Tom Vasich, UC Irvine
UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gilllman and other university leaders met with Vice President Kamala Harris in the White House today (Aug. 8) to discuss the disruptive effect that the recent Supreme Court decision to end the federally protected right to abortion will have on American higher education.
To date, Harris has held more than half a dozen meetings on reproductive rights with key groups. Her objective today was to focus on campus efforts to protect the health of students as a result of the court’s ruling.
The University of California has pledged to continue providing a full range of gynecologic and reproductive health services to all its students and to patients at its six academic health centers and related clinics throughout the state.
In addressing Vice President Harris, Gillman said that even in California, where reproductive rights are protected, the Supreme Court’s decision will have “a profound impact.”
“Many of our students, faculty and patients find themselves in other states, and we are now thinking hard about how to extend our support to our community when [they] are in states that impose restrictions on care,” he added. “[The University of California’s] medical centers also anticipate a huge surge in out-of-state patients seeking access to reproductive care. And it is going to be a challenge to find the resources necessary to meet that demand.”
Gillman said that “the next generation of medical practitioners in family planning and obstetrics and gynecology will be severely disrupted. And those of us with academic medical centers have a special responsibility to work together to make sure that we can train that next generation in a way that meets this vital national need.
“And finally, we are very worried about the existing legal protections for our out-of-state patients – and especially for our out-of-state students who use our student health facilities, because the privacy protections around those student health facilities are different than the privacy protections that you see in other clinical settings. We hope that we can work together to address these issues, as we all are deeply committed to ensuring that our students have access to safe, full and comprehensive state-of-the-art-care for their reproductive wellbeing.”
Along with Gillman, the meeting included campus leaders from Dartmouth College, City University of New York, Tennessee State University, Oberlin College, Howard University, Gallaudet University and Reed College.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.