Will Pro-Choice States Have An Advantage In Attracting New College Freshmen Women?

Will Pro-Choice States Have An Advantage In Attracting New College Freshmen Women?


Leonard Zwelling

I have a friend. We were interns together. He’s a very successful researcher, corporate executive, and financial investor. He’s retired now. We had dinner a few weeks ago. He posed an interesting question. Will young women applying to college favor those universities in states with more liberal abortion laws? Could this have a deleterious effect on enrollment in schools in the states banning abortion as young women avoid the risk of getting an education in a state where access to abortion services is limited? Or, will this even figure into the decisions of 18-year-olds, even ones who are sexually active? On June 11, The New York Times Sports section addressed this issue (above).

Good question. This could be another one of those unintended consequences of repressive laws that curtail civil rights with a blind eye to reality. Will IUD’s be next to go? Plan B? Probably. Such laws are not compatible with a young, sexually active woman’s life.

And it should also be a concern for sexually active young men, too if they choose to be responsible for their actions.

We are in a curious moment of social equipoise. If Roe is overturned, that equipoise will be tipped to the repressive days of pre-Roe America. Pre-Roe America was not a bad place for the well-to-do. They could fly off shore for abortions. But what about the underprivileged or simply middle class, let alone a young athlete on scholarship in Oklahoma or Texas. What were those women to do? They either had the baby or subjected themselves to some sort of unsafe procedure to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. There was also a pre-birth control America that was even worse. It is unfortunately repressive to go backwards as the current Supreme Court may be choosing to do.

I understand the pro-Life position and have a great deal of sympathy for it, but given our state of knowledge about what goes on in utero and how unwanted births have devastating effects on the women who bear these unwanted children, the burden it places on society, and the grave concern about a potential uptick in back-alley abortions in lieu of safe ones, I have to come down on the “legal, safe and rare” side of this debate, even though I know the legal procedure will not be rare.

If the big universities in the Red States suffer a significant decrease in the women matriculating in the fall or choosing to play on their athletic teams, we will know that there may well be another unintended consequence of these anti-abortion laws. This is a statistic well worth watching.

My very smart friend has made an excellent prognostication. Let’s see what happens.

I also have another friend who doesn’t believe that 18-year-olds who want to go to the University of Mississippi will even consider the consequences of this decision should they get pregnant. Let’s see who’s right.

2 thoughts on “Will Pro-Choice States Have An Advantage In Attracting New College Freshmen Women?”

  1. Young women are probably working on clandestine systems to give them freedom of choice with an unwanted pregnancy. What bothers me most is that their personal actions may be a felony in some states and make their lives miserable for a while. Let’s work to elect reasonable legislators of ALL parties.

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