Wednesday, August 17, 2022

‘No power or autonomy’: SU, SUNY-ESF students on Roe v. Wade reversal

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Whether it came from a flood of social media posts or her distraught mother, who walked into her room crying last Friday, Blythe Reis couldn’t escape the news that the Supreme Court had ruled in Roe v. Wade overturned.

“In the span of 10 minutes, I was getting (news of the decision) from every direction I could possibly hear,” said Junior Rees, who is visiting Syracuse University.

Wade in 1973, which upheld the constitutional right to abortion for nearly 50 years, sparked protests and demonstrations across the country. SU and SUNY-ESF students living in different states, some where abortion is set to be banned, told Daily Orange they felt distress and despair after the decision.

Evelina Torres, an up-and-coming SU sophomore, lives in Houston, Texas, one of 13 states with “trigger” laws that would restrict or restrict abortion rights, and works as an employee for the city. . Torres, a dual major in political science and computer engineering, said that Roe v. The decision to overturn Wade dominated conversations at work on Friday.

Torres said, “I feel really scared for my fellow community members who are able to get pregnant, but also personally as someone who knows family members who have experienced miscarriage in the past.” “

Under Texas’s trigger law, abortion would only be made legal for situations where a pregnant person risks “substantial impairment of major bodily function.”

Lauren Spezia, a New Jersey native who graduated from SU in May and is an incoming first-year student at the College of Law, shared similar concerns.

“It was like, I didn’t expect to wake up this morning and my rights were taken away,” she said.

Some students said the university should try to support students, especially in states that prohibit or prohibit abortion.

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Torres said he hopes SU will help students from states with restrictions similar to Texas understand their options and safety across different state lines.

Incoming second-year architecture student Katherine Lee also said that SU needs to be more vocal about sexual harassment and reproductive rights on social media to raise awareness among students about those topics.

“It’s like we have no power or autonomy over our bodies,” she said.

Although intimidated, Torres said she recognizes the privilege of going to school in a state where abortion rights are legally protected.

“So many people around me don’t have access to the reproductive health care that I do,” she said. “It definitely makes me contemplate the future after I graduate, where am I going to live?”

As part of the Reproductive Health Act in 2019, New York State enacted Roe v. Wade codified. According to the Guttmacher Institute, only three other states and the District of Columbia have codified decisions to protect reproductive rights.

Spezia said she could not believe it when she came to know about the decision on social media.

“(The possibility of Roe turning) was always on my mind,” Spezia said. “Even though, no matter how much anyone expected it, I feel like it was still a shock.”

Emily, an up-and-coming woman from rural Pennsylvania who asked DO not to use her last name for security reasons, said attending SU was “refreshing.” She said that for the first time in the area she was surrounded by so many people with similar political views.

Pennsylvania allows abortions up to 24 weeks, but they are not protected by the state legislature. Emily, who is in the College of Arts and Sciences, has a strong support system of close friends at SU, said she may bow to if her home state tightens further on abortion laws.

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Andre Cheu, a rising SUNY-ESF senior who lived in Tennessee for two years during high school, said the ruling reflects the cultural divide within America.

“Personally, I’ve lived in both extremes, so I have personal accounts of what I’ve heard in Tennessee and what I’ve heard in New York,” Cheu said.

Emily said the best way is for students to raise their voices by voting in their home states in November.

“If we’re not doing our job, we have no right to be angry,” she said.

Arjun Menon, a rising senior from Texas studying broadcast and digital journalism and political science, expressed surprise at the cross-cultural impact of the decision.
Menon’s grandparents, who are currently visiting the United States from India, have expressed concern about the repercussions of the Rowe v. Wade reversal.

“It just tells you that it reaches beyond the United States,” he said.

Lillian Zhao and Hailey Lester are both fourth year architecture students from Sugarland and Katie, Texas, respectively. He said that growing up in a Southern community has taught him the importance of questioning the root of his beliefs.

Both students are in favor of abortion access. He emphasized the importance of discussing difficult topics and building a community for students who may be hesitant to open up about their beliefs.

“Stand firm on your beliefs,” said Lester. “I know it’s hard to negotiate with people who disagree, and sometimes it’s hard to speak up on what you believe.”

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