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Sending a kid to college in a state that is trying to ban abortions

parentologistparentologist 225 replies23 threads Junior Member
Remember when certain states passed laws banning gay marriage, and a lot of organizations then cancelled conventions scheduled to be held in those states? That led to some pretty darn quick legislative about-faces, if I recall correctly. Of course, the entire issue was made moot when gay marriage became the settled law of the land.

Now, the film industry is talking about boycotting states which are attempting to undermine the settled law of the land, namely, a woman's right to privacy in reproductive health, including the right to obtain an abortion. Perhaps organizations will begin cancelling conventions, too. But it never occurred to me that families might consider this in deciding where to send their kids to college, until the U of Alabama returned a huge donation to their law school, and pulled the donor's name off the school before you could blink, because the donor raised the possibility that out of state students might boycott the school, based upon Alabama's state legislature passing legislation banning abortions, in an attempt to undermine the settled federal law regarding a woman's right to obtain an abortion.

That got me thinking. When I was in college, if I had had the misfortune of an accidental pregnancy, I sure as hell would NOT have called home to ask my parents to fly me home for an abortion, because it wasn't obtainable in the state where I was attending college. I would have taken care of it on my own, and I wouldn't have told them. In my line of work, I have counseled many young women who have become unintentionally pregnant, and not a single one of them wanted to tell her parents about it, although many of them chose to, because they needed help in whatever decision they made about the pregnancy. But these were teens who were still living at home, not young adults away at college.

Certainly, were there to be a movement by parents and their high school kids to boycott states that are passing laws making it impossible to obtain an abortion, it would affect the economies of those states. But more importantly, do individual parents want to send their daughters to college in a state where they couldn't obtain an abortion, should they need one? Parents like to think that their daughters would come to them for help in this situation, but the fact is, most young women would prefer to keep this matter private from their parents. And we worry about our kids' mental health while away at college. The fact is, being pregnant and not being able to get an abortion, if that's what you want, is a very strong risk factor for suicide attempts.

I realize that this is a controversial post, and that's another reason why I'm posting it in the Parents' Forum. The kids are on this about as much as they're on Facebook (which means NOT on it). I'm not trying to spark a boycott movement - not that I wouldn't necessarily support one. I'm hoping to hear how parents feel about sending their daughters away to colleges in states where their daughters would have great difficulty obtaining an abortion, knowing that even the most open and supportive families will still have daughters who won't turn to their parents for help in the event of an unintended pregnancy. And it doesn't only affect our daughters. Imagine having your son face the situation where he has gotten a girl pregnant, they want an abortion, but cannot get one in that state. Many college kids don't have cars at school, don't have a lot of disposable income to pay not only for an abortion, but for long distance travel and overnight stays. I can see this putting a great deal of stress on the young man involved, too. Imagine trying to study and achieve under these circumstances.

Have you considered this in deciding which colleges are a good fit for your kids? Should you?
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Replies to: Sending a kid to college in a state that is trying to ban abortions

  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 1084 replies88 threads Senior Member
    It's probably not a major factor, but one of the many things to be considered. But I'm trying to get D exposed to a more liberal environment anyway, since we live deep in red state territory, and I think it is good to get exposed to other viewpoints. She agrees. So a state where this is happening wasn't high on her or my list anyway.
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  • OhiBroOhiBro 610 replies9 threads Member
    I’m sure if there are boycotts, the state won’t miss the type of person that would be boycotting. Mission accomplished.
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  • OhiBroOhiBro 610 replies9 threads Member
    I suppose a boycott could impact smaller schools, but places like UT-Austin, Georgia Tech, and several other great ones in those states? They would snicker and move on.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83780 replies743 threads Senior Member
    In many of the states in question, abortions were already difficult to get due to previously passed laws.
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  • anomanderanomander 1885 replies4 threads Senior Member
    For us it wouldn’t have been a deciding factor, as it was really up to D. But I certainly would have brought it up for discussion.

    I’ve actually been surprised by how politically aware D is. I know when I was in college, my awareness ended at the campus border. So our kids are likely thinking and talking about these things with each other even if we’re not raising it as parents.
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 3035 replies5 threads Senior Member
    I was watching a CA congresswoman on Bill Maher (HBO) and she said flat out that placing restrictions on choices women can make over their bodies also restricts their economic freedom. So yeah, those states should be out, almost categorically, unless the alternate colleges are not affordable.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43279 replies471 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2019
    The laws in Missouri, Ohio, Alabama, Georgia, aren't in effect currently, so they shouldn't impact students who are currently enrolled. They can safely finish their studies there. And if it matters to them, they can participate in campaigns one way or another, which is very good for their growth as citizens.
    edited June 2019
    Post edited by skieurope on
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  • bearcatfanbearcatfan 1185 replies12 threads Senior Member
    I'm a woman with two daughters of child-bearing age. It would not really concern me, or them.

    They are staying in-state, anyway, in a flyover state that very few people care about until election season.
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  • lvvcsflvvcsf 2423 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Everyone has the option of deciding where they will or will not choose to apply. Boycotting is overall a personal decision. This is a subject that goes about 50/50. There are instances where boycotts can backfire (think chick filet their sales increase after nearly every call for a boycott). There may be some families who choose Alabama because they support the states decision. In the end Alabama will always have the advantage of being a good state flagship that offers great guaranteed FA for top students. It is the students and their families decision as to whether or not state politics sways their decisions whether or not to apply. This is a dangerous conversation for this site.
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