Education

University of Michigan Seeks to Protect Abortion Access

The University of Michigan announced Wednesday it is creating a task force focused on abortion-care access in the event of a statewide ban on the procedure, The Detroit News reported.

The move comes in the wake of a leaked draft opinion showing that the Supreme Court is likely to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing the constitutional protection of abortion rights. The Michigan task force aims to determine how an abortion ban would affect clinical care, educational instruction, student health and other areas. It will consider how to adapt the clinical training programs at the university’s academic medical center, Michigan Medicine—which cover abortion and other reproductive care—if abortion is banned. And the task force will outline guidance for clinical providers in Michigan and create resources for patients and others in the campus community seeking out-of-state abortions.

University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman and executive vice president for medical affairs Dr. Marschall Runge created the task force, which also includes leaders from Michigan Medicine’s clinical teams and the Medical School, the Office of General Counsel, human resources, university health services, students and faculty.

“The specter of a complete ban on abortion care in Michigan is worrisome. I strongly support access to abortion care,” Coleman said in a statement. “We have a female-dominated institution; we care about our own communities as well as those we serve through clinical care and education. I am deeply concerned about how prohibiting abortion would affect U-M’s medical teaching, our research, and our service to communities in need.”

The university also said in a press release that Michigan Medicine remains dedicated to providing the full spectrum of health services, including abortion care. Michigan Medicine is often seen as a “last resort for people seeking abortion care in the state, as well as in neighboring states,” said task force co-chair Dr. Lisa Harris, professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

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