Supreme Court

June 24, 2022

Dear all,

The decision of the Supreme Court today, to overturn Roe v. Wade and hence drastically reduce access to safe abortions in many parts of the country, leaves many questions unanswered and much uncertainty. As a college president, I am particularly concerned about the ruling’s impact on our students, whose choices may be limited by this ruling. Lack of access to a full range of reproductive care can jeopardize the lives of women and people who are pregnant and compromise future education and employment trajectories. Furthermore, research suggests that making abortion illegal significantly increases maternal mortality caused by unsafe abortions and risky pregnancies; this burden is expected to be disproportionately borne by people of color and those with fewer resources—exacerbating extant health inequalities.

Members of our community likely have differing views on this decision. Regardless of one’s views, reducing access to legal abortions will have deep reverberations; a humane society will seek to address these impacts in thoughtful and compassionate ways.

It is difficult to absorb the gravity of the Court’s decision. We can help by staying informed and engaging productively to answer questions and counter uncertainty. At Vassar, we will continue to offer a broad range of reproductive health services and educational opportunities to advance future thinking concerning this historic moment and its implications for equity of all kinds.

At this time, Vassar’s role in promoting dialogue even in the face of disagreement is ever more essential. To further discuss the ruling in its historical context and provide the Vassar community with an educational forum, we will host a webinar with the Eloise Ellery Professor of History Rebecca Edwards, and the Evalyn Clark Professor Emerita of History Miriam Cohen on Wednesday, June 29th at 7 p.m., EST. The link to attend is

Let us recognize the enormity of this day, and take every opportunity to support each other.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604