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Strict abortion laws are forcing students to reject colleges in six states that have criminalized the procedure

An Upper East Side family set a rejection letter to the Washington University in St Louis after the governor of Missouri signed a bill on Friday banning abortion after eight weeks.
UPDATED MAY 26, 2019

Students in the United States are rejecting admission to colleges in states after the states recently passed stringent abortion laws.

An Upper East Side family sent a rejection letter to the Washington University in St Louis after the governor of Missouri signed a bill on Friday banning abortion after eight weeks, according to New York Post

The controversial Missouri law was reportedly a deal-breaker for Ellen Bender's daughter Eliza, a junior at Horace Mann prep school. Eliza had reportedly planned to visit the Washington University in Missouri in June.

Bender, a retired litigator, told New York Post: "These laws are not really good for women. It puts my child into a situation [where] I might think twice about her safety.”

While talking about suggestions from some of her friends, Bender said: "My friends told me ‘If your daughter goes to college in Georgia and, God forbid, she gets pregnant, she can always come to New York for an abortion.’ ”

However, she said that they are missing the point: "If the legislators passed those laws, they won’t be friendly legislators for women in general.” 

Five other states in the country, including Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia and Louisiana, have also passed similar "heartbeat bills" this year, in some cases banning abortions as early as six weeks.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson addresses the media on the last day of legislative session at the Missouri State Capitol Building on May 17, 2019 in Jefferson City, Missouri. Tension and protest arose after the Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill to ban abortions after 8 weeks of pregnancy. (Getty Images)

Alabama, in April, passed the country's strictest abortion ban, making no exception in cases of rape and incest, and vowing to persecute doctors who perform abortions in the state with a prison sentence of up to 99 years.

The ban, which is set to come into effect in June, has been slammed by people across the country, including Hollywood celebrities and even some Republicans who have called it "extreme."

A private-school admissions consultant in New York City, Amanda Uhry, told the New York Post: "This is a serious thing. 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 included a double legacy at Emory, Atlanta.

A woman from Upper West Side, who works in media and wanted to remain anonymous, said that she nixed her teenage daughter's dream school Oberlin after Ohio last month passed a heartbeat bill.

Protestors participate in a rally against one of the nation's most restrictive bans on abortions on May 19, 2019 in Montgomery, Alabama. Demonstrators gathered to protest HB 314, a bill passed by the Alabama Legislature last week making almost all abortion procedures illegal. (Getty Images)

“For someone who is studying music, Oberlin was always on her list of colleges,” she 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?... Everyone is scared. What state should we take off the list next?”