SPH Statement on Roe v. Wade

Thursday, May 12, 2022
Supreme court

Dear Colleagues,

As champions for health equity and the health of all people, we at the University of Washington School of Public Health (UW SPH) urge the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold Roe v. Wade.

large body of evidence supports that access to essential healthcare – including access to family planning services and legal and safe abortions – is inseparably tied to the health of the public. Research indicates that overturning Roe v. Wade could lead to a significant increase in pregnancy-related deaths, as well as detrimental short- and long-term economic, health, social, and psychological effects.

Anti-abortion rulings and laws also disproportionately impact historically marginalized and racially minoritized individuals and further exacerbate the health and racial inequities that we in public health have worked so hard to overcome. Denying women abortions perpetuates poverty. It makes women less likely to pursue higher education and makes them more likely to continue a relationship with a violent partner. Banning legal abortion does not eliminate abortion and only serves to increase women’s health risks by causing them to continue dangerous pregnancies or seek unsafe abortions.

This draft opinion is not a final decision made by the Supreme Court, and abortion remains legal in all 50 states. UW SPH will continue to vigorously support and advocate for equal access to family planning and reproductive health services.


Hilary Godwin, Ph.D. 

Professor and Dean 

School of Public Health 

India Ornelas

India Ornelas
Interim Chair, Department of Health Systems and Population Health


Stephen Hawes
Chair, Department of Epidemiology


Lurdes Inoue
Chair, Department of Biostatistics


Carey Farquhar
Interim Chair, Department of Global Health


Michael Yost
Chair, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health