BY ADI STEIN
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade at the end of June, many states have or have started to restrict abortion rights. These restrictions have resulted in an eruption of protests from coast to coast, with protestors demonstrating their opinions on the ruling. At least 13 U.S. states have now banned most abortions, many of which are in the South and Midwest.
In the states that are preventing access to abortions, people capable of pregnancy are either unable to receive the help they need or opt for unsafe care. The World Health Organization estimates that around 45% of all abortions are unsafe and 4.7% to 13.2% of maternal deaths are a result of unsafe abortion.
In June, Delaware Gov. John Carney signed Housing Bill 455, which expands access to abortion and protects providers and patients. The bill further details that women who come to Delaware from different states are protected.
The state government in Delaware also protects abortion rights and clinics such as Planned Parenthood to further provide protection for abortion. Students at the university continue to utilize the services of Planned Parenthood in Newark.
The close proximity of Planned Parenthood to campus provides students access to a clinic to address their reproductive issues. However, towards the beginning of the semester, there were protesters outside the clinic on East Delaware Avenue who were reciting verses from the bible and had posters and signs regarding abortions that said, “They kill babies here.”
“The level of anger these protesters have is troubling and their goal is not to overturn abortion policies, their goal is to intimidate people seeking care,” Ellen Rochford, gender-based violence researcher at the university, said. “A lot of the people seeking care at Planned Parenthood are not there for abortions and those that are there for abortions have been appropriately counseled.”
Some students at the university use Planned Parenthood for a variety of health care needs like sexually transmitted disease testing or education on birth control options. Aside from sexual health, they also provide primary care services at a reduced cost compared to normal doctor’s offices.
“I go to Planned Parenthood once every three months for a shot, which is a form of birth control, and I have found it difficult in recent months to enter the building because of the protesters outside,” sophomore Gwendolyn Pride said. “They do not even know why I am going to Planned Parenthood, yet they harass people like me nonetheless.”
Due to the student frustrations regarding potential restrictions on abortion, protests took place on campus in May in lieu of the Supreme Court leaked opinion. The “Bans Off Our Bodies March” held by two student organization was met, however, with a counter-protest of those who supported abortion restrictions. The attendees at these opposing protests showed their frustration and praise regarding the overturning of Roe.
Women aged 20–24 accounted for 34% of all abortions and had the highest abortion rate among all age groups. The majority of college students are between the ages of 18 and 24, so the ability for them to have easy access to abortion care plays a role in the outcome of overall reproductive health.
“Being that abortion is not categorized at the federal level, giving states the right to decide the legalization of a human rights issue only promotes the inevitable unsafe action that follows” sophomore Connor Caliri said.