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University of Utah Statement: U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade

The University of Utah is a state entity. As such, the university follows federal and state law.


On Monday, July 11, 3rd District Court Judge Andrew Stone placed Utah’s abortion trigger law on hold pending resolution of a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Utah.


The University of Utah is a state entity. As such, the university (including our academic health care system) follows federal and state law. Because the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), our health care providers are required to comply with S.B. 174, commonly referred to as Utah’s “trigger law.”

We acknowledge there are strong opinions on this issue. Ultimately, the legal and moral issues surrounding this debate must be resolved by the courts and the voters.

The role of the University of Utah in public debate

The University of Utah campus is a place where people of all beliefs are welcome to gather, discuss and debate issues. We reserve and defend the academic freedom and free speech rights of our students, faculty and staff to join this national discussion as private citizens. While we welcome free assembly, expression and speech, the students, staff and faculty who engage in commentary, debate, and advocacy about pregnancy termination (abortion) from and on our campus do not speak for the University of Utah. Only designated spokespeople speak on behalf of the institution.

As a public higher education and research institution with an academic medical system that educates and trains future health care providers, the university has a responsibility to speak and educate the community about issues that impact our campus community without directly engaging in political disagreements. Pregnancy termination is an issue of health care for our students, employees and patients. It is the subject of research from our faculty. And it is a matter of patient care for our hospitals and clinics staff and faculty.

Support for those across our community

Terminating a pregnancy is a complex issue with myriad considerations. It can involve private patient health considerations; potentially life-threatening maternal and fetal health problems; a pregnant person’s family and socio-economic status; deeply held religious beliefs; and clinicians’ oaths and standards of ethical practice. All these factors are legitimate points of respectful discussion.

The University of Utah supports all those impacted by this change in federal and state health care laws. It will affect our U of U Health colleagues in practical and profound ways. Also, it is likely to disproportionately affect many marginalized members of our community— women, low-income, queer and trans individuals, immigrants, those with disabilities and BIPOC individuals. The Center for Student Wellness, Women’s Resource Center and University Counseling Center all provide support and resources for members of our campus community managing the impact of this decision.

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