On Thursday morning, Barnard College VPs Marina Catallozzi and Leslie Grinage announced that on-campus providers would be trained to provide medication abortions by Fall 2022.

In an email sent to the Barnard community on Thursday morning, VP of Health and Wellness Marina Catallozzi and Dean of the College Leslie Grinage announced that on-campus medication abortions would be provided by Fall 2023. The full text of the email can be found below.

This announcement follows the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24, eliminating the constitutional right for legal abortions. In their email, Catallozzi and Grinage enumerated the harmful consequences for women’s futures that this Supreme Court decision will likely create, such as decreased college accessibility and disrupted career paths. Although abortion rights currently remain unchanged in New York State, Catallozzi and Grinage emphasize that the College is preparing for potential future barriers to abortion access. 

To combat potential adverse outcomes, Barnard will be reinforcing their reproductive justice and gender-affirming framework for student health. The guarantee that campus providers will be trained to provide medication abortions by Fall 2023 is part of this promise. Additionally, telehealth abortion and pregnancy services will be made available to all students. In appropriate cases, the College will also continue referring students to specialists for reproductive health services.

Barnard’s decision also arrives after Barnard’s Reproductive Justice Collective spent the past several months advocating for on-campus medication abortions. The collective began in February 2020, but the group gained campus-wide attention in April 2022 after anti-choice protesters blocked their projection of messages like “Abortion Pills On Campus Now” and “Abortion Pill = Health and Freedom” onto Low Library. These messages were a part of their long-standing initiative to push Barnard and Columbia to provide the abortion pill at on-campus healthcare clinics. 

While Barnard has offered students seeking abortion services referrals to off-campus providers, the Reproductive Justice Collective argues that on-campus access to abortion would reduce barriers for students accessing reproductive healthcare. For example, on campus-access would make costs more transparent, reduce travel time, and allow for greater privacy. The RJC has also mentioned that on-campus access would decrease the burdens on local clinics, particularly as more people come to New York from out-of-state, seeking abortions.

While the Reproductive Justice Collective has achieved victory with Barnard’s decision to provide on-campus medication abortions, they will continue the fight for healthcare access through their other working groups. These groups’ work is centered on queer and trans health at Columbia and Barnard, community advocacy within the wider New York City community, and providing volunteer abortion support through abortion doula groups.

At the close of their email, Catallozzi and Grinage invited Barnard community members to submit proposals for funding research, programming, and teaching that faces the impact of reproductive rights in a post-Roe world. Through this new program, students will build on the work of collectives like the RJC to champion reproductive rights in Barnard’s community and beyond.

Email sent to Barnard students and faculty on Thursday, October 6 at 10:49 am:

Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

Barnard is deeply committed to the health and well-being of our community, which has always included a wide range of education, resources, and access to reproductive healthcare.

This is why we have always prioritized providing the best possible services for our students, including partnering with and referring to the world-class health system and national and international abortion experts at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC). The addition of a Chief Health Officer position a little over a year ago reflects the College’s commitment to expanding our students’ access to comprehensive health services.

History and research strongly suggest that the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the constitutional right to legal abortion will have serious negative consequences for women’s futures. The overturning of Roe v. Wade after 50 years will likely decrease college accessibility, result in lower graduation rates, and derail employment trajectories. It is expected that people of color and those with limited incomes will be disproportionately harmed.

Barnard applies a reproductive justice and gender-affirming framework to all of its student health and well-being services, and particularly to reproductive healthcare. In the post-Roe context, we are bolstering these services. Currently, abortion rights remain unchanged in New York State and there is excellent access to abortions in New York. While our students have access to high-quality reproductive health services in New York and particularly at CUIMC, we are also preparing in the event that there is a barrier to access in the future, for any reason. Barnard will expand student options by ensuring that our campus providers are prepared and trained in the provision of medication abortion by Fall 2023. 

Barnard’s healthcare providers have always and will continue to provide confidential conversations and facilitate informed decision-making related to healthcare. That may include the referral to external specialty care. The College will continue to refer students to trusted specialists for reproductive health services as appropriate. Not only are specialists we refer to at CUIMC trained to provide the full spectrum of abortion and pregnancy services, they also offer services via telehealth. This full-service approach allows for more privacy, shorter wait times, and a broader range of options for students.

We value the many conversations that we have had about reproductive health, and it is critical that we continue listening and learning from our community. Since we are far from fully seeing the long-term implications of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, we invite and encourage Barnard’s community to submit proposals for funding research, programming, and teaching that addresses the impact of reproductive rights in a post-Roe context. Please find more information on how to apply.

Now, more than ever, we are dedicated to a holistic approach to our community’s health and well-being.


Marina Catallozzi, MD, MSCE

Vice President of Health and Wellness

Chief Health Officer

Leslie Grinage, Ed.d

Vice President for Campus Life and Student Experience and Dean of the College

Barnard Hall via Bwog Archives