Students and faculty at Stanford are criticizing the university’s medical school for a letter released in response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a move that will result in restrictions on the procedure in many states across the country.
Perhaps in response to the criticism, Stanford Medicine administrators later sent out an apparent quasi-apology statement Sunday night, saying they wished to add “additional perspective” to their earlier comments.
The saga began hours after Friday’s ruling, when Dr. Lloyd Minor — the dean of the university’s school of medicine — sent a letter to the Stanford community that, according to critics, paid undue attention to the feelings of anti-abortion advocates and seemed to imply that the university’s medical center would continue performing the procedure only because it’s required under California law.
“First, we want to acknowledge that this is a controversial issue,” the letter said. “We know that many in our community have strong opinions and are processing the news differently. In this moment, we simply wish to express our care and concern for our community members, appreciating that people are feeling a range of emotions and have different needs.”
In a later paragraph, the letter said access to abortion on Stanford’s campus remains unchanged despite the ruling.
Michele Dauber — a law professor at Stanford — posted a copy of the letter to Twitter, saying it was “offensive.” In an email to SFGATE, Dauber said the letter didn’t go far enough in reaffirming the importance of abortion access as a health care need.
“I think that Stanford’s statement on this that it would ‘follow California law’ is weak sauce,” she said. “It would have been more appropriate in my view to reaffirm that abortion care is essential women’s healthcare, rather than … leave the impression that abortion is a controversial issue and Stanford … only is providing services because there is state law requiring it to do so.”
Full story at SFGate.com.