Reproductive Rights Prof Blog

Editor: Caitlin E. Borgmann
CUNY School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Implications of Regarding Abortion as Murder

On November 7-8, Washington and Lee Law School held a symposium, Roe at 40 - The Controversy Continues.  Videos of the symposium panels and two keynote addresses -- one on each side of the issue -- are available here.  I delivered the pro-choice keynote, and Michael Paulsen (University of St. Thomas Law School) delivered the pro-life keynote.  Professor Paulsen argued that an embryo is a person from fertilization onward, and therefore that abortion is equivalent to murder.  During the Q&A following the keynotes, I elaborated on the implications of Paulsen's position, using as illustrations cases from countries in which abortion is banned at all stages of pregnancy.  Under these repressive laws, women are imprisoned and women die.  El Salvador provides another such window into a world in which abortion is treated as murder.  PBS reports on the consequences of El Salvador's abortion ban for women in that country.  People who casually refer to abortion as "murder" need to be reminded of these women.  Are they prepared to live with -- and to own up to -- these consequences?


December 13, 2013 in Abortion Bans, Conferences and Symposia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Call for Papers: Conference on Applied Feminism and Health


The University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center on Applied Feminism seeks submissions for its Seventh Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference. This year’s theme is “Applied Feminism and Health.” The conference will be held on March 6 and 7, 2014. For more information about the conference, please visit

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) and renewed attacks on reproductive health in the United States, the time is right to consider the relationship between feminism and health across multiple dimensions. This conference seeks to explore the intersections between feminist legal theory and physical, mental, public, and community health in the United States and abroad. Papers might explore the following questions: What impact has feminist legal theory had on women’s health policy and practice? How might feminist legal theory respond to the health challenges facing communities and individuals, as well as increase access to health care? What sort of support should society and law provide to ensure good health? How do law and feminist legal theory conceptualize the role of the state in relation to health rights and reproductive justice? What are the links between health, feminist legal theory, and sports? Are there rights to good health and what are their foundations? How do health needs and conceptions of rights vary across cultural, economic, religious, and other identities? What are the areas where health justice is needed and how might feminist legal theory help?

This conference will attempt to address these and other questions from the perspectives of activists, practitioners, and academics. The conference will provide an opportunity for participants and audience members to exchange ideas about the current state of feminist legal theories. We hope to deepen our understandings of how feminist legal theory relates to health and to move new insights into practice. In addition, the conference is designed to provide presenters with the opportunity to gain feedback on their papers.

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September 11, 2013 in Conferences and Symposia, Law School | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Conference: Beyond Roe: Reproductive Justice in a Changing World

Monday, May 6, 2013

Call for Papers: Lavender Law 2013 Junior Scholars Forum

Lavender Law 2013, San Francisco, CA - August 22-24 - Invitation and Call for Papers:

Junior Scholars Forum

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This year the Lavender Law® Conference & Career Fair will be held August 22-24, 2013 at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, CA. Lavender Law brings together the best and brightest legal minds in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

To celebrate our community of scholars, Lavender Law® is hosting a Junior Scholars Forum again this year. If you are a junior law professor (teaching 6 years or fewer), or a recent law school graduate or fellow who is writing scholarship focusing on the nexus between the law, gender, and sexuality, we encourage you to submit a proposal for consideration. Proposals can be in the form of a full draft or in the form of an expanded abstract (approximately 1-2 pages in length).

If your proposal is accepted, you will be invited to present your work at the 2013 Lavender Law conference.

To submit a proposal for consideration, please email your submission to:, and cc: Courtney Joslin (

The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2013.

May 6, 2013 in Conferences and Symposia, Sexuality | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

North Carolina Sterilizations Reexamined

Charlotte Observer: Legacy of N.C. sterilization scrutinized, by Ann Doss Helms:

As N.C. lawmakers revive the question of victim compensation, students and professors gathered at Wake Forest University on Thursday for a two-day conference on the impact of the state’s eugenic sterilization program.

From 1929 to 1974, long after most states abandoned similar efforts, the Eugenics Board of North Carolina authorized sterilization of roughly 7,600 women, men and children who were deemed unfit for parenthood. Mental illness, epilepsy and “feeble-mindedness” – often gauged by low scores on now-discredited IQ tests – were grounds for sterilization, with or without the patient’s consent. . . .

April 4, 2013 in Conferences and Symposia, Sterilization | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Call for Submissions: Conference on Reproductive Justice in a Changing World

Rutgers School of Law - Camden: Beyond Roe Conference: Call for Papers:

Throughout 2013, five law schools in the Delaware Valley will hold events exploring various aspects of reproductive justice in the 40 years post-Roe v. Wade. The final event in this series is a conference sponsored by the Rutgers School of Law – Camden that will take place on Friday, October 11 on the Rutgers campus in Camden, New Jersey.* You can fine more information about the conference here.

We are now pleased to invite proposals for papers and panels. The conference theme is Beyond Roe: Reproductive Justice in a Changing World. We welcome submissions on any topic related to the law, policy and reproduction, including avoiding reproduction, public policy related to reproduction, and reproductive regulation post-Roe.

Paper abstracts should be no more than 500 words, accompanied by a descriptive title for the paper proposed. Proposed panels should include a description of the overall topic, as well as a panel title and the titles of all the papers and panelists to be included in the panel.  Panels should include no less than 4 proposed panelists. Panel proposals should also be no more than 500 words. All submissions must include the names, e-mail addresses, and full affiliations of all authors.  In the case of panels and co-authored papers, please identify a corresponding author and provide sufficient detail in your abstract or proposal so that reviewers can fully assess your proposal and determine how it will fit with other proposals being reviewed.

There will be two plenary sessions at the conference and some submitted papers might be selected for plenary presentations. If you wish for us to consider your paper for a plenary session, please indicate that desire on your submission.

Please e-mail submissions (in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format) to by April 1, 2013. If you have any questions about the conference, please direct them to Kimberly Mutcherson at

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February 25, 2013 in Conferences and Symposia, Law School | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Feminist Legal Theory Conference (March 7-8, 2013)

University of Baltimore School of Law Center on Applied Feminism: Sixth Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference, March 7-8, 2013:

Image1 Join the University of Baltimore School of Law, the University of Baltimore Law Review, and the Center on Applied Feminism for the sixth annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference. There is no charge to attend, but pre-registration is requested as seating is limited.   

RSVP here if you are interested in attending the full-day conference on Friday, March 8, 2013. Registrants for the full-day conference will be automatically registered for the keynote presentation.  

There is also a workshop session the afternoon of March 7, 2013, which you can register for here. For additional details about the conference, including accommodations and parking information, please visit our website.

February 16, 2013 in Conferences and Symposia, Law School, Scholarship and Research, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Call for Symposium Papers: "Gender Matters: Women, Social Policy and the 2012 Election"

Call for Symposium Papers

Gender Matters: Women, Social Policy and the 2012 Election 

April 2, 2013 at American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC

The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law and Women and the Law Program invite papers for a symposium on gender, social policy and the election of 2012. The organizers welcome papers that explore how current or proposed social polices affect the lives of women and their families, and/or that analyze what role, if any, rhetoric about those polices may have played in the recent election. Abstracts from professors or practitioners (sorry, no student pieces) addressing gender and health care, labor and employment, taxation, fiscal policy and social welfare or other relevant social policy are due by midnight January 7, 2013.  Papers selected will be presented at a symposium on April 2, 2013 at American University Washington College of Law, and strongly considered for publication.  To read the full Call for Papers and to submit an abstract online, please visit the symposium website. Please contact the organizers at with any questions.

November 20, 2012 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Conferences and Symposia, Law School, Scholarship and Research, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"On Having Fun and Raising Hell" - A Symposium Honoring Ann Scales

Via Feminist Law Professors:  

“On Having Fun & Raising Hell” *
Symposium honoring the work of Professor Ann Scales
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Join the University of Denver Sturm College of Law to honor the life and work of Professor Ann Scales (1952-2012), author of many influential works including “Towards a Feminist Jurisprudence,” “The Emergence of Feminist Jurisprudence” and Legal Feminism: Activism, Lawyering and Legal Theory.

Keynote Speakers: Kathryn Abrams, UC Berkeley Law School & Katherine Franke, Columbia School of Law

For more information, please contact Stefanie Carroll at or 303.871.6076. Registration information coming in December. 

* “Have fun.  Raise hell.  Question everything.  Celebrate difference.”  – Ann Scales

November 15, 2012 in Conferences and Symposia, Law School | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Symposium, "In Search of Equality in Family Law": Call for Papers

Michigan State Law Review and Symposium (April 11-12, 2013) – Call for Papers: “In Search of Equality in Family Law”: 

The Michigan State Law Review along with Professors Melanie B. Jacobs and Cynthia Lee Starnes, invite participants for our upcoming symposium, "In Search of Equality in Family Law" to be held April 11-12, 2013. The list of confirmed presenters include keynote speaker, Dean David Meyer, and Professors Susan Appleton, Naomi Cahn, June Carbone, James Dwyer, Theresa Glennon, Leslie Harris, Courtney Joslin, Alicia Kelly, Linda McClain, Raymond O'Brien, Ruthann Robson, Barbara Stark, Richard Storrow, and Lynn Wardle.

The theme of the symposium is the continuing struggle to reform family law to ensure equality. The focus is on relationships within families, on access to the family structure, and on family members’ status in society at large. The topic of equality in family law is also particularly timely: family is at the heart of social debate and the focus on family is magnified as we approach an election year. Daily, news stories highlight issues of equality that arise in many areas of the family -- adult partnerships, including same-sex marriage; parenting responsibilities; divorce and its economics; paternity; the definition of family; same-sex adoptions; and full faith and credit recognition for out-of-state same-sex marriages. A central theme will be the sameness/difference debate in feminism over how equality is best attained: by treating men and women exactly the same, or by recognizing differences in power and circumstance so that different treatment is required to ensure equality. This topic will appeal to family law scholars working on a variety of projects.

In addition to the rich discussion at the Symposium, this dialogue will result in the publication of participant articles in an issue of the Michigan State Law Review. The Law Review is an acclaimed scholarly journal that publishes five issues yearly. Each participant is invited to offer an academic article for publication in the Law Review. Tentatively, final draft papers are due Friday, June 7, 2013.

The goal is to be inclusive and to engage scholars focusing on various reform issues in a conversation about the equality implications of their work. Interested individuals should send a one-page proposal to Professor Melanie Jacobs at by October 31st.

October 17, 2012 in Conferences and Symposia, Law School, Parenthood, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cheryl Hanna on Importance of Highlighting Gender in Teaching Constitutional Law

Cheryl Hanna (Vermont Law School) has posted Gender as a Core Value in Teaching Constitutional Law on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Image1

This essay was part of a symposium sponsored by the AALS Section on Women, entitled Gender as a Core Teaching Value. In this piece, Professor Hanna discusses the importance of highlighting gender in Constitutional Law courses, not just on 'equal protection day" but throughout the curriculum. To that end, she provides concrete ideas and examples about how to help students discuss issues of gender in a variety of cases and contexts.

July 11, 2012 in Conferences and Symposia, Law School, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Rio+20 Earth Summit Galvanizes Family Planning Advocates

EarthThe Huffington Post blog: Women Leaving Rio+20 Motivated to Galvanize Sustainability Around Family Planning and Reproductive Rights, by Diane MacEachern:

There is a direct correlation between access to voluntary family planning, women's empowerment and environmental sustainability. And though the official delegates to last week's "Earth Summit" tried to water it down, thousands of grassroots activists made it one of the biggest issues to rock Rio+20, as the event was also called.

Why? Because ensuring that women have full reproductive rights creates one of the most desirable "two-fers" on the planet. Complete access to voluntary family planning is among the quickest, simplest, and most affordable ways to improve women's quality of life. It is also one of the most direct, immediate and cost-effective ways to reduce climate change. In fact, studies show that slowing population growth by giving women access to the contraception they already want could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 8 and 15 percent -- roughly equivalent to ending all tropical deforestation. . . .

July 4, 2012 in Conferences and Symposia, Contraception, International, Reproductive Health & Safety, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Journal of Law and Health: Call for Papers

Journal of Law and Health’s Annual Symposium: The Legal and Ethical Implications of Posthumous Reproduction:

The symposium is tentatively scheduled for March 2013.

In Astrue v. Capato, the Supreme Court held that children conceived through in vitro fertilization after the death of a parent were not automatically entitled to survivor benefits under the Social Security law. The Court stated that the children’s eligibility to receive the benefits depended upon their ability to inheritance under the state’s intestacy system.

Areas of interest for this special journal issue include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • What steps are necessary to protect the financial interests of posthumously conceived children?
  • What regulations are needed to protect the reproductive rights of the dead gamete provider?
  • What steps are necessary to address the legal, moral and ethical consequences of posthumous reproduction?
  • What impact, if any, will the United States Supreme Court decision in Astrue v. Capato have on posthumous reproduction? 
  • Do the dead have a fundamental right to procreate?
  • Should posthumously conceived children be treated like heirs under the intestacy system?
  • Whether health insurance should cover the expense of posthumous reproduction?

Those interested in submitting an article must submit a 600-word abstract describing selected topic and submit curriculum vitae by October 1, 2012. Email abstract and CV to Journal of Law and Health at Include “Submission: Annual Symposium” in the subject line.

July 1, 2012 in Assisted Reproduction, Bioethics, Conferences and Symposia, Parenthood, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Justice Ginsburg Discusses Court's Abortion Jurisprudence

ABA Journal: Justice Ginsburg: Roe v. Wade Decision Came Too Soon, by Debra Cassens Weiss:

GinsburgThe U.S. Supreme Court may have moved too quickly when it found a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, according to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Speaking at a Columbia Law School symposium on Friday, Ginsburg said the court could have delayed hearing the case while state law evolved on the issue, the Associated Press reports. "It's not that the judgment was wrong, but it moved too far too fast,” she said. . . .


The full AP story is here.

I attended this symposium and was also struck by Justice Ginsburg's story about a case that she felt would have been the better case to bring first, one in which a woman in the military faced discharge because she chose to carry her pregnancy to term.  Justice Ginsburg said she thought this would have been a wiser first step, because the woman's choice was for childbirth.  Here's a story on Justice Ginsburg's discussion of that case: Salon: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s alternative abortion history, by Irin Carmon.


February 13, 2012 in Abortion, Conferences and Symposia, Law School, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 National Health Law Conference in Toronto, Canada

2012 National Health Law Conference: Global Health Challenges & the Role of Law:

May 4 & 5, 2012, Toronto, Canada

This conference will bring together leading scholars, policy-makers, practicing lawyers and health care professionals to explore how law can address global health challenges and make real progressive change. . . .

February 11, 2012 in Bioethics, Conferences and Symposia, International, Reproductive Health & Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network: Invitation and Call for Papers

Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network: Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, June 5-8, 2011: Invitation and Call for Papers:

Dear friends and colleagues,

 As many of you know, the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network (CRN) is a newly-constituted group that seeks to bring together scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. At our inaugural get-together at the Law and Society Association (LSA) meeting this past June, we decided to organize two events for the coming year.  The first will be in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the AALS annual meeting in January 2012. We are writing to give you details about the second, which will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii, in conjunction with the LSA annual meeting, June 5-8, 2012.


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October 31, 2011 in Conferences and Symposia, Scholarship and Research, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Eighth Annual Wells Conference on Adoption Law: Call for Presentations and Papers

Capital University Law Review: Call for Presentations and Papers Eighth Annual Wells Conference on Adoption Law: Image1

Eighth Annual Wells Conference on Adoption Law 
March 8, 2012
Searching for Family: The Impact of Technology and Social Media on Adoption

Send proposals by Nov. 23, 2011, to Capital University Law Review Symposium Editor Christine Diedrick Mochel at

The conference is still accepting proposals for presentations and papers emphasizing the following themes:

Facilitating Adoptions through the Internet
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: using the internet to facilitate adoptions, the legal barriers to using the internet to facilitate adoptions, and the ethical implications of using the internet to facilitate adoptions.

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October 31, 2011 in Conferences and Symposia, Law School, Parenthood | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network Conference Announcement

Feminist Legal Theory CRN Conference: Invitation and Call for Papers:

The Feminist Legal Theory CRN is a newly-constituted group that seeks to bring together scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. The inaugural meeting took place at the Law and Society Association meeting in June 2011; the next meeting will be held at George Washington University Law School on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, the day before the AALS annual meeting.

Paper proposals on any topic pertaining to legal feminism are being accepted until September 23, 2011. . . .

August 17, 2011 in Conferences and Symposia, Scholarship and Research, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sex::Tech 2011: San Francisco, April 1 & 2

 ISIS, Inc. presents the 4th annual Sex::Tech, a conference on new media, youth, and sexual health:

Sex::Tech 2011 is poised to be better than ever. We have a few registration slots left, so best to grab them up today.

We're opening with a fabulous group of youth from across the country in a panel called, Youth Reflect: Masculinity, Social Media and Film Friday, April 1st at 8:30 am.

ISIS is releasing our first white paper with the support of the Ford Foundation,
TECHsex USA: Youth Sexuality and Reproductive Health in the Digital Age Friday, April 1st at 10 am.

Friday's mid-day plenary features mHealth luminaries: Jody Ranck (mHealth Alliance/UN Foundation), Jen McCabe (Contagion Health), Amanda Mills (AOL Mobile), and Miles Orkin (American Cancer Society) Friday, April 1st at 2:15 pm.

MTV's 16 and Pregnant team provides a glimpse behind the scenes of the most popular cable series among young people aged 16-34 Saturday, April 2nd at 8:30 am.

Check Out the Full Schedule.

Be sure to meet National Youth Leaders, working the conference both days:

    Young Feminist Powerhouse, Shelby Knox
    Multimedia Team, Youth UpRising
    Youth Journalists, New America Media
    Peer Educators, Scarleteen, Berkeley High School and DramaWorks

If you can't make it, the three plenary sessions will be livestreamed at our Partner Organizations' websites:

RH Reality Check
The NC's Sex Really
ISIS' Sex::Tech

Follow us for the latest Sex::Tech 2011 updates as they emerge:

Sex::Tech Conference:

March 30, 2011 in Conferences and Symposia, Reproductive Health & Safety, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

CSBR Sexuality Institute 2011: Applications Due April 15, 2011

Via the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR):

Date: July 16-23, 2011
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR) is pleased to announce the 4th CSBR Sexuality Institute 2011 to be held between July 16th and 23rd 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Designed as a comprehensive curriculum on sexuality, sexual and reproductive health and rights with an in depth discussion on the linkages between research and practice, the CSBR Sexuality Institute offers a holistic interdisciplinary program combining history, theory, research and politics of sexuality with applications of advocacy and fieldwork.

The CSBR Sexuality Institute brings together leading sexual and reproductive rights activists, academics and researchers. Held previously in Malaysia (2008), Turkey (2009) and Indonesia (2010) with participants from 23 countries throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East, the institutes include lectures, group work, roundtables, panels, site visits and film screenings, as well as a methodology to engage participants’ own experiences around sexuality.

For more information, click here.

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March 27, 2011 in Conferences and Symposia, International, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexuality, Women, General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)