Supreme Court ruling will upset students’ reproductive rights and complicate medical education

College students will lose access to abortion in more than a dozen states with Friday United States Supreme Court decision to spill Roe vs. Wadethe historic judgment of 1973 which established a constitutional right to procedure.

The 6-3 decision, although not unexpected after a the draft notice was leaked last monthcaused intense reactions across higher education as the ramifications for students, campus health centers and medical schools became clear.

The ruling clears the way for about half of all states to ban abortion, which has been a constitutional right since Roe vs. Wade and a case from 1992, Family planning c. Casey, who supported him. On Friday, college students were among the throngs of people who turned out to both protest and celebrate the ruling at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The decision is expected to lead to near-total abortion bans in about half of US states. The impact will be felt most in 13 with so-called trigger laws coming into force in the coming weeks. About four million studentsas of 2019 attended college in the following states: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

David J. Skorton, president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, published a statementsaying he was “deeply concerned” about the decision’s impact on women’s health. “Laws and policies that restrict or otherwise interfere with the patient-physician relationship put a patient at risk by limiting access to quality, evidence-based care,” he said.

The association is studying the implications for medical training, saying it is crucial that all doctors have “comprehensive training in the full range of reproductive health care”. All medical schools currently require students to complete an internship in obstetrics and gynecology, and OB-GYN residencies must provide training or access to training in performing abortions. Residents who object may refuse to participate in induced abortions.

“We strongly oppose this decision and will continue to work with our medical schools and teaching hospitals to ensure physicians are able to provide all patients with safe, effective and accessible health care when they need it. “, wrote Dr. Skorton.

College leaders across the country issued similar advice. reassures Friday that they would do everything possible to protect women’s health despite the ruling. Michael V. Drake, president of the University of California system, said the university “will continue to provide the full range of health care options possible in California, including reproductive health services, and be a strong advocate for the needs of our patients, students, staff, and the communities we serve.” He said the university will continue to provide comprehensive education and training for the next generation of healthcare providers.

The ruling will make it even more difficult for colleges that struggle to retain pregnant women or those with young children. Studies have shown that these students are already much more likely to drop out, and new restrictions on abortion could tip the balance towards staying home in the event of an unwanted pregnancy.

Wealthier women who can afford to travel out of state will have more options than low-income women and those who cannot travel due to family and work responsibilities. In a study awaiting publication, researchers from Tulane and Stanford universities wrote about the “maternity sentence.” They found that childcare responsibilities are more likely to disrupt the college plans of low-income women than their wealthier female counterparts or men from all socioeconomic groups.

The ruling also has implications for college admissions, with some students and parents saying they won’t consider attending states with total abortion bans.

Some scholars have reactedwith similar pledges to boycott conferences and presentations in states that criminalize abortion

Anticipating the decision, the University of Michigan is among the institutions that created workgroups working to maintain access to abortion and related medical care for students, faculty, and staff, across all of its campuses.


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