Christian School Punishes Pregnant Student Who Chooses Life
“She made the courageous decision to choose life, and she definitely should not be shamed,” said Kristan Hawkins, the Students for Life president, who tried unsuccessfully to persuade the administrator of Heritage Academy to reverse the decision. “There has got to be a way to treat a young woman who becomes pregnant in a graceful and loving way.”
…Runkles’ story sheds light on a delicate issue: how Christian schools, which advocate abstinence until marriage, treat pregnant students.
…Navigating that balance is exceedingly difficult for Christian educators, and schools respond in various ways, said Rick Kempton, chairman of the board of the Association of Christian Schools International, which represents about 3,000 schools in the United States and many others overseas.
“There’s a biblical term that many Christian schools use, and it is the whole idea of grace: What would Jesus do?” Kempton said. Of Runkles, he added: “She’s making the right choice. But you don’t want to create a celebration that makes other young ladies feel like, ‘Well, that seems like a pretty good option.’”
…In 2009, the National Association of Evangelicals, drawing on figures from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, reported that 80 percent of young evangelicals engaged in premarital sex. A spokeswoman for the evangelical group said its own research, however, suggested that the figure was much lower.
Slightly more than half of women who have abortions — 54 percent — identify as Christians, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that tracks abortion policy.