We, the scholars and administrators of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, condemn the Supreme Court’s June 22, 2022, ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. We grieve for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, and acknowledge the dire and life-changing consequences for women, for anyone who can get pregnant, and indeed all people in the United States. With this ruling, we are returning to dark periods in American history, when women lacked bodily autonomy. What is worse, we are doing so at a time of unprecedented technological surveillance and eroding privacy.
For almost 50 years, our scholars have conducted gender research and worked toward a better understanding of gender and inequality in diverse facets of society. On the issue of abortion rights and reproductive justice, we require no further research to know the equality and very humanity of women has been dealt a mighty blow by the Supreme Court’s decision.
The ramifications of this decision will reverberate throughout our society. The reversal of Roe will undoubtedly exacerbate socioeconomic, racial, and gender inequalities. These laws, as is the case with many laws, will disproportionately impact the lives of poor women, women of color, and immigrant women. So many rights and abilities are at stake for women, and so much is at risk: Privacy. Confidentiality in medical settings. Choosing care that protects one’s own health and life. The medical costs and costs of travel to receive out-of-state care. The risk of intrusive questioning by law enforcement and prosecution from the courts. The simple agency for women to make decisions about their lives and futures. As part of a university community educating future scholars, we feel the burden this adds at this crucial time in their lives to those who may become pregnant, and pledge to work for their safety, privacy, and futures.
For education and inspiration, we have turned to the following classic and contemporary writers, many of them previous speakers and guests at the Clayman Institute. We offer this list for your contemplation and research as well.