Pregnancy on Campus: An Interview with Kim Cullers

(via cnn.com)

If you have a functioning uterus, chances are you have a plan for if you ever find yourself staring at a positive pregnancy test. Whether it’s something you’re hoping for or definitely trying to avoid, there’s no question that pregnancy on a college campus can be a dicey issue.

Emma Specter ’15 and I spoke to Kim Cullers, CNP-Director at Kenyon’s Health Center, about pregnancy at Kenyon, a subject we’d heard relatively little about during our four years on campus. So, just how likely is it?

“This is my seventh year [at Kenyon] and I’ve probably given that news to a student three times,” Kim explained. By “given the news,” Kim means her interactions with students who have come to the Health Center for a pregnancy test, which are given at no cost by the nurses. “However,” she continues. “I know of other situations where the student has gone off campus to have them done, all on their own, without consulting.”

Unsurprisingly, Kim is referring to getting an abortion (the deliberate termination of a pregnancy). This is the most common course of action taken by a Kenyon student upon hearing the news. Kim explains how it usually goes down:

Generally speaking, all of the students that I actually told had a positive pregnancy test wanted information on how to terminate the pregnancy…Then my role is to basically give them the information they need to make calls, help them if they need to get out of class, help them if they have any problems in the recovery phase.

When it comes to the termination, Kim says the process is actually pretty seamless. “Most people want to move on it pretty quickly. They call that same day, they get an appointment lined up.”

They’re mostly going to Capital Care Women’s Center in Columbus, a center that students have been very happy with in the past.

“I think a lot of the time they schedule the procedure for Thursday or Friday, then they have the weekend to recover, then they’re back to full-functioning by Monday.”

Of the three students Kim has worked with, as far as she knows, none of them have had complications. Usually, she’ll recommend a visit to the Counseling Center to help process the situation, but most of all, she recommends reaching out to your family.

If you feel comfortable, share it with your mom. You would not believe how supportive that relationship can be. If you want to go home for a few days to go through this, I’ll write you off, no questions asked.

This means a student would not have to disclose to their professor the reason for their absence.

Although Kim has never had a circumstance of a student wanting to carry their pregnancy to full term, it is something that the Mt. Vernon area has resources for. The Health Center isn’t equipped to provide prenatal care, but could direct the student to an obstetrician.

If the student is interested in adoption, they could talk to their family about local resources, or look into Care Net of Knox County, a local nonprofit Christian Ministry organization that provides information and support to pregnant women who have chosen to carry to term, if they want to stay in the area and finish school.

In light of the dwindling availability of Ohio reproductive resources, it’s important to know your options when it comes to pregnancy. Regardless of what you choose, the role of the Health Center is to provide judgement-free support and point you towards the facilities that best suit your decision.

11 responses

  1. What was the point of this post? Are you trying to create abortion controversy? I cannot imagine that there are students who did not already realize that the health center was a resource in a situation like this.

    • Nope. This is something that doesn’t get talked about very openly on campus and we wanted to find out what the specifics of the process are. I’m glad you didn’t need it, but maybe some people do!

  2. hey thanks for looking into this! my high school sex ed was abstinence-only, and I didn’t realize the health center could offer practical advice about termination (rather than judging you and suggesting you carry it full term). if the occasion had arisen, I thought I would have to handle it alone. this is a huge relief.

  3. Great article with a lot of important information. I think so often issues of uterus business (pregnancy, menstruation, etc.) is kind of swept under the rug, but it’s nice to know there’s support on campus. Thanks for non gendered language btw.

  4. Pingback: Do it Today: Free STD Clinic @ Health Center | The Thrill

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