Dear Oberlin community,
Following yesterday’s historic ruling from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and undoing a half-century of precedent, a federal judge lifted an injunction on Ohio’s fetal heartbeat bill. This means that abortion is now illegal in Ohio once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, at approximately six weeks.
Oberlin College has a long history of commitment to the values of social engagement and academic excellence. I pledge to you that our response to these new restrictions on reproductive healthcare will be centered on our values. I believe that being free to make decisions about one’s own reproductive healthcare and being enabled to access that care reflects the values of this institution.
Oberlin will continue to support the reproductive health needs of our students, faculty, and staff, even as the state and federal climate has made this more difficult. Today, our health insurance plans continue to cover a full range of reproductive healthcare services, and student health continues to support students seeking the full range of healthcare services not available on our campus. As our understanding of this new post-Roe world emerges, Oberlin will evaluate the ways we are able to continue offering our community the best possible access to reproductive healthcare.
I know that many in our community are concerned that this Supreme Court ruling is a sign that the equity that we have come to believe should be available for all will continue to be in retreat. But, I am forever looking forward. I believe that as the country responds to this ruling the arc of progress and equity will ultimately, in the end, bend towards expansiveness. This is a precedent that has been the hallmark of our nation for nearly 250 years.
Carmen Twillie Ambar