The U.S. Supreme Court decision issued on June 24 that struck down the 1973 abortion case Roe v. Wade has led many American “woke” colleges running back to their safe spaces. Even though the decision does not ban abortion but returns the decision on how to regulate it back to individual states, higher education has responded predictably.
Colleges around the nation are offering mental health and counseling services for students and staff who need help coping with the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, immediately ramped up police department services, a suicide prevention hotline, mental health counseling, and urgent care clinic services in response to the ruling. School President John Carmichael sent a campus-wide message the day of the decision saying the college knows “today’s news may trigger difficult feelings.”
University of Wisconsin–Madison Chancellor John Karl Scholz told students and staff to “seek support and community in ways that feel right to you.” He described the stress caused by the coming time of uncertainty as the status of legal abortion in Wisconsin is “interpreted and challenged.” The state has laws banning abortion on the books dating back to the 1840s. Democrat Gov. Tony Evers has promised he will ignore the law.
California’s current political climate essentially guarantees that abortion access will not be restricted in the state, and will very likely be expanded. However, the University of California system urged its entire community to seek help to “validate their feelings” following the end of Roe.
UC-San Diego sent out a tweet saying the school is “deeply troubled by the long-term ramifications” the court’s decision could cause for abortion access. Students were advised to reach out to University Counseling and Psychological Services for “mental health and coping support.”
UC-Irvine posted a tweet seeking donations for abortion clinics and access. The school said that news of the reversal of Roe hit many as “heavy news” and forecasts “serious potential future struggles.” It also told the school community that “your feelings are valid” while urging everyone to “find and create safe spaces” to process their stressful emotions.
Vanderbilt University in Nashville issued a statement indicating it is creating a “task force” that will focus on student health, clinical care, and educational instruction following the end of Roe. Tennessee has a trigger law in place that will lead to an abortion ban within 30 days of the Supreme Court’s ruling.