This course examines reproductive rights law and policy in the United States and how advocacy can impact it.
Reproductive rights encompass the ability of individuals to make and exercise informed, independent decisions about their own body, sexuality, and reproduction. This includes procreation and family formation, pregnancy care, abortion, birthing and breastfeeding, among others: deeply personal, often, life-changing decisions. Yet contentious legal, policy and public debates at the national and local level controls who can, and cannot, access the health care services and information necessary for people to realize these rights. Historically, and still today, reproductive rights law and policy does not center, or adequately protect, those most impacted.
In this course, students will gain a grounding in the relevant constitutional doctrines and federal and state laws that have defined and constrained reproductive rights in recent decades. We will also discuss intersections with human rights, racial, economic, and gender equality, among other inseparable rights. Learning from real-world advocacy campaigns, including guest speakers, we will investigate the challenges and value-add of different strategies--from litigation to legislation to public communications--for creating enabling legal and policy environments in which people have the resources they need to freely exercise their reproductive rights.