NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Memphis lawmaker wants to help pregnant young women who have also earned the state-lottery funded Hope Scholarship by giving them more time to start using the scholarship.
Rep. London Lamar says a sudden pregnancy can create a difficult decision–choosing to have a child or going to college.
The bill from the second year House lawmaker came up this month during what’s called a legislative study session.
“I wanted to start a conversation about supporting mothers,” said Rep. Lamar.
She adds too many young women are forced into a difficult decision when they find themselves pregnant while planning to go to college on the Hope Scholarship.
“They prioritize parenthood over going to college or they choose other forms to terminate their ability to become parents so they won’t miss out going to school,” says Rep. Lamar.
She aims to make pregnancy an official medical exemption that could allow a young woman a longer time limit–perhaps 28-months–to start using the Hope Scholarship.
“From the time limit you have, that is really not enough time to go through a pregnancy, get used to being a parent and have postpartum care,” added the lawmaker.
Rep. Lamar said she hopes the longer delay would also apply to young men who’ve earned the Hope scholarship but have suddenly become young fathers.
The Tennessee Lottery has raised more 5-billion dollars for around a million and a half scholarships.