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State abortion bans could affect where Americans choose to go to college: poll

It’s being seen as the latest consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision last June to end the federal right to an abortion.
Pro-choice activists supporting legal access to abortion protest during a demonstration outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

Class size, academics and extracurricular activities aren’t the only factors young adults are considering when choosing where to go to college.

A new poll from Gallup and The Lumina Foundation showed that state abortion bans may also affect their decisions too.

The findings are the latest consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision to end the federal right to an abortion, spurring some states to restrict reproductive rights access even more.

The study found that 72 percent of enrolled college students say reproductive health laws in their state somewhat affect their decision to stay enrolled. That includes 80 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Republicans.

Of those surveyed who said the abortion laws somewhat affected their outlook, the majority – 81 percent – of current students said they would be more likely to enroll or stay at a school in a state that allowed greater access to reproductive health services.

“Yesterday was college decision day, so I think we’re going to see the returns on some of these states, especially schools in red states where there are more restrictive laws,” noted ForbesWomen editor Maggie McGrath on Tuesday’s “Morning Joe.”

Perhaps surprisingly, men were only slightly less likely than women to say reproductive state laws affected their views, with 68 percent of male students saying abortion laws in their state was at least somewhat important to their decision to enroll or stayed enrolled. That compares to 76 percent of female students who said the same thing.

Gallup and The Lumina Foundation warned that schools in states with restrictive reproductive laws on the books could be at risk for further enrollment declines, particularly among women.

“Morning Joe” co-host and Know Your Value founder Mika Brzezinski noted, “Young people are tuned in, not just to politics but what’s going on with the laws as it pertains to themselves…And they are making decisions.”