Readout of Vice President Kamala Harris’s Meeting with Higher Education Leaders on Reproductive Rights

The White House

Yesterday, Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a roundtable to hear from college and university leaders from across the country about the fight to protect the health, safety, and well-being of their students following the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs. The Vice President was joined by Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

During the roundtable, the participants shared challenges facing their students in accessing reproductive health care services, including academic responsibilities, ability to travel, and financial burdens. The higher education leaders raised the disproportionate rate of sexual violence against women on college campuses, expressing concern about their access to necessary reproductive health care. They also discussed potential harm of the Dobbs decision on the institutions’ abilities to recruit and train the next generation of health care professionals.

The Vice President and the leaders discussed the confusion surrounding the patchwork of laws across the country, as many states have passed varying degrees of extreme abortion restrictions and bans. The Vice President applauded the leaders for their efforts to ensure access to abortion care for their students despite great difficulty, and she conveyed her support as they continue to navigate challenges following the Court’s dismantling of reproductive rights.

The Vice President has met with state legislators from 17 states. She has visited Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, and Massachusetts to meet with state legislators about protecting reproductive rights. In July, she convened a meeting of legislators from Montana, Indiana, Florida, South Dakota, and Nebraska at the White House. Last week, she convened a meeting of Latina state legislators from Kansas, Utah, Texas, Arizona, New York, Illinois, and Nevada at the White House. Additionally, she has convened health care providers, constitutional law experts, faith leaders, state attorneys general, disability rights leaders, and advocates over the last three months.

Participants

  1. Audrey Bilger, President, Reed College
  2. Roberta J. Cordano, President, Gallaudet University
  3. Wayne Frederick, President, Howard University
  4. Howard Gillman, Chancellor, University of California-Irvine (UCI)
  5. Glenda Glover, President, Tennessee State University
  6. Philip J. Hanlon, President, Dartmouth College
  7. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Chancellor, City University of New York (CUNY)
  8. Ted Mitchell, President, American Council on Education
  9. Carmen Twillie Ambar, President, Oberlin College
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