Office of the Chancellor - In response to today’s Supreme Court decision on reproductive rights
June 24, 2022
Dear CU Boulder community,
With today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, a nearly 50-year legal precedent allowing the right to choose has been overturned. The decision will have a tremendous impact on individual autonomy, privacy and dignity–and on families, the broader workforce, our national economy, our justice system and more.
Today’s decision is a reminder that many rights, even those we understood for decades to be guaranteed to all Americans, may be in jeopardy. As I wrote earlier this month, the retrenchment of individual rights poses a grave danger to our fragile democracy.
In a national poll released on June 15, 53% of surveyed Republicans and 55% of Democrats believe it is “likely” that America will “cease to be a democracy in the future.” This is a jarring and alarming sentiment. As Colorado’s flagship public research university, CU Boulder has an obligation to fulfill our role in sustaining a healthy democracy to the fullest extent.
To do that, we bring to bear our experts, our public scholars, the application of our research and a commitment to open and honest dialogue about these pressing issues. This dialogue begins with our June 28 webinar on gun violence and public health, and in the coming months, additional events to discuss the legal, social and wellness impacts today’s decision will have, especially within marginalized communities.
In addition, the campus will continue discussing a proposed Common Curriculum whose learning objectives include preparing CU Boulder undergraduates to participate in a diverse democracy.
Sustaining and supporting a healthy democracy through civil discourse and debate is a theme that I plan to focus on intensely this upcoming academic year. As we listen and discuss these important topics, we must live our values. The pursuit of truth to which the university is devoted requires that we confront dishonest, false and hateful rhetoric and recognize that it has no place in critical thinking and reasoned debate.
As educators, scholars and researchers, we cannot shirk our duty to confront challenging issues, and I look forward to the opportunities CU Boulder has to contribute to our local, regional and national conversation.