Do people change their minds about abortion?
Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. Arguments about it are so personal—tied to the most fundamental questions about bodily autonomy, gender equality and the social safety net—that it feels impossible for people just to see where the other side is coming from, let alone change their opinions. But college is a time when people are questioning everything they know about the world, and abortion is no exception. In fact, in our survey, 20 percent of respondents had changed their minds about abortion at some point. Twenty-one percent of pro-choice college women were once pro-life, and 19 percent of pro-life college women were once pro-choice.
That’s not an insignificant number, and when we saw it, we had to follow up. Below, 16 college women talk about changing their minds about abortion. Whether it was seeing a friend go through a traumatic experience, becoming sexually active, or just getting outside their hometown bubble, these women found their perspectives shifting.