In a post-Dobbs world, high school seniors look forward


Amanda Nolan

Although Burlingame seniors still enjoy the right to choose, the Dobbs decision undoubtedly affects their plans for life after high school.

Amanda Nolan, Social Media Coordinator

Four months after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the reality of a post-Roe world is beginning to set in for a generation of young women. In 14 states, the ruling has forced clinics to turn off their lights and shut their doors for good. Across the rest of the nation, the future of reproductive rights currently rests in the hands of state governments. 

Although Burlingame seniors still enjoy the right to choose, the Dobbs decision undoubtedly affects their plans for life after high school. 

Senior Morgan Patch, who’s currently applying to colleges across the nation, suggested that she values a school that supports her rights and her ability to make decisions about her body. If she were to attend a college in an anti-abortion state, that school would have to guarantee resources to help students terminate their pregnancies safely. 

“I think I would at least have comfort in the fact that the university I was going to had the same values as me, and it would protect my rights in every way,” Patch said.

As someone supporting the pro-choice movement, Patch believes the Supreme Court’s decision violated her rights as a woman. When the Court released its ruling, Patch felt grateful she lived in California — a sanctuary state for women seeking reproductive care — but argued that Dobbs targeted all women. 

“I’ve viewed the government differently because we preach this view of equality and then we’re not giving women equal access to health care that everyone else has,” Patch said. “It provides a new value that doesn’t represent what we stand for. So I think it can be damaging for especially the younger generation.” 

Senior Flavia Cucalon refuses to spend her future in a state that wouldn’t give her the option to have an abortion. As an immigrant from Peru, she feels thankful to be in America but is frustrated that her basic rights and needs aren’t valued. 

“It doesn’t matter if you are sexually active or not. There are so many instances where abortions might be necessary,” Cucalon said. “You just really never know what could happen in those four-plus years.”

Cucalon argues that this decision isn’t just about abortion, but overall regression in a country with a centuries-old history of gender inequality and discrimination.

“They are pro-birth, and I feel like it is very much pro-controlling women’s bodies,” Cucalon said. 

But not every high school student lives in the Burlingame bubble, where the right to choose is guaranteed. Take junior Nora Bodie, for instance. She attends Port Clinton High School — located in a dominantly conservative town in Ohio — and feels her access to abortions slipping out of reach given the recent restrictions that Ohio governor Mike Dewine placed on reproductive freedom.

“It’s such an overstep for women’s rights — for women’s privacy,” Bodie said. 

Currently, Ohio has restrictions on abortions after 21 weeks and six days for those who are pregnant. At Port Clinton, Bodie feels like an outsider in the student population, which overwhelmingly supports the Dobbs decision. 

“I think lower of the area I live in, for sure,” Bodie said. “I’m not really ashamed of what I think of and who I am.  I used to be more self-conscious about it. But I’ve gotten to the point where I kind of don’t really care if other people think I’m crazy, I guess.” 

With the college application process a year away for Bodie, she is ready to move to a city where she feels her rights are protected. Ultimately, her decision will come down to a university’s core values: who they support, what they support and the rights protected by the state.

“I would never want to put myself in a position where my rights are just stripped away from me,” Bodie said. “I guess I just want to move to a place where I feel I’m supported and the people I love are supported and people I care about.”