Students think twice about colleges after states ban abortion

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.

Nina Huang plays the flute during a benefit concert at the Santa Clara University Recital Hall in Santa Clara, California, United States, in this April 2022 photo. (Xia Liu/Handout)

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.

FILE - Student Jordan Simi (C) participates in a chant during an abortion rights march and rally held in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. May 3, 2022. (REUTERS/Alyssa Pointer/File Photo)

FILE – Student Jordan Simi (C) participates in a chant during an abortion rights march and rally held in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. May 3, 2022. (REUTERS/Alyssa Pointer/File Photo)

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.

Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signs an executive order to protect abortion rights in the state at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wednesday, July 6, 2022. The order prevents en part the extradition of a woman who has an abortion in North Carolina, but can live in another state where the procedure is prohibited.  (AP Photo/Gary D. Robertson).

Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signs an executive order to protect abortion rights in the state at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, North Carolina, Wednesday, July 6, 2022. The order prevents en part the extradition of a woman who has an abortion in North Carolina, but can live in another state where the procedure is prohibited. (AP Photo/Gary D. Robertson).

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.

Quiz – Students Think Twice About Colleges After States Ban Abortion

Quiz - Students Think Twice About Colleges After States Ban Abortion

Start the Quiz to find out

_________________________________________________________________________

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

___________________________________________________________________

What do you think of this story? We want to hear from you.

We have a new comment system. Here’s how it works:

Write your comment in the box.

Below the box, you can see four images for social media accounts. They are for Disqus, Facebook, Twitter and Google.

Click on an image and a box appears. Enter your social media account ID. Or you can create one on the Disqus system. It’s the blue circle with “D” on it. It’s free.

Every time you come back to comment on the Learning English site, you can use your account and see your comments and replies. Our feedback policy is here.