Pregnancy Resources & FAQs

For a student facing a pregnancy, physical, emotional, and spiritual issues can suddenly become overwhelming.  In keeping with our mission and identity as a Catholic, Franciscan university, USF is committed to life and to offering students resources that support the choice of life.  The University of Saint Francis will correspondingly make every effort to provide pregnant students with caring, non-judgmental, professional assistance and support.  Assistance is also available for those affected by the pregnancy of someone close to them.  Counseling is always available both during and after pregnancy, through USF’s counseling resources and through Campus Ministry.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I think I’m pregnant. Where can I go for a pregnancy test?

For free, confidential, no-appointment-needed pregnancy testing in Fort Wayne, visit the USF Health & Wellness Center, or one of our local not-for-profit, life-affirming pregnancy resource and support centers:

Women’s Care Center

A Hope Center 

If I’m pregnant, will I have to leave the University?

No.  As a Catholic university, we are committed to life and providing resources that support the choice of life; therefore, if you wish to remain with us, the University will do all we can to assist with your needs and concerns regarding coursework and housing during pregnancy, and help you plan for post-delivery housing needs consistent with our policy covering child welfare and safety issues.  In addition, we can connect you with excellent local resources, such as the ECHO (Education Creates Hope and Opportunity) program offered by Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services.  It offers services that center on emotional support, time management, parenting skills, health care, child-care providers, child support, and baby supplies.  Program participants may also be referred to other programs, such as Healthy Families and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).  By providing support and services, ECHO case managers hope to achieve the program’s goal of enabling participants to stay in school and pursue higher education.

I’m feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and scared! Who can help me sort through all of my emotions and the decisions I need to make?

A counselor is available through the Student Assistance Program at the USF Health & Wellness Center. Students may schedule an appointment by calling (260) 266-8060. Currently enrolled USF students are able to receive up to six free counseling sessions each academic year at the USF Health & Wellness Center.

For students who live on campus, the Residential Life staff is available and can provide a safe and private place to talk.  You may also safely reach out to any of our USF Pregnancy Support Advocates listed below.

In addition, Campus Ministry offers the services of highly trained and experienced pastoral ministers.  They provide a caring, supportive environment to help you sort through the emotional and spiritual dimensions and concerns that may accompany an unplanned pregnancy, as you wrestle with such questions as:  Can I articulate my beliefs and values about life, parenthood, and marriage? How does my faith inform my decisions? What choices and options are consistent with my faith and values? How do I tell my parents, family, friends, etc.? Should I marry the father/mother of my child? What about my educational and vocational goals? I don’t know if I can parent my child — is placing my child for adoption a possible option for me?

You may also desire to make use of these confidential, nation-wide, 24/7 helplines from Women’s Care Center (1-877-908-2341) and A Hope Center (1-224-585-3544).

Where can I go to receive medical care during my pregnancy?

Staff at the USF Health & Wellness Center, as well as staff at the Women’s Care Center and A Hope Center can help arrange referrals to physicians in the local community, provide nutritional and other guidance, and answer other questions about what to expect during your pregnancy.

Does the University have Pregnancy Support Advocates?

Yes.  USF has the following pregnancy support advocates able to provide you with confidential support, information, and assistance:

  • Dr. Stephanie Oetting, faculty member in the School of Health Sciences, soetting@sf.edu, x. 6913
  • Sr. Ignatia Henneberry, O.S.F., Assistant Director of Campus Ministry, ihenneberry@sf.edu, x. 6706
  • Kim Brinneman, Campus Ministry Secretary, kbrinneman@sf.edu, x. 6708
  • Beth Groman, Associate Dean for Campus Life, egroman@sf.edu, x. 6748
  • Justin Aquila, Director of Campus Ministry, jaquila@sf.edu, x. 6703
  • Fr. David Meinzen, University Chaplin, dmeinzen@sf.edu, x. 6701
  • Andy McKee, Assistant Director of Human Resources & Organizational Development, amckee@sf.edu, x. 6902
  • Mitch Ellisen, Men’s Soccer Coach, mellisen@sf.edu, x. 6206

My girlfriend is pregnant.  Is support available to me?

Yes.  Significant others and friends of pregnant students are welcome to contact Pregnancy Support Advocates for help sorting through their own feelings and need for guidance in how to best support their pregnant friend.

I’m a pregnant/parenting student athlete.  Will this impact my eligibility?

Committed to USF’s Catholic identity and mission, the Athletic Department is committed to helping student athletes remain at USF while being supported through an unplanned pregnancy.  Coaches, in collaboration with Student Affairs and Campus Ministry, will work with you to provide the support you need.

Pregnancy & Post-Pregnancy Resources:

Catholic Charities ECHO (in partnership with Lutheran Social Services)

Women’s Care Center, 1-877-908-2341

A Hope Center, 1-224-585-3544 (call or text)

Post-Abortion Recovery Resources

Project Rachel (email projectrachelhope@gmail.com)
Post-abortion reconciliation program offered by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.  This ministry offers hope and healing for all those who suffer from the pain of abortion and its aftermath.  If you are hurting, know that your church cares and understands.  God is loving and forgiving and in His name the Church reaches out to you with compassion and concern. Project Rachel ministers to and counsels individuals of all religions.

Rachel’s Vineyard 
Rachel’s Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild, and redeem hearts broken by abortion.  Weekend retreats offer a supportive, confidential, and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release, and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.  Rachel’s Vineyard can help you find your inner voice.  It can help you experience God’s love and compassion on a profound level.  It creates a place where women and men can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about abortion.  You are allowed to dismantle troubling secrets in an environment of emotional and spiritual safety. Rachel’s Vineyard is therapy for the soul. Participants, who have been trapped in anger toward themselves or others, experience forgiveness. Peace is found. Lives are restored. A sense of hope and meaning for the future is rediscovered.