At some colleges, the roe fall will weaken student health care

What then is the best way out for activists and charities? In both access-friendly states and those with prohibitions, campus activists are urging university administrators to support students: to ensure flexible attendance policies should students need assistance; to set up emergency or travel funds; to establish confidentiality policies that protect students searching for information; and provide medical abortion. “Now is the time to talk to those in power at your university — to understand the university’s position,” says Sealy.

Tamara Marzouk, director of access to abortion at the nonprofit Advocates for Youth, points out that even in very blue states, having campuses serving students in places where abortion is legal takes the pressure off local independents Clinics – Clinics that feel pressure from out-of-town patients.

It’s too early to know how these campaigns will play out on campus, but “I’m willing to be surprised by some governments that we assume are anti-abortion,” says Marzouk. “We are still mainly in the summer. So we’ll see how student activism surges in the fall. And I think then we will really see how the administrations react.”

Students can also vote with their feet. At some universities, a significant portion of the student population is foreign: more than 40 percent at the University of Oklahoma and nearly 60 percent at the University of Alabama. Early data shows that teens applying to college avoid schools in banned states, and a July poll by an education magazine showed that a quarter of high school students attending four-year colleges would attend only where abortion is available is legal.

URGE’s McGuire says students can also help increase pressure on lawmakers who are still drafting state laws on abortion and contraception. Some radical bans are passed, others are not.

“We have majorities of people in every state in this country who want abortion to be safe, legal, protected and accessible,” she says. She is optimistic and suspects that people underestimate the political engagement of youth and the history of social justice movements in the South and Midwest: “These are regions of the country that produced liberation movements.”

Marzouk says there has been growing interest among student activists to learn about self-administered abortion, which involves Food and Drug Administration-approved pills that can be accessed through telemedicine appointments and mailed — despite legal limits for both are still rapidly developing.

“We’ve seen that information-sharing about self-administered abortion has increased tremendously in recent years, and even more so since June,” says Marzouk, who works with hundreds of activists across the country. In states with bans, campus activists must follow the same rules for counseling as Yellowhammer. Advocates for Youth had dozens of young people teach their peers how to share the World Health Organization’s guidance on self-administered abortion in a way that “doesn’t give any kind of advice that could be construed as medical or legal advice,” she says. For example, “saying ‘a person would do XYZ’ and not using ‘you’.”

And most importantly, advocates say, it’s important to encourage students not to be afraid to seek information or help. “No matter what, there are so many people in this country who are committed to helping you get the abortion care that you need,” says McLain of Yellowhammer. “Without stigma, without shame and without it ruining your life.”

Marzouk says she still finds room for optimism despite draconian abortion restrictions. “Working with young people has given me so much hope,” she says. “I’ve seen young people remain incredibly creative in an incredibly dark time.”

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