Dear Members of the Barnard Community,
Barnard is deeply committed to the health and well-being of our community, which has always included a wide range of education, resources, and access to reproductive healthcare.
This is why we have always prioritized providing the best possible services for our students, including partnering with and referring to the world-class health system and national and international abortion experts at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). The addition of a Chief Health Officer position a little over a year ago reflects the College’s commitment to expanding our students’ access to comprehensive health services.
History and research strongly suggest that the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the constitutional right to legal abortion will have serious negative consequences for women’s futures. The overturning of Roe v. Wade after 50 years will likely decrease college accessibility, result in lower graduation rates, and derail employment trajectories. It is expected that people of color and those with limited incomes will be disproportionately harmed.
Barnard applies a reproductive justice and gender-affirming framework to all of its student health and well-being services, and particularly to reproductive healthcare. In the post-Roe context, we are bolstering these services. Currently, abortion rights remain unchanged in New York State and there is excellent access to abortions in New York. While our students have access to high-quality reproductive health services in New York and particularly at CUIMC, we are also preparing in the event that there is a barrier to access in the future, for any reason. Barnard will expand student options by ensuring that our campus providers are prepared and trained in the provision of medication abortion by Fall 2023.
Barnard’s healthcare providers have always and will continue to provide confidential conversations and facilitate informed decision-making related to healthcare. That may include the referral to external specialty care. The College will continue to refer students to trusted specialists for reproductive health services as appropriate. Not only are specialists we refer to at CUIMC trained to provide the full spectrum of abortion and pregnancy services, they also offer services via telehealth. This full-service approach allows for more privacy, shorter wait times, and a broader range of options for students.
We value the many conversations that we have had about reproductive health, and it is critical that we continue listening and learning from our community. Since we are far from fully seeing the long-term implications of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, we invite and encourage Barnard’s community to submit proposals for funding research, programming, and teaching that addresses the impact of reproductive rights in a post-Roe context. Please find more information on how to apply.
Now, more than ever, we are dedicated to a holistic approach to our community’s health and well-being.
Marina Catallozzi, MD, MSCE
Vice President of Health and Wellness
Chief Health Officer
Vice President for Campus Life and Student Experience and Dean of the College