Harris meets with college and university leaders to discuss abortion decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with leaders from U.S. colleges and universities on Monday to discuss the challenges facing students after the recent Supreme Court decision to end the constitutional right to abortion in the whole country.

Harris, who has already held more than a half-dozen reproductive rights meetings with key stakeholders, will focus on what campuses are doing to protect student health following the court’s ruling, according to a White House official. , who did not wish to be called.

On August 3, President Joe Biden said the Supreme Court and Republicans “have no idea” about the power of American women when he signed a second executive order aimed at protecting abortion rights.

The order came a day after Kansas voters rejected an effort to remove abortion protections from the state constitution. The vote was a resounding victory for the abortion rights movement in the first statewide ballot test since the Supreme Court ruling.

Limited access to abortion services has a greater impact on college-age women, the White House said.

College students in states that ban abortion will face many barriers to seeking care, including financial and time constraints due to academic responsibilities. Historically, black colleges and universities in the country are concentrated in states that have already limited or are likely to limit access to abortion, according to the White House.

The average cost of abortion medications ranges from $300 to $750 and the cost of procedural abortions can reach up to $1,500 without insurance, according to data shared by the White House.

Parent-students are 10 times less likely to graduate from college on time compared to their peers without children, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, which was shared by the White House.

The meeting will include participants from Dartmouth College, City University of New York, Tennessee State University, Oberlin College, Howard University, Reed College, and the University of California-Irvine.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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