“It’s like we’re going backwards,” was a common refrain.
This is an educated slice of an internet savvy generation, and they have come armed with arguments to counter abortion opponents.
Banning abortion is good for families?
“People talk about abortions being a medical necessity,” said Sarah Hunter, 21, of Lancaster. “But the mental health of women is also an important factor. If you force women to have children that they are not ready to have, yes, it is really not ideal for the child or the mother.
Someone must speak for the unborn, who have no voice?
“People say the fetus has rights,” Urquhart said. “What about the human being after his birth?
Abstinence is the best approach?
“States where they only preach abstinence, that’s where a lot of teen pregnancies happen,” said Marlee Anderson, 21, of Humboldt County. “Because they don’t know what they’re getting into.”
Tyler Delnero and Rafa Reyes wanted their classmates to know they had allies, so they stood in the sun outside the student union with handwritten signs in support of reproductive rights.
“You have the right to what happens to your own body,” said Elk Grove sophomore Delnero. “It’s just basic medical care. Whether you are female, male, intersex, it doesn’t matter.
“I don’t think old white men should make their own women’s laws,” added Reyes, a freshman from the small town of Gonzalez, Monterey County.
The young men admitted that they looked forward to a heated debate, even a confrontation. But everyone who approached them, they said, supported them.
This may not be a surprise. This is a diverse public university in a liberal county in a blue state – a bubble within a bubble within a bubble. Yet the unity and clarity of opinion was striking.
Yes, a 20-year-old college student from San Jose said she was pro-life, believing “babies shouldn’t be killed.” And several students refused to be interviewed on the subject. But many reacted like Hunter.
“Horrifying,” is how she called the draft opinion on Roe.
“It’s a very good word,” confirms his partner Bloch, shaking his head.
The answer here, a mixture of defiance and cynicism, is a combination of traits often associated with younger American adults. It’s a mindset easily ridiculed by older generations.
“How many of the women mobilizing against Roe’s overthrow are overeducated, underloved millennials who sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats, and no bumble matches?” Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a 39-year-old lawmaker who is currently being investigated for an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, tweeted Wednesday.
Most students are correctly classified as Gen Z, not Gen Y. Either way, Gaetz missed the mark, according to McQuade.
“This tweet seems quite out of touch with what today’s students have experienced throughout their lives,” she said. “I saw incredible amounts of courage. I’ve seen how many people are willing to tell their stories about abortion, access to birth control, sexual violence and discrimination – many of the intersecting issues students face when making some of the toughest decisions. most important in life. .”
Admittedly, abortion rights are unlikely to be attacked in California anytime soon. Here, Governor Gavin Newsom quickly circulated a defiant statement last Monday night, saying in part, “We need to wake up. We have to fight like hell. We will not be silenced.
State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, announced he would join other lawmakers in “enshrining women’s reproductive rights in the California Constitution.”
But there are concerns for family members and friends elsewhere. If Roe were to fall, according to a graph from The New York Times, 27 states could quickly ban abortions, including 14 that could ban the procedure even before fetal viability. Several SSU women said their disgust at Roe’s downfall had nothing to do with their own vulnerability.
“I don’t care that it’s not a problem in California,” Bloch said. “It’s about the women in the states that will lose access.”
That’s typical of Gen Z, McQuade said. Its students are steeped in social media, a world full of anxiety, but also a world that encourages empathy by introducing users to the first-hand experiences of people from very different backgrounds.
Young women have played an important role in previous women’s rights movements, the professor said. To disregard their ability to drive this one would be a mistake.
“Going back to the rep’s quote, this attempt to deprive people — the majority of whom are young, are women of color, are working people — from upliftment is a major thing that we need to address,” McQuade said. “I think young people see the lie and false leadership in these types of tweets.
“It’s a form of helplessness. And they won’t stand it.
You can reach Phil Barber at 707-521-5263 or [email protected] On Twitter @Skinny_Post.