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Ben Baker Katz 8/30/22 11:26 PM

In an email sent to the rice community on Tuesday morning, President Reginald DesRoches announced the creation of a working group focused on reproductive health within the rice community. Due to the evolving nature of legal issues surrounding other reproductive services, the group said it would remain active for the time being.

“Given the complex and changing nature of these issues, the working group will begin by understanding the new legal and healthcare environment to address issues that have arisen in our community,” said DesRoches. said.[The group will] Providing guidance to leadership on how these changes will affect the broader teaching and research mission at Rice, and determining how best to support the community in making reproductive health choices. ”

The group will be co-chaired by Provost Amy Dittmer and Dean Bridget Gorman. Other members include Rachel Kimbro, Dean of Social Sciences; Seiichi Matsuda, Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies; Joanne Nelson, Vice President of Human Resources; Omar Saeed, Vice President and General Counsel; and Linda, Vice President of Public Relations.・Slaine and Allison are included. Vogt, Vice Dean of Students, Vice Title IX Coordinator.

The current Texas abortion ban, which took effect last Thursday, prohibits the practice of abortions except in cases of “life-threatening physical conditions exacerbated by, caused by, or resulting from pregnancy.” is prohibited. However, that definition has proven confusing for doctors in determining when it is legally permissible to perform an abortion.

Currently, the closest abortion clinic to Houston is in Wichita, Kansas, a 9-hour, 10-minute drive from the Rice campus. The next closest clinic is in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, an 11 1/2 hour drive from campus.

The group will provide a process for members of the campus community to submit questions to the working group, Gorman said.

“We will use the upcoming questions, as well as the questions we have already received, as a starting point for organizing future initial and ongoing activities,” Gorman said. “This will be an important first step in considering ways to support the community regarding reproductive health education, pregnancy prevention and access to health care.”

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