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Texas Right to Life’s rapidly expanding scholarship program, the Dr. Joseph Graham Fellowship for College Pro-Life Leaders, is now in its seventh year and is stronger than ever. One student who has been with the program since its early days, Jennifer Rumpf, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and now attends medical school at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
In a recent interview, the 23-year-old shared with us what it’s like to be Pro-Life on campus at medical school and how students impact the Pro-Life movement. In fact, Jen’s initial involvement in the Pro-Life movement didn’t take place until she was in high school, when a fellow student explained the realities of abortion to her. She explains: “As I learned more about abortion and the unborn, I grew convicted to stand up against this injustice. I formed a small organization in my high school and continued my activism in college through the Dr. Joseph Graham Fellowship for College Pro-Life Leaders.”
Once Jen began her Pro-Life activism, there was no slowing her down. She went on to help re-vamp the existing Pro-Life group at A&M, Pro-Life Aggies. As a leader in the group, she helped to organize the first ever Pregnant & Parenting Student Scholarship, which awards $1,000 each semester to one student who is facing the juggling act of parenting and college. “This initiative came from another strong Pro-Life undergraduate group, Lumberjacks for Life, in an effort to show that we care about the mother and child, during and after the pregnancy, and we want to support and encourage them in choosing Life for their child,” she said. Pro-Life Aggies hold annual 5ks to raise the funds needed to award these scholarships.
About her experiences as an outspoken Pro-Lifer at a secular university, Jen said, “Engaging students on campus through tabling and handing out informational flyers was challenging and exciting at the same time. There were great conversations, and many members joined the group after talking to us. We faced some opposition as the pro-choice group formed, but this did not slow down any of our efforts.” Undoubtedly, Jen and her fellow Pro-Life students will never know the full impact that they had on their campus, but one thing is certain: the reach of her Pro-Life group was pervasive and effective.
Jen notes that interacting with her fellow students on a Pro-Life level in medical school has been very different in many ways than it was as an undergrad. She explains: “Medical school is VERY different compared to a large state undergraduate school. Rather than talking to people on campus I have never met before, the most valuable asset to the group is establishing relationships and leading by example. These relationships lead to great discussions on different Pro-Life issues. One of my good friends in my class is pro-choice, and we have had fruitful conversations about different aspects of abortion – how an abortion is done, how women are affected after an abortion, etc. Something that is remarkably different is the conversations themselves. As an undergrad, it was challenging to integrate the scientific facts with the logical argument for the Life of the unborn child with someone who doesn’t like science or won’t follow a logical progression. Talking to fellow medical students is much easier, because they have all this basic knowledge and just need to apply it to the issue of abortion.”
Jen says that her love of obstetrics and gynecology developed independently from her passion for the Pro-Life cause; they have become intertwined for obvious reasons. She is highly motivated to offer quality healthcare to women, and notes that the healthcare women deserve involves the physician valuing both the woman and her unborn child.
Jen knows she will face obstacles in her practice as a Pro-Life OB/GYN, but she plans to be a part of the Pro-Life community within the medical field to help ensure that conscience protections for doctors are upheld, especially since her Pro-Life views have the best interests of the woman in mind. She said, “As a physician I should be able to counsel my patients on how taking the Life of an unborn child is never the best option… It is definitely easier to be pro-choice or keep your opinions to yourself, and this only makes the whole situation more difficult for us. Being a Pro-Life doctor requires that you take a stand for the unborn, and that you are a leader within the medical community so that other physicians and healthcare professionals see the injustice of abortion and the humanity of the child.”
We’re excited for the day when Jennifer Rumpf, Dr. Joseph Graham Fellow, becomes Jennifer Rumpf, MD!