Abortion-related legal issues are a perennial topic of discussion, and with the Supreme Court’s recent cert grant in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., the legal issues at stake and the social, political, and scientific context in which these issues arise are particularly ripe for discussion.
In addition to ongoing debate over the proper constitutional framework for these issues that dates back to Roe, recent years have seen new frontiers with numerous state legislatures speaking directly to these issues. On one hand, many states are passing bills limiting abortion access based on heartbeat detection and fetal pain, prohibiting abortion based on sex identification or a Downs Syndrome diagnosis, and passing fetal remains laws. On the other hand, some states are praising their strides in reproductive rights and enshrining abortion laws in their own constitutions. On the federal side, changing administrations and the pandemic have resulted in debates over (and at times increased) abortion access via telemedicine and the loosening of FDA regulations. Even the burden standard under which these laws are evaluated is subject to a live circuit split, and the Court faces ongoing calls for it revisit its abortion precedents and frameworks—which are now made to a Court that’s composition has changed since these issues were last addressed.
Our timely panel includes a family law professor from the University of Minnesota, a bioethicist who is a lawyer and professor, and a lawyer from the Alliance Defending Freedom who serves as VP for their Center for Life. We are pleased to host them for a conversation will cover the gamut of issues facing the Supreme Court, the challenges for lower courts as they address new issues arising out of the state legislatures and the changing face of medicine, and emerging issues in society in general as both the pro-life movement and abortion-rights advocates seek new areas in which their respective movements can make legislative and legal gains.
- June Carbone, Robina Chair of Law, Science and Technology, University of Minnesota Law School
- Kevin Theriot, Senior Counsel and Vice President, Center for Life, Alliance Defending Freedom
- Katarina Lee-Ameduri, Clinical Ethicist, St. Boniface Hospital and the Reseau Compassion Network, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Manitoba