Message from President Jim Ryan to the University Community on 6/24/22
Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health overturning the constitutional right to an abortion originally established in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Regardless of how one feels about this opinion, it represents a fundamental shift in constitutional law that will affect the lives of people within this community and across the nation in real and lasting ways, and we are writing to share some information about its expected impact on our community.
Because there is currently no federal statute guaranteeing or prohibiting abortion services, this opinion means that individual states can determine whether, and under what conditions, a woman can legally access an abortion. In some states, this decision will have near-immediate effects due to laws already on the books banning or restricting abortions in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Under existing laws in Virginia, and in many other states around the nation, there will be no immediate change. That means at UVA and UVA Health there will be no changes to current services.
As mentioned above, the court’s decision in this matter is a major change in our country’s stance on one of the most contentious issues in public life – and one of the most personal. While people are obviously free to voice their opinions about this ruling based on their beliefs and experiences, we urge members of our community to do so with empathy and understanding for all.
For those seeking additional information about this ruling, UVA Today and UVA Law have developed a helpful resource about this ruling and what it means for abortion rights in Virginia and around the nation.
Finally, the University is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its employees, students, and patients. For those in need of support, the University offers many resources including Counseling and Psychological Services for Students and the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program.
Filed Under: Community