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'I'm just going to pack up and go somewhere else': College students consider impact of abortion laws on incoming labor force

Young adults say values will play a role on where they choose to work in the near future. They say a state's stance on abortion could be a factor.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The U.S. Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade, and Kentucky's trigger law, has young adults considering whether this will affect where they choose to pursue jobs out of school.

On Monday, several students taking summer classes at the University of Louisville told WHAS11 that values will play a role in the decisions of the incoming workforce. Some say each state's stance on abortion could be a factor.

"Living in Kentucky, it's not safe anymore for women," said Anjali Solankhi, who's taking a summer chemistry class at UofL but goes to Northeastern University. "And I go to school in Boston, so maybe I'll just keep working there -- who knows. I think this will definitely have an impact on where people choose to live."

Jaley Adkins, a UofL senior majoring in public health, says her field will see the ruling's impact quickly.

"People doing education outreach are now going to have to talk more about contraceptives and stuff like that more often than they did before," she said.

Youssef Saad, also in summer classes at UofL, is one of the thousands of students who will soon decide if a state's abortion laws will dictate their future career decisions and placement.

"I already see that translating into the workplace," he said speaking on perspectives from students he's talked to. "If you're not going to try to agree with our lifestyle, then I'm just going to pack up and go somewhere else where I feel welcome and safe."

Meanwhile, Ken Troske with the Department of Economics at the University of Kentucky said while it's still early to project workforce impact, both large and small companies will have decisions to make on whether to take a stance on the high court's ruling. Several major companies already have.

"You are potentially constraining your business environment when you are a state that seems to be adopting laws that are not supported by a majority of the citizens in the United States," he said speaking about Kentucky. "For some students, they're going to value being in a state in which they think the laws better match their beliefs."

Troske said this is something businesses expanding into other states could consider as well, when it comes to recruiting young talent and choosing whether to help pay for employees' travel to other states for the procedure.

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