College students return to campus without access to abortion

Aug 22, 2022, 9:33 AM | Updated: Aug 23, 2022, 1:59 pm

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Students returning to college are confronting a new reality in states such as Texas, Ohio and Indiana: Abortion, an option for an unplanned pregnancy when they were last on campus, has since been banned, often with few exceptions.

Students said they’ve made changes both public and intimate since the U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer that overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. Students said they’re using more birth control, and some have made a plan to leave the state for an abortion if they become pregnant. They’re also taking public stances, with increased activism by both opponents and supporters of abortion rights.

Conversations about the changing landscape of abortion access seem to have dwindled since early summer, said Brian Roseboro, a senior at Ohio State University who’s from Montclair, New Jersey. But the 21-year-old, who’s single, said the new law is making him more careful and conscious about using contraception this year.

“I’m definitely thinking about it way more,” Roseboro said.

Ohio State University said the ruling doesn’t change the services provided by its Student Health Services or its medical center, noting Ohio already prohibited state institutions from performing elective abortions. It also doesn’t affect how OSU’s Title IX office handles reports of sexual assault.

But some students say those situations have crossed their minds as they contemplate the fall of Roe and Ohio’s ban on abortions at the first detectable “fetal heartbeat.” That can be as early as six weeks’ gestation, before many people know they’re pregnant.

Nikki Mikov, an Ohio State junior from Dayton, said news of the legal changes initially made her nervous that her options would be limited if she became pregnant. But by the time she was back on campus last week, she said her thoughts were more focused on more immediate things — moving in, friends, classes.

Ohio University junior Jamie Miller said he participated in multiple protests this summer, including one where he gave a speech addressing how support for abortion rights overlaps with advocacy for bodily autonomy for transgender people like him.

More intimately, Miller, 20, said the new limits on abortion influenced the decision he made with his partner to avoid sexual activity that could risk pregnancy. After years of taking testosterone, going through with a pregnancy wouldn’t be healthy for him or for the child, he said, adding that it also would upend his education and put him into debt.

“It would be pretty catastrophic in every sense of my life,” Miller said.

After Emily Korenman, of Dallas, decided to study business at Indiana University, she was frustrated to learn her new state passed new abortion restrictions that take effect Sept. 15 and allow limited exceptions. The 18-year-old said it didn’t change her mind about attending a school she really likes, but she isn’t sure what she would do if she became pregnant during college.

“I personally don’t know if abortion would be the choice I would make,” Korenman said. “But I would respect anyone’s opinion, you know, whoever’s body it is, they have the right to make that choice.”

Anti-abortion activists in states such as Indiana and Ohio say they’re planning to advocate for more campus support for pregnant students, now that abortion is no longer an option in most cases.

Campus members of Students for Life of America say they plan to interact with like-minded organizations that support sexual assault survivors and collect baby items for parents in need.

They also hope to further their cause of stopping abortion. They want to build relationships, even with people who have different viewpoints on abortion, and “find where we can agree, so that we can help them and then go further into changing other people’s minds” about abortion, said Lauren McKean, a sophomore at Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Supporters of abortion rights also plan campus outreach.

Cleveland State University sophomore Giana Formica said she got hundreds of condoms through a nonprofit organization for her campus advocacy group to distribute, and she bought some emergency contraception to have in case someone she knows needs it.

“As like a queer individual in this stage of my life, I am most likely not going to be in a place where I become pregnant,” she said. “I’m doing this for other people because it’s not something that I need right this second.”

Formica said she’s also expecting to face more aggressive disagreement from abortion opponents during outreach activities on campus with her chapter of URGE — Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity. So she’s thinking about how to navigate those conversations with fellow students and where she draws the boundaries for cutting them off.

Zoya Gheisar is pondering how to talk about it, too. She leads a Planned Parenthood-affiliated student club at Ohio’s Denison University. On the cusp of the new school year, she was still trying to figure out what information peer sex educators will provide when they talk with first-year students, and how to help club members discuss abortion issues more empathetically.

“When we have conversations as a club, I really try to steer away from the rhetoric that can be so polarizing,” said Gheisar, a 22-year-old from Seattle.

Her hope, she said, is to move toward discussion that acknowledges “this is a truly intimate thing, with real people at its heart and core.”


For more back-to-school coverage, visit:


Franko reported from Columbus, Ohio. Associated Press reporter Patrick Orsagos in Columbus contributed.

Rodgers is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

The Associated Press education team receives support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz listens during a news conference, Jan. 5, 2023, in Washi...

Associated Press

US Border Patrol chief is retiring after seeing through end of Title 42 immigration restrictions

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol announced Tuesday that he was retiring, after seeing through a major policy shift that seeks to clamp down on illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border following the end of Title 42 pandemic restrictions.

1 day ago

FILE - President Joe Biden talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., on the House steps as...

Associated Press

House OKs debt ceiling bill to avoid default, sends Biden-McCarthy deal to Senate

The House approved a debt ceiling and budget cuts package late Wednesday, as President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy assembled a bipartisan coalition of centrist Democrats and Republicans against fierce conservative blowback and progressive dissent.

1 day ago

Sean Bickings (Family Photo via city of Tempe)...

Associated Press

Family of man who drowned last year in Tempe Town Lake files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a man who drowned in Tempe Town Lake a year ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city Wednesday, noting that its police department doesn't have a policy requiring officers to go into the water to save someone.

1 day ago

(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Associated Press

Florida police search for 3 gunmen who wounded 9 at crowded beach on Memorial Day

Police are responding to a shooting near the beach broadwalk in Hollywood, Florida.

3 days ago

Crew members assemble the main stage ahead of the 2023 Scripps Nations Spelling Bee on Sunday, May ...

Associated Press

Exclusive secrets of the National Spelling Bee: Picking the words to identify a champion

As the final pre-competition meeting of the Scripps National Spelling Bee's word selection panel stretches into its seventh hour, the pronouncers no longer seem to care.

3 days ago

FILE - Gabby Petito's mother Nichole Schmidt, wipes a tear from her face during a news conference o...

Associated Press

Mother of man who killed Gabby Petito said in letter she would help son ‘dispose of a body’

The mother of the man who killed Gabby Petito told her son in an undated letter that she would “dispose of a body” if needed because she loved him so much, according to copies of the note shared publicly for the first time this week by attorneys for Petito's parents.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”



Why drug-free weight loss still matters

Wanting to lose weight is a common goal for many people as they progress throughout life, but choosing between a holistic approach or to take medicine can be a tough decision.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

College students return to campus without access to abortion