Message from the Office of the President: Statement on Roe v. Wade Decision by the U.S. Supreme Court

June 24, 2022

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

Today we all learned of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that effectively overturns Roe v. Wade. Many may be feeling overwhelmed, and I will need, as I suspect so many of us will, time to process and reflect on today’s news.

However, I do want to give you perspective on how this news will impact our University. The decision to overturn the nearly fifty-year-old Roe v. Wade decision reminds all of us of the unique nature of our democracy and of our legal system that we must never take for granted. While today’s decision is an intense shift, we have an obligation to our students, faculty, and staff to do all that we can to ensure that all members of our community continue to have access to world-class health care, a concern I recognize is more relevant today. The University’s resources to support your mental and physical health are not changed by today’s decision.

We do know that, today, the decision does not affect access to family planning services in the State of Minnesota, based on Minnesota law resting on a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision. If you have any questions or concerns that may affect health care for you or your family, please reach out to your health care provider for the best advice.

The University is a place of deep inquiry and dialogue on many topics of interest to Minnesotans, including health care. Many across our institution engage in education, research, and outreach that support women’s health and health care policy. I want to reassure you that this work is robust and ongoing, and the University of Minnesota Medical School will continue to provide the comprehensive women’s health medical training necessary for all physicians, as required by our accreditation. Additional recent work in this area includes:

As more resources become available that lay out the ramifications of the Court’s decision and allow all of us to better understand the consequences, the University will share those resources available to all members of our community.

Finally, advocacy and the opportunity to be heard in a court of law are our rights and privilege, as is voting, and together, they are the best tools we have as citizens to influence the direction of our nation. Whether you agree or disagree with today’s ruling, I’d encourage you to make your point of view known to the elected officials who can make and change laws that guide our society. Only through your engagement will our nation become stronger.
Warmest wishes,
Joan Gabel