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Jesse Hall

Jesse Hall and the columns on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia, pictured on July 28, 2010. Photo by Erik M. Lunsford,

People in Missouri are currently facing regressive laws and policies. Because of this, many students like me are looking elsewhere for secondary education. When looking for schools, only one of seven that I applied to was in Missouri. This was largely because this state is constantly restricting women’s bodily autonomy and freedom of choice.

Applying to Mizzou was solely for the purpose of having a safety school on my list. Mizzou was the most financially feasible option of all the seven schools that I applied to. As a nonbinary lesbian woman, I knew I needed to get out of Missouri no matter what.

The state's new, extreme abortion law is harmful to many beyond cisgender white women and has a long-term effect on the state culturally, socially and economically. Young people like me are looking to other states to continue their education and lives. Missouri is not a state people want to move to, start businesses in or raise their children in. This state is turning the clock back so I will be taking my talent and money to Massachusetts in the fall.

Rosie Ryan • Webster Groves