Headquarters of the national science agency Conacyt. Headquarters of the national science agency Conacyt.

Science council wants to suspend scholarships to pregnant women

Men who father a child could also lose the financial support

Having a baby while studying abroad is apparently frowned upon by the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt).

The public agency is planning to suspend scholarship payments to Mexican women who become pregnant while studying overseas.

Mexican men who father a child while studying in a foreign country would also be liable to having their Conacyt scholarships suspended.

In addition, foreign students studying in Mexico would lose any financial support they receive from the science council if they are expecting a child.

Conacyt has submitted an updated version of its scholarship rules to the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (Conamer). The commission is currently reviewing the document.

“A female scholarship holder who is pregnant, in labor or in puerperium” is subject to the suspension of her scholarship or support payment, the document says, adding that male scholarship holders who become fathers can also temporarily lose their payments.

Payment would resume once affected students can show Conacyt they are no longer in violation of its scholarship rules. Presumably that could only occur after the puerperium period – usually considered to be about six weeks – has ended and students have returned to their studies.

Conacyt is also seeking to extend the validity of a rule that allows it to suspend the scholarship payments of Mexicans students studying abroad and foreign students studying here if they participate in political protests. That rule was published by Conacyt in a 2018 document that sets out its scholarship do’s and don’ts.

“A [Mexican] scholarship holder who is carrying out his or her studies … outside the country as well as a foreign scholarship holder who is carrying out his or her studies in Mexico must respect the legislation and regulations of the host country as well as abstain from participating in any kind of political event or protest,” says the updated rules document submitted to Conamer.

With reports from El Universal 

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