Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court ruling made in 1973 that legalized abortion nationally. It was overturned on June 24, 2022, giving individual states the right to criminalize abortion.
Many students at BHS experience their views being reciprocated by the local government. However, Roe v. Wade being overturned has caused many students to reconsider many decisions, college among them.
Some upperclassmen and graduates undergoing the college process are reconsidering attending an out-of-state school, where abortion laws may be different. This is evident for 2022 BHS graduate Elsa Faulders.
Faulders currently attends Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Ohio is one of 12 states that banned abortion after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“Roe v. Wade was overturned after I had already made my decision to attend Oberlin,” Faulders said. “Since the school is located in Ohio, I knew I was going to be moving to a state where abortion laws would be affected. In California, I felt safe, but in a couple months, I would be moving to a place much different.”
Faulders expressed that though Oberlin College is an extremely liberal school that ensured that reproductive care would remain accessible, the abortion ban taking place in Ohio still has its effect.
“It’s scary to live in a state where my body can be restricted, but it feels good to be in a community surrounded by people who are pro-choice,” Faulders said. “In Ohio I can partake in activism and try to change the ways of the state.”
Faulders also shared her own perspective on how she feels that the changes will impact her personally.
“While these states may have terrible laws and ideas, there are communities of people within them who are striving to make a difference,” she said. “It is these groups that will be able to change the workings of the state.”
Claire Wolfenden, a senior in Academic Choice (AC), is currently undergoing her own college decision process. She’s also navigating her and her community’s response to Roe v. Wade.
Wolfenden shared that the recent changes to reproductive rights policies have impacted her. She said, “It furthered the conversations around who is making these laws, and how people feel they can react and take actions.”
For the next school year, Wolfenden intends to attend a research university, and is considering leaving the state to do so.
“In California, we have the privilege that our lawmakers and state are keeping abortion legal. For some in other states, they can take that trip if they need to get one,” she said. “However, others may not have that luxury, and the overturning just creates more dangerous situations for people.”
Berkeley International High School (BIHS) junior Eve Li Leboux said that she also feels similarly.
“When thinking about where I would apply, I definitely would not apply to a state that doesn’t allow the right to an abortion because I would feel unsafe,” Li Leboux said. “The idea that the people who are in charge of laws in the state where I live don’t think that I should have the right to do what I want to do with my body makes me feel unsafe.”
Li Leboux also shared that, to her knowledge, both her family and her peers felt the same way.
“The United States Constitution is founded on ideas of freedom, and this is taking away my personal freedom,” Li Leboux said.