Volunteer Reflection

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Options United Blog Post

Brooke Paz

Some experiences permeate every part of life, and that’s what my time working at Options United has done for me. When I started my freshman year of college at California State University, Fullerton, I never thought I would become a pro-life activist and advocate for women facing unplanned pregnancies. However, God often leads us down paths we least expect for the most fulfilling experiences.

I started a pro-life club on campus to help pregnant and parenting students with resources, access to medical care, and emotional support. We taught our campus the brutal realities of abortion, spreading the message that both women and babies deserve better. We worked to change hearts and minds through speaking events, campus displays, socials, and statewide activism efforts. We also collected material donations for young mothers, threw a baby shower for two local students, successfully petitioned the school to install diaper changing stations on campus, and hosted Obria, a local clinic, on campus to provide free pregnancy and STD testing.

Working as a Call Responder at Options United has empowered me to continue this work, expanding my advocacy from the campus level to a worldwide scale. The training and experience I’ve received at Options United has made me a better speaker and activist, but most importantly, a kinder and more compassionate person.

Speaking with women in the midst of their crises has enabled me to better understand their situations and needs. I regularly receive calls from women who are seeking help, support, and simply someone to listen to them. Regardless of the decision they ultimately make, we offer women what society at large doesn’t – options. We are gifted with the incredible opportunity to empower women with local resources, support, and the education to help them make a safer and more well-informed decision.

Now I bring this experience to campus, providing resources and education to open up the conversation on how we can better support pregnant and parenting students. Our universities have failed to provide these students with real options so they don’t have to choose between sacrificing their wellbeing and their dreams.

In fact, California universities may soon be mandated to provide the abortion pill on campus for free should Governor Jerry Brown sign Senate Bill 320 into law.* Often these vulnerable women on campus would prefer not to abort, but are unaware of the practical options available to them.

To fight these misconceptions, I’ve teamed up with other pro-life students and organizations to actively oppose this dangerous and costly bill on our campuses and in Sacramento. At the Capitol, I’ve had the opportunity to share my experiences as a crisis pregnancy call responder, opening legislators’ eyes to the reality of abortion, the dangers it poses, and what these women actually need.

Because of the work I’m blessed to be apart of at Options United, I’m better equipped to meet women where they’re at and guide them to the professionals that can offer them safer and less-violent options. It’s time our universities join this effort to support young mothers in making the best decision for their healths and happiness. With the proper opportunities, education, and accommodations we can empower young mothers to achieve their educational and career goals, providing a better life for themselves and their families.

*We’re proud to provide an update and say that the Governor vetoed the bill!

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