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Academic Groups Respond to Abortion Decision

June 27, 2022

The Supreme Court’s decision to reverse the Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood decisions, which upheld the right of a pregnant person to get an abortion, received mixed reactions from academic organizations.

David J. Skorton, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, said in a statement that “the court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, rescinding the protection of the right to safe and effective abortions for nearly five decades, will leave women’s reproductive health under the purview of various state laws. Laws and policies that restrict or otherwise interfere with the patient-physician relationship put a patient at risk by limiting access to quality, evidence-based care.” He added, “We strongly oppose this decision and will continue working with our medical schools and teaching hospitals to ensure that physicians are able to provide all patients with safe, effective, and accessible health care when they need it.”

University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman said, “Today’s Supreme Court ruling on the right to an abortion will affect many on our campus and beyond. I strongly support access to abortion services, and I will do everything in my power as president to ensure we continue to provide this critically important care. Our campus is more than half women; we care about our own communities as well as those we serve through clinical care and education. I am deeply concerned about how prohibiting abortion would affect U-M’s medical teaching, our research, and our service to communities in need.”

Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, president of California State University, Fresno, issued a statement that said, “While the basic protections around a woman’s right to choose will remain in California, as a university that espouses the freedom to be, think, and pursue a professional career, we are committed to supporting and advocating for the rights and standing that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade calls into question. We all unequivocally deserve the right to make decisions about our own health and future. Hence we will continue to champion and cherish the basic freedoms that belong to all students, faculty and staff.”

At Liberty University, President Jerry Prevo issued a statement praising the decision. “Today, on behalf of Liberty University, I want to express our gratitude to Almighty God for the landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States. While this does not effectively end abortion in America, it is a monumental step in the direction of protecting life and placing that decision squarely in the hands of the American people … The Liberty student body has led the way and marched year after year, prayed on the steps of the Supreme Court, and committed their lives to pro-life causes,” Prevo said. “As Liberty University president, I am proud that we are now officially training the first post Roe v. Wade generation of leaders who will be champions for Christ to continue to advocate for the life of mothers and their unborn babies.”

Franciscan University of Steubenville had a prayer service Friday in honor of the decision. “What we all feel is joy,” Deborah Savage, professor of theology, told WTOV News. “Because the truth has been recognized. What happens next is up to God and legislative bodies and the people that are gonna duke them out in them. Right? But, right now, what we can say today is that the truth has been recognized, that we do not have a constitutional right, therefore, natural right, to kill our unborn children.”

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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