Supreme Court decision revokes fundamental civil rights

Dear Campus Community,

We are deeply dismayed by the U.S. Supreme Court opinion issued this morning that revokes the rights of millions of Americans to make private, personal, informed choices about their health care and ultimately their lives.

Today’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson overturns the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion that has existed as settled law for nearly 50 years. The Supreme Court’s decision will lead to near-total bans on abortion procedures in approximately half of the states, and may mean that cases relying on similar reasoning to Roe v. Wade that protect other fundamental rights, from contraception to gay marriage, could be reviewed and overturned.

The implications of overturning Roe are particularly challenging for those marginalized not just by gender, but by race, ethnicity, sexuality, and economic status. This decision intrudes on and in some cases endangers the lives, families, and relationships of all persons. Health-care providers will be criminalized for addressing the medical needs of their patients. Pregnant individuals, including those with disabilities or underlying medical conditions, may be unable to take necessary measures to protect their own health and safety.

We strongly support the right of women and pregnant people to access all necessary health care and to make decisions about their own care in consultation with their medical team. We are grateful that Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state leaders are working to protect reproductive rights in California, and we firmly believe that access to health care and reproductive choice are basic civil rights, regardless of where one lives.

UCSC Student Health Services has long provided students with access to comprehensive reproductive health services, and will continue to do so. We have strong, long-standing referral relationships with community health organizations. A full list of health resources available to those in our campus community can be found on a newly created Reproductive Health campus webpage. It includes links to resources available to those grappling with today’s news.

Today is a difficult day in a decades-long movement to protect and advance human and civil rights for all people. It is not the last day in this struggle, though. We will continue to work and advocate for a more just and equitable future in which individuals are afforded the right to make personal decisions about family, relationships, and bodily autonomy.

Cindy and Lori

Cynthia Larive

Lori Kletzer
Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor