Before Roe: The History (and Future) of Abortion Access for University of Michigan Students

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newspaper and archival clippings from U-M's problem pregnancy counseling services in 1969-73
Participants : 
  • Rianna Johnson-Levy, Ph.D. student in History and Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Michigan

  • Christine S. Asidao, Associate Director of Community Engagement and Outreach, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), University of Michigan

  • Laura Blake Jones, Dean of Students, University of Michigan

  • Moderator: Anna Kirkland, Kim Lane Scheppele Collegiate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, University of Michigan
Event Date: 
September 28, 2022
Event Time: 
4:00pm to 5:30pm
Location: 
Palmer Commons, Forum Hall (4th floor) & Zoom / Registration Required
newspaper and archival clippings from U-M's problem pregnancy counseling services in 1969-73

Hybrid Event - Registration is required: https://myumi.ch/6NGRM

Following the Supreme Court's overruling of Roe v. Wade, faculty, students, staff, and administrators have spoken out about the importance of abortion access for members of the Michigan community. These supporters join a long lineage of advocates for reproductive freedom on campus, many of whom worked tirelessly to make abortion accessible under Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban. But how exactly did the university act to support students, faculty, and staff seeking abortion services pre-Roe?

Rianna Johnson-Levy, a joint Ph.D. student in History and Women’s and Gender Studies, will lead an exploration of how supportive counselors and university administrators worked to ensure safe, legal access to abortion for those under their care in late 1960s and early 1970s.

Ms. Johnson-Levy spent the summer combing through resources and collections of the Bentley Historical Library to uncover what U-M did to help students pre-Roe, including facilitating interstate travel and working with pro-choice clergy. The findings of her research have been compiled into a report, which offers critical lessons for the University in the post-Dobbs, post-Roe moment.

Rianna Johnson-Levy will present the report, followed by a discussion with U-M’s Dean of Students, Dr. Laura Blake Jones, and CAPS Associate Director of Community Engagement and Outreach, Dr. Christine Asidao. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Anna Kirkland, the Kim Lane Scheppele Collegiate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, with time for Q&A with the audience.

This event is presented by IRWG, in collaboration with the U-M Post-Roe Campus Community Working Group.

This event will be presented in-person with an option to watch the livestream on Zoom.

Registration is required: https://myumi.ch/6NGRM

COVID-19 SAFETY: Face masks that cover the nose and mouth are required for this event, regardless of vaccination status. If you are feeling sick, please stay home.

By registering for this event, you agree to abide by the above COVID-19 Safety Guidelines.

Read the full report on Deep Blue.