June 25, 2022

Dear Community,

Yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the constitutional right to abortion is a seismic blow to reproductive rights that have been protected for nearly half a century. It also transgresses core values held by CIIS, namely ideals of liberty, equality, autonomy, agency, beneficence, and justice. 

While this ruling jeopardizes women's and pregnant persons’ health and denies them their full human rights, the impact is much more far-reaching. As we know, people of color, poor people, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, and queer youth will be disproportionately impacted, threatening to dismantle the progress we've made toward equity and justice. It also denies us all full citizenship under federal law. Reproductive choice is fundamental to the safety and well-being of all persons, regardless of their desire to bear children or not. Without national protection of abortion rights, individuals who live in states that outlaw or restrict access to abortion services are put into physical, emotional, and, often, financial danger when forced to carry an unplanned pregnancy.

CIIS firmly stands against any actions that hinder the health, well-being, and flourishing of those in our community as well as in our country. We also firmly stand in support of those who have been personally impacted by the full range of reproductive health care concerns, including abortion. We are a University dedicated to and grounded in wellness, healing, social impact, and higher consciousness. I encourage us now to lean on one another to forward this important work at CIIS and in the world.

Resources and Support

For those in our community who may have been activated by SCOTUS’ ruling, our six counseling clinics offer affordable, tele-health services. Neolth, an online stress management platform, and other resources are also available through the Wellness Center.

Damali Robertson, Director of DEI, is holding a special “Inner Work” session on Monday to discuss the needs and experiences of the community. 

We are also looking into ways that CIIS can more directly support those in our community who may be impacted by new abortion restrictions. Look for upcoming communications with details. 

Taking Action

While abortion rights are protected in CA, yesterday, lawmakers proposed an amendment to bolster those protections, and the Governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued a Multi-State Commitment to make the state a “refuge” for people seeking abortions.

The National Network of Abortion Funds, an organization working to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access, is accepting donations.

As a community and a nation, we have gone through periods of darkness and despair only to realize our greatest strength is our resilience – our north star – which gives us hope for a better tomorrow. 

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision did not come as a surprise, but that does make it easier for many of us to process. We recognize people feel passionately about this subject; we also recognize that there may be those among us who feel differently. CIIS promotes a culture of radical inclusion, conversation, collaboration, and peaceful resolve. I am confident that our shared values and commitments will be a beacon for us all.

In solidarity,

Office of the President

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