Brown School Response to the Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade

Community Engagement; Social Work

Please note that although our statement refers to the need for women to have access to abortion and agency over their own bodies, we are aware and want to be inclusive of people who do not identify as women who also need this important care. Access to reproductive healthcare benefits everyone regardless of gender.

Dear Brown School Community,

Please see the below statement from Chancellor Martin regarding the US Supreme Court’s decision that will ultimately reduce and even prevent access to abortion, an important part of women’s reproductive healthcare. We recognize that within our community, there will be diverse opinions on the Supreme Court’s ruling. At the same time, our professions are dedicated to serving the most vulnerable populations. We are committed to advancing health equity and dismantling structural barriers that are rooted in sexism, racism, and all forms of oppression.

At the Brown School, we emphasize that health policy should be driven by empirical data developed through community-based science. The impacts of this decision are real. Previous research findings have documented that restricting access to abortion results in negative health outcomes including life threatening complications for women and increasing the risk of infant mortality.

Today’s decision will not eliminate abortion. It will restrict access to safe compassionate care, in which women have agency over their own bodies, particularly in states like Missouri that are currently passing restrictive laws. Without a doubt, those that will be disproportionately affected will be poverty-impacted women and their families. Those individuals with the privilege of resources will always have access.

We are grateful that the university will be providing opportunities to convene and discuss the vast implications of this decision. We hope you will participate and contribute a social work, public health, and social policy perspective. No matter where you stand on this issue, we want to encourage you to engage with each other with compassion and respect.

Please take good care of yourselves and those around you. If you require some additional support, there are many resources available to you.

Tonya and Rodrigo

For Faculty/Staff:

For Students:

In addition, we welcome conversations with you to help you navigate these resources. If you would find this helpful, please contact:

Office of the Chancellor: Responding to today’s Supreme Court ruling 

Dear Washington University community,

Today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is sending a shockwave through our country that is reverberating across the nation and here in the St. Louis region, including within our Washington University community. There are arguably few more divisive and emotional issues in the United States today than abortion. It elicits passionate responses from individuals on all sides of the debate, which is too frequently reduced to polarized points of view with little to no room for constructive dialogue. As an institution of higher education with a strong commitment to medical education and patient care, it is incumbent upon us to rise above the politically charged tenor of the current conversation and work toward productive solutions in support of our mission and our community. Read the entire statement.