University Settlement makes statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization

As we consider today’s egregious Supreme Court decision to overturn settled law protecting the right to privacy, and in particular the right to abortion, we believe we must state a simple fact:

University Settlement believes that women and girls are human beings with human rights, including the right to bodily autonomy and integrity.

Why would we as a settlement house, often called a “social service agency,” feel the need to speak on this matter?

Because literally everything we do – from early childhood education to care for home-bound seniors, to supporting first generation college seekers, to engaging new Americans learning English, and all the ways we engage our neighbors who seek wellness, connection, and opportunity as they build the free and remarkable lives every human being deserves – EVERYTHING we do is underpinned by a basic human rights framework.

At least half of the people who participate in our programs are women. And when we look more closely at our programming, we certainly serve more women than men – because women still bear more of the burden for childcare and for raising families (often as single parents), and because women live longer.

Access to health care and bodily autonomy are human rights.  And when human rights are taken away, it is our institutional duty to speak up.

Protests against today’s decision will take place tonight at 6:30 pm in Washington Square Park, and at 8:00 pm in Union Square. University Settlement staff will be there, and we invite you to stand with us.

Protecting the lives and freedom of women, who are human beings, is our duty – it is everyone’s duty.

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