After nearly 50 years, abortion is no longer a federal constitutional right.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning its prior decisions in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood Association of Southeastern Pa v. Casey (1992) and deferring authority to the states regarding legal access to an abortion. We cannot overstate the profound legal, personal and societal implications of this ruling, which has reversed nearly 50 years of precedent.

As the nation absorbs this decision, we recognize its significant impact on women’s healthcare and reproductive rights, especially for those who come from disadvantaged communities or who live in states where legal access to abortion is likely to be restricted further. At CMU, we take seriously the value of safe and equitable access to healthcare, including reproductive care and resources, knowing that our students, faculty and staff depend on these vital services for various reasons. We will be studying the Court’s opinion carefully to determine any potential impacts to our campuses, and our commitment to the health and well-being of all our community members remains paramount. As a reminder, both Pennsylvania and California (where CMU also has a campus) have state laws that protect legal access to abortion and those laws remain in effect.

Today’s decision is distressing for many across our country, and in the coming weeks and months, conversation and debate around this deeply personal and highly complex topic will take place across university campuses and the nation. I am confident that our community has both compassion and expertise to lend to this national dialogue and to help inform policy decisions in this area.

Finally, I wish to highlight that, no matter your perspective on this issue, today’s ruling underscores and indeed amplifies the importance of exercising your right to vote, especially in state and local elections.

Sincerely,

Farnam Jahanian
President, Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair