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Scared students rejecting colleges in states with strict abortion laws

As Dana Schuster reports for NY Post: One Upper East Side family is sending Washington University a big, fat rejection letter.

On Friday, the governor of Missouri, where the well-respected school is located, signed a bill outlawing abortion after eight weeks.

The legislation was a deal-breaker for Ellen Bender and her daughter, Eliza, a junior at Horace Mann prep school, who planned to visit the school in June.

“These laws are not really good for women,” said Ellen, a retired litigator. “It puts my child into a situation [where] I might think twice about her safety.”

Missouri joins five other states — Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia and Louisiana — that have passed so-called “heartbeat bills” this year.

In April, Alabama passed a bill where doctors who perform abortions in the state could face 99 years in prison.

The bans, which are not yet in effect, are being vehemently fought by everyone from lawmakers and Hollywood celebrities to high-schoolers making college plans.

“This is a serious thing,” said Amanda Uhry, a private-school admissions consultant in New York City. “I’ve had 61 college-admission clients remove Georgia and Ohio schools from their list for next year,” she said, adding that one of these clients is a double legacy at Emory, in Atlanta.

An Upper West Sider who asked to remain anonymous said she nixed Oberlin — her teenage daughter’s dream school — after a heartbeat bill was passed in Ohio last month.

“For someone who is studying music, Oberlin was always on her list of colleges,” the mother, who works in media, said of her daughter. “She texted me and was like, ‘WTF,’ when the Ohio law was passed. She wants to have control over her body and her rights.

“People are shocked and scared,” Uhry explained. “They were like, ‘What are we going to do if we send our daughter there and she gets pregnant?’ ”

Said Bender: “Some of my friends have said, ‘If your daughter goes to college in Georgia and, God forbid, she gets pregnant, she can always come to New York for an abortion.’ ”

But, she added, that’s missing the point: “If the legislators passed those laws, they won’t be friendly legislators for women in general.”

(Spokespersons for Washington and Emory universities did not return calls for comment by press time, while a representative for Oberlin declined to comment.)

It’s not just prospective college students blacklisting states. Hollywood is up in arms after Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, a popular hub for production thanks to its 30 percent tax rebates, signed the state’s heartbeat bill on May 7.

One day later, David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “The Deuce,” tweeted that he was boycotting the Peach State.

Last week, director Reed Morano announced that she would no longer film scenes from Amazon Studios’ “The Power” in Georgia. Kristen Wiig and writing partner Annie Mumolo, who are working on the new comedy “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” followed suit, also pulling out of the state, according to Variety.

Uhry said the anger — and fear — has only just begun, especially for her college-bound clientele.
“Everyone is scared,” said Uhry. “What state should we take off the list next?”

DCG

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