Nina Huang is a high school student from California who is thinking about where she wants to go to college. Until recently, she was considering Oberlin College in Ohio State. Huang, who plays the flute and piano, hopes to one day also study medicine or law. Oberlin is known for having strong academic and musical programs.
But last month, she changed her mind.
“I don’t want to go to school in a state where there is a Abortion ban,” she said.
Ohio is one of the states that now imposes strong restrictions on abortion, a medical procedure that terminates a pregnancy.
On June 24, the United States Supreme Court decided to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that protected the right to abortion in the United States. The court’s decision allows each state to revert to the old rules or put in place new restrictions on abortion.
Huang thought Oberlin was good academic reputation and solid music lessons might make it a good choice for her. But not anymore.
Huang isn’t the only high school student rethinking his college choices.
Samira Murad is a high school student in New York. She said she feared going to college in a state where she wouldn’t be free to be herself. She said: “I’m still figuring out who I am…I don’t want to move somewhere where I can’t be myself because of the laws that are in place.
“The Dream School” is no more
It’s still too early for data to show if fewer people are applying to college in Ohio and other states that now have strict abortion laws. But some college advisers say they are already talking to students who cross their “dream school” off their lists.
Daniel Santos runs the Florida-based college counseling service Prepory. “Some of our students,” he said, “will not apply to colleges and universities in states that might infringe on their access to reproductive rights.
Kristin Willmott works with students at a company called Top Tier Admissions in Massachusetts. She said some students are dropping schools in Florida and Texas from their application lists because of abortion restrictions. Florida and Texas are among the states with strong anti-abortion laws.
Past controversies have not reduced nominations
While there is no data yet on how the Supreme Court’s decision may affect the number of claims, there are past examples to consider.
Jayson Weingarten works for Ivy Coach in New York. It helps students think about colleges. He said that in 2016, some students told him they no longer wanted to apply to top colleges in North Carolina after the state put a controversial law in force that year. The law limited bathrooms transgender people could use.
But many still chose to attend both Duke University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC). In fact, the number of students who applied to UNC in 2017 increased 14% from the previous year.
The state of Texas implemented a restrictive abortion law nearly a year ago. Shahreen Abedin is a spokesperson for the University of Texas Medical School. Abedin said the school has not seen a drop in applications since the law came into effect on September 1, 2021.
New plans, new questions
Alexis Prisco is a student who is rethinking her projects. Prisco is a 17-year-old high school student from Maryland. She wanted to apply to Washington University, one of the top schools in St. Louis, Missouri. Both of his parents went there. But now that Missouri is a state with strong restrictions on abortion, she’s worried.
She said her mother warned her not to apply to colleges in states with strict anti-abortion laws that were due to go into effect after the Supreme Court ruling.
The University of Washington did not respond to questions sent by Reuters news agency for this story. Oberlin also did not provide comment.
The University of Washington alerted reporters to a recent story on the school’s website reacting to the decision. The head of the university and the head of the medical school wrote: “This is a painful time for many in our society.” University leaders said they understand that many people feel “frustrated, disappointed and even afraid of what this decision may mean.
Sabrina Thaler is a student in Maryland. The 16-year-old said she has been pondering an important abortion-related issue since May, when an early version of the Supreme Court’s ruling was leaked. She said she asked this question during a recent class discussion: “What if I go to a college in a state where abortion is banned and I get raped and I don’t have the right option abort?”
I am Dan Friedell.
Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learn English based on a Reuters story.
words in this story
to apply– v. ask for something, such as a job or a place in a school
Abortion -not. a medical procedure used to terminate a pregnancy
reputation -not. a common opinion that people have about something
academic – adj. about schools and education
infringe – v. limit or restrict something, such as a person’s rights
controversial – adj. something that causes great discussion or argument
transgender -not. concerning people who feel their true nature is as a member of the opposite sex
society -not. people in general who live in organized communities
frustrated –adj. angry or upset or discouraged because he is unable to do something
disappointed –adj. feeling sad, unhappy, or unhappy because something wasn’t as good as expected or because something you hoped or expected didn’t happen
option -not. a choice between two or more things or the possibility of choosing something
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