I met several people who were conceived in rape. I know those who face disabilities. They are forever grateful to their mothers and treasure every moment of their lives.
The Hallmark holiday recognizing mothers may have come and gone, but their needs still persist today.
Government involvement, which Sandra Fluke advocates for, is not necessarily the solution here. Instead, each person can go out into the community as I did as a student at Georgetown University. By serving the needs of pregnant women, you do not just give a mother her day. You can actually make a special day possible for someone else: her child can have a birthday.
Maya M. Noronha is a graduate of Georgetown University’s college and law school.