• Overturning Roe v. Wade means high school students are now considering abortion access in choosing colleges.
  • Sabrina Thaler, 16, told Insider not being able to get an abortion in college gives her "anxiety."
  • College admissions firms also told Insider that high schoolers are tweaking their college lists.

When considering a dream school, high schoolers now have yet another tick to check on their college checklist — abortion access. 

Sabrina Thaler, a 16-year-old junior at Eastern Technical High School in Maryland, told Insider she was in a summer orchestra class when she received a text from a friend about the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

"I saw the news, and then I immediately had to go back to playing music and couldn't be on my phone, but I remember feeling really frantically or going really wanting to talk about it with people," Thaler told Insider. 

Then, in the weeks that followed, Thaler started imagining what it would be like to attend college in a state that doesn't allow abortion or shares her values overall. On her list of dream schools are colleges located primarily in the Northeast, with the exception of one school in the Chicago area. She's choosing these schools, she said, partly because they seem to offer guidance to students who could be in need of an abortion.

"That's also something that I'm really considering," she said. "Beyond just the location of the school and the laws of that state, [but] also the culture on their campus regarding that issue and whether it would be something that I'm comfortable talking about with my peers or whether it's something that the school administration is addressing."

College admissions firms also told Insider they're hearing concerns from high school students who fear attending college in anti-abortion states. 

An August survey conducted by Best Colleges found that 39% of all prospective college students said that they anticipate the Supreme Court decision affecting where they go to college. 

"The results of this survey should be a big wake-up call to institutions across the country, particularly those in states with limited or restricted abortion access," Jessica Bryant, an education analyst at Best Colleges, told Insider.

Other students have also shared that concern with admission firms.

Dr. Kristen Willmott, a private counselor at Top Tier Admissions, for example, told Insider that one student told her they worried they wouldn't receive "up-to-date, accurate information that isn't skewed by politics" from campus health services if they went to a school located in a state where abortion is illegal.

Overturning Roe has changed college decisions all around

The checkered landscape of abortion access potentially alters the college landscape for LGBT students and students of color as well, experts told Insider. 

Daniel Santos, CEO of college admissions and career coaching firm Prepory, told Insider that several LGBT-identifying students who use their services are removing schools found within banned-abortion states from their lists.

That's because they fear that LGBT restrictions may be next, Santos said. 

Those students have expressed to Prepory coaches that they "feel that the Roe decision is just the beginning," he said, adding that "the LGBTQ identity might potentially be affected by other decisions that might come into play in the future."

Fears about the possibility of the Supreme Court rolling back same-sex marriage have cropped up since May after Politico published the leaked draft opinion that foreshadowed the overturn. 

In addition to the LGBT community, students of color may be forced to tweak their college lists. Adjustments can include rejecting historically Black colleges and universities, many of which are located in southern states where abortion is illegal. 

Of the 72 HBCUs recognized by the Department of Education, only 21 are located in states where abortion is legal, according to an analysis conducted by The Washington Post.

"Our students from BIPOC communities feel like this will affect them even more and that the repercussions of this decision will be even more visible within those communities, which, more than likely, the folks applying to HBCUs are members of BIPOC communities," Santos said. 

Abortion advocates have long argued that communities of color will be disproportionately impacted by restricting abortion access. 

The disproportionate effect of the SCOTUS decision on prospective college students is not lost on Thaler. Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, she's been envisioning what it would be like if she couldn't choose to get an abortion if she needed one, which "just fills me with a lot of dread and just physical sense of anxiety."

The issue "goes a lot deeper than reproductive autonomy," she told Insider. "I think it also has to do with racial justice and healthcare access in general."

Read the original article on Business Insider