I expected that speaking out would have consequences, but I never could have imagined the response from the University of Alabama, which on Friday said it would be returning my gift and removing my name from the law school. This decision will hurt future students. Less money will be available for scholarships, and there will be fewer resources for the school to use to educate young minds and help them grow.
It has been painful to witness administrators at the university choose zealotry over the well-being of its own students, but it’s another example of the damage this attack on abortion rights will do to Alabama. The bill will not survive a court challenge, and likely will cost the state a great deal in court fees and other expenses that could be used to help its citizens. But for those who support it, that collateral damage doesn’t even merit a passing thought. Total victory must be achieved, even if it means running roughshod over people’s rights and harming students.
This isn’t just about politics. I am an independent — not a Democrat or a Republican. But taking away a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body isn’t about politics, either; it’s an act of oppression. This is a moment for people of conscience to take a stand and be prepared to speak out against the actions of lawmakers in states such as Alabama who want to roll back the clock to an era when women needed to risk their lives to get an abortion. That’s why I have chosen to support the American Civil Liberties Union in its challenge of this unconscionable act. And I urge others to do so, too.