Like many of you, I am worried
about the impact of the Dobbs decision.
In my personal view, reproductive freedom is fundamental to the quest for gender, racial and economic justice and equity in modern society. This ruling has fundamentally changed a half-century of settled constitutional rights for women to make choices about their lives and their bodies, as well as their right to expect equal treatment under the law.
I understand that some members of our firm see this issue through a different lens, and respect these views and each of our team members’ right to hold different opinions. It’s core to our culture and values to respect different perspectives.
However, I worry about the implications of this decision for my family and our country. I worry as chair of an institution of more than 2,300 people, all of whose wellness I care deeply about, irrespective of their views on this topic. I worry about the division in our Supreme Court, our democracy and our communities. I worry, too, about what’s next.
Our Board believes that it is important to respond to this decision with changes to our policies and programs, and to support the pro bono and community work of those on our team who wish to advocate for reproductive choice.
As a result, Orrick joins with leading companies, financial institutions, and law firms in extending travel expense coverage to team members who lack local access to reproductive health and other medical care.
We will honor the oath we took as lawyers by continuing to provide pro bono representation to those who need our services. Members of our team supported the clinic in Dobbs by filing an amicus brief on behalf of multiple providers of abortion services. Led by our Women’s Initiative, hundreds of women and men at our firm are taking on additional matters related to reproductive healthcare rights and we are joining new law firm alliances.
This decision has particular implications for women burdened with poverty, including women of color. They now face choices that may bring tragic consequences for themselves and their families. In response, for the next three years, we will make the focus of at least one of our five Orrick Racial Justice Fellowships issues at the intersection of race, privacy and reproductive healthcare.
We have much to repair in our nation and our world. How we go about this matters – and I hope that we take a path of human empathy and connection.
Chairman & CEO