|On Friday, the United States Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions. With this ruling, the court has upended nearly 50 years of federal constitutional protection of a woman’s right and access to abortion. It is clear that this decision will disproportionately affect minoritized communities, including college-aged, low-income, and BIPOC women and our LGBTQ+ communities.
Washington state has a long history of supporting the full spectrum of reproductive rights, including being the first state in the nation to legalize abortion through a vote of its people. We appreciate the recent announcement by Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and California Governor Gavin Newsom of their multi-state commitment to ensure reproductive freedom and abortion access.
Last week’s decision raises significant concerns about what the future may hold for gender equality — including other rights that are currently constitutionally protected. At WSU, our priority remains protecting the health and well-being of our Cougar family.
We realize the impact this decision may have on one’s mental health and encourage Cougs to utilize our available support services. Employees can contact the WSU Employee Assistance Program toll free state-wide at 1‑877‑313‑4455.
Students can visit the Cougar Health Services crisis support website for access to local and national resources. The Women*s Center and the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC) can also connect students to resources on their individual campuses.
Kirk H. Schulz
President, WSU System
Elizabeth S. Chilton
Provost and Executive Vice President