The following article is a synopsis of an episode from our Life Chat Podcast series. To listen to the full episode, click here.
Leah Jacobson, founder and CEO of the Guiding Star Project has devoted her life to presenting college-aged women, and women in general, with the facts about their fertility. She works to help women understand the beauty of their fertility in the three main ways: ovulation, gestation, and lactation.
“Culture sees pregnancy as an inconvenience and something that’s going to most likely hold you back as a woman,” Jacobson remarks in the opening of her Life Chat interview with Mary Kate Knorr. She explains how this is something women just take as fact, when in reality, it couldn’t be more untrue. Jacobson remembers how she used to believe some of the lies that Planned Parenthood feeds women, and now she’s devoting her life to try to reach hearts and minds of women on college campuses and convince them that so much of it is not true.
Guiding Star Project was born out of Jacobson’s experience of seeing how women were yearning for truth and not receiving it. Many women want to live a virtuous life in line with nature, but because of all the contraceptives and unnatural ingredients they are putting in their bodies, they don’t know how to do that.
Jacobson explains more about how Guiding Star was born, acknowledging that at first she felt called to be a midwife. However, she had a unique experience with God in the adoration chapel where she realized that she was not, in fact, called to be a midwife. It was in this experience that she started building Guiding Star from the ground up. Guiding Star, Jacobson explains, attempts to pull all the resources in the pro-life movement together. She tries to partner with Women’s’ Centers and Pregnancy Centers and give them the resources and knowledge they need to minister to women who need their help.
Jacobson says that this all became more real for her once she started having children of her own. She says, “I began to understand how hard it was to have children and make it to your doctors appointments, where children aren’t welcome.” With this in mind, she added a sort of “daycare” to the system, a place where the parents could drop off children if they needed to run an errand or even just take a nap.
Jacobson discusses society’s expectation for women and how it seems like it is either one way or the other. “We kind of make it all or nothing: either you put your kids in daycare and work full time or be a stay-at-home mom who does everything, and nothing else.” We’ve created this impossible standard, she realizes, where women are expected to be at either one end of the spectrum or the other, and for most women that is unrealistic. The whole goal of Guiding Star is to support women wherever they are, and to try to make it acceptable for women to make mistakes, but then get up and start again.
Another area Guiding Star is starting up is a response week to the “Sex Week” many colleges have. Sex Week is full of visits from Planned Parenthood, free condoms, and other disturbing sexual displays. Guiding Star is attempting to show the true beauty of a woman’s body, and the fact that it is not taboo, but it should be recognized as something special and sacred that should be respected.
“The pro-life issue… the roots of it go far further back then just dealing with pregnancy,” Jacobson acknowledges, and she believes that much of the roots of birth control and other unnatural remedies for a woman’s body, as well as the travesty of abortion, come from a disrespect for women’s body. Guiding Star is trying to make it acceptable and preferable to care for women’s’ bodies in natural, respectful ways instead of shoving pills down women’s’ throats and expecting them to kill their own children.