UT students plan to leave Texas after graduation following anti-abortion law

Kaushiki Roy, News Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the September 24 flipbook. 

After a new Texas law banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy took effect Sept. 1, some UT students said they began to consider leaving Texas post-graduation. 

About two-thirds of nearly 2,000 U.S. respondents would not consider taking a job or moving to Texas after the abortion limiting legislation passed, according to a survey by PerryUndem, a data research organization. The research team also found that 74% of respondents who identified as women would not consider a job in Texas now that the near-total abortion ban is in place. 

Many college graduates or current students now say they plan to leave Texas post-graduation to escape restrictions on bodily autonomy. These trends could drain highly skilled labor from Texas, according to the research team. 

Nursing senior Vanessa Sayroo said she planned to complete nursing school in Texas but is now looking to go out of state for further education. Sayroo said she wants to leave Texas because of the bill even though completing her education will require a license to transfer schooling to another state. Sayroo said she will not return to Texas to work as a nurse.

“You never know who could get pregnant, and (they) may not be financially ready or emotionally ready,” Sayroo said.

Psychology junior Arohi Srivastav said she immediately began to look at schools and jobs in other states when she heard about the legislation. 

“Once this bill was passed, I was extremely scared and talked to my roommate about it,” Srivastav said. “We were already making backup plans as to what state we could go to, who we know, who lives where, last minute resorts and plans.”

Srivastav said that she and others are mourning the loss of bodily autonomy.

“A huge boundary has been crossed on my personal autonomy, and I really don’t want to stay in Texas,” Srivastav said. “This brain drain could all be a part of a much larger plan to keep Texas red and as conservative as possible. Although that’s diabolical, I definitely think that’s a huge possibility.” 

Government freshman Madison Fail said she already wanted to leave Texas because of other restrictive legislation the state has passed such as the open carry laws, but is now even more inclined to do so after the bill took effect. 

“This is a new fear because I don’t want to have a baby at the moment — I’m just not prepared for that,” Fail said. “I’m absolutely moving out of the state as soon as possible.”