While it’s not surprising that the content of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling overturned Rowe vs. Wade, it’s devastating. Those of us who are in California’s higher education community support reproductive rights and we must take a break at this critical juncture and think about what this means for women and their right to educational access nationwide. As mothers and educators, we understand what is at stake. This information is clear.
More than half of people who have an abortion have an age of 20, which means many can pursue higher education. Indeed, studies have shown that one in seven abortion patients did so to continue their education; The Gutmachar Institute, a research and policy institute focused on reproductive rights, puts the figure close to 40 percent. So this verdict directly targets the college students of our country. Even more tragic is the realization that the effects are most deeply felt by students of our caste and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Only humbly impressed by yesterday’s ruling, more privileged women will “go shopping with the girls” in the blue state over the weekend.
Author Shelah Kolhatkar summarizes the risks of abortion legalization in the late 1970s: “Women who were able to delay motherhood through legal access to abortion were more likely to finish college, get a higher degree, and spend longer. Enter the labor force, and the high-paying profession; They were less likely to fall into poverty later in life. “Of course, the impact of this ruling on higher education will extend beyond students, for example affecting admissions and enrollment patterns.
About 60 percent of American college students are women, and their lack of safe reproductive health care makes their enrollment, enrollment, and graduation much more uncertain. All of this is detrimental to the power of education and the transformation of information – the potential for transformation into the center of our work.
It comes at a time when parent students are already struggling with surprising levels of basic needs in the vicinity of food and housing insecurity, challenges that have exacerbated the epidemic. The compound effects are terrible. Despite the promising story, only 8 percent of single mothers who attend college are able to earn a degree in six years. In other words, 92 percent of single-mother students do not graduate with a life-changing, income-generating certificate. Without safe and affordable access to abortion, career options for the most vulnerable citizens of our society are largely eliminated.
To be sure, the fall of Rowe will affect every aspect of society. As a higher education community, we are uniquely qualified to address many of these effects. Our work for justice and fairness has now become more difficult, and we must unite with a united resolve. This fight is not over.