The Demise of 'Roe' Will Weaken American Colleges

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The Chronicle of Higher Education


College students have sex. Whether or not our college leaders and faculty are willing to admit it, part of the allure of a residential campus is freedom from the confines, rules, and mores of parents’ homes. And with sex will come unintended pregnancies, or at least the fear of unintended pregnancy. Unsurprisingly, one study found that 18- to 24-year-olds accounted for over 40 percent of abortions in the United States.

The resurgence and emergence of criminal abortion statutes after Roe falls, as well as the citizen-enforced abortion bans already in effect, will fundamentally change our colleges, particularly in those 20 states that are poised to end or severely restrict abortion access. Women account for close to 60 percent of all college students in the United States. What will our colleges look like when large numbers of our students live with the possibility that local governments will force them to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, against their will?