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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Reproductive care still available at Tulane post Roe v. Wade

Campus Health provides free condoms and Plan B to students. Big Easy EC provides 24-hour Emergency Contraceptive delivery service operated by Tulane students.

The 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision altered the landscape of reproductive healthcare across America by reversing Roe v. Wade, which made abortion federally legal in 1973. The Dobbs decision removed federal abortion protections by leaving the matter up to individual states. Abortion is still legal in the United States, but the scope of legality varies by state. 

The Dobbs decision unleashed a trigger ban in Louisiana, banning abortion at all stages of gestation. On May 10, lawmakers in Baton Rouge voted against rape and incest exceptions to the abortion ban. Former Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said the lack of exceptions has failed victims of rape and incest. 

Tulane University provides resources for students who are trying to navigate their reproductive options. Tulane installed a 24-hour emergency contraceptive vending machine in the Lavin-Bernick Center for Student Life. Campus Health also provides free condoms and Plan B. Big Easy EC provides 24-hour emergency contraceptive delivery service operated by Tulane students. 

Tulane’s case management department has resources for people seeking to end pregnancies, including a limited fund to help individuals travel out-of-state on a case-by-case basis to access care. In the wake of the Dobbs decision, Tulane and faculty at Newcomb Institute collaborated to create a website detailing the status of abortion in Louisiana. The page also answers frequently asked questions surrounding the issue. 

Louisiana law maintains that abortion is not to be defined as “the removal of an ectopic pregnancy.” Removal of an ectopic pregnancy is considered medically necessary and falls under the scope of instances where abortion is legal to save the life of the mother. These are the only circumstances in which a woman can legally obtain an abortion in Louisiana. 

Administrative associate professor of women’s leadership, Clare Daniel, warned against a “chilling effect” where many students are afraid to even have conversations about abortion in a state with such restrictive bans. She said that people are avoiding doing things they are allowed to do in fear of legal repercussions. 

When asked about his knowledge of Tulane resources for students who may become pregnant, first-year Alex Avram said that he was not aware of any, but that he hoped that the university had them. 

Freshman Rowan Espy said that she was aware that Tulane had resources for pregnant students, but that she did not know what they were. She said she heard about resources in  orientation modules for first-year students, but said that she thinks most people “skip through them.” 

While abortion is illegal in most circumstances in Louisiana, current law maintains that women who have abortions cannot be prosecuted. People seeking to terminate a pregnancy can access the abortion pill online and self-manage an abortion with great rates of success and safety. 

On Oct. 14, Jeff Landry won the gubernatorial election in Louisiana. According to his campaign website, Landry is staunchly pro-life and anti-abortion. It is possible that Louisiana’s strict abortion laws could be further tightened with Landry’s inauguration, as he signed a letter demanding that the Biden administration release data about people who get abortions out-of-state. 

For students who are concerned about their digital privacy in our current legal landscape, the Digital Defense Fund offers information on how to keep your abortion journey private. 

Daniel also referenced the Tulane bubble and said that most Tulane students are extremely privileged compared to the average New Orleans resident, particularly in terms of access to health insurance and financial resources. This is even more widespread in rural areas that Daniel said are called “maternity care deserts.” 

Daniel said that her best advice to students interested in raising awareness for reproductive options is to branch out from their communities to reach a broader audience who may not have the information already. 

Daniel said she suggested organizations like Big Easy EC and Students United for Reproductive Justice collaborate with Greek life organizations and athletic teams in a bilateral effort to educate more students.

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