Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Dear Emory Community,

Today, the Supreme Court made a historic ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, ending nearly 50 years of constitutional protection for women seeking abortions across the United States. The significance of this decision is being processed across the country and also within the Emory community. I recognize and respect that there are a wide range of perspectives, but today, many people are shaken by the understanding that women may no longer have access to the reproductive care they need—count me among them. 

The Supreme Court ruling will affect legislation in many states, including Georgia. As a university and as an employer, Emory is highly likely to face new limits on the reproductive health care coverage we can offer our students, faculty, and staff. We are working closely with partner organizations throughout the state to review and adapt to these changes. We are also collaborating with national associations to make sure health care students, residents, fellows, and providers can continue to train in—and practice—world-class obstetrics at Emory.

A university is a place where we can discuss and study the issues that so often divide us—abortion is no exception. Many of Emory’s scholars have brought their expertise to what has, and will continue to be, a long-running debate.

The role of higher education is to create and share knowledge and, in this moment, we cannot look away from what the facts and data tell us. Peer-reviewed studies and research, including scholarship led and authored by Emory faculty, have shown, time and again, that limiting access to reproductive health care has a range of negative ramifications. The effects of restrictive abortion laws have the greatest impact on low-income women and women of color, who are often underserved by our nation’s health care system.

Many women in America today have lived all, or most, of their lives with Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. Now there will be less protection in place for women’s rights, and it’s hard to see this as anything but a painful regression.

I realize that many members of the Emory community will not appreciate this message because of strongly held beliefs that do not align with the sentiments I’ve shared above. I want you to know that I and the university unequivocally support your right to hold and express your views.

To everyone, please show consideration for your colleagues and fellow community members. I ask that we treat each other with compassion and understanding. We each have different experiences and perspectives at Emory, but we are united by the same mission—to serve humanity.


Gregory L. Fenves