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Reproductive Rights in the U.S., 1973-2013

Published: September 30th, 2013

Category: News

reprights By Matt Walker

Few U.S. Supreme Court cases are as recognizable to the public as Roe v. Wade – the landmark 1973 decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion. Forty years later, while women’s rights have continued to progress, abortion rights remain a controversial topic.

The University of Florida Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research and the Levin College of Law will co-host “Reproductive Rights in the U.S.: 1973-2013,” a three-part symposium taking place Oct. 2 – 4. The symposium is free and open to the public.

The event kicks off with a screening of the HBO documentary “12th and Delaware” Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in Pugh Hall. The film chronicles a crisis pregnancy center and an abortion clinic across the street from one another in Fort Pierce, Fla.. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the documentary’s director Rachel Grady, moderated by UF Journalism Professor Churchill Roberts.

On Thursday, Rutgers School of Law Professor Kimberly M. Mutcherson presents “Reproductive Rights 40 Years after Roe: Assisted Reproduction, Abortion and Parenting in a Technological Age” at 10 a.m. in UF Law’s Chesterfield Smith Memorial Classroom, Holland Hall 180.

In the 40 years since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the landscape of reproduction has been anything but static. New reproductive technologies have expanded access to genetic parenthood, new abortion procedures have become available to end pregnancies, and new forms of contraception have allowed women to avoid pregnancy when it is not desired. This talk will consider how the law has responded to these changes and how future reproductive justice advocacy can successfully tie together seemingly disparate elements of the regulation of reproduction in order to benefit all women.

A panel discussion follows at 11:15 a.m. with UF Law Professor Danaya Wright, UF History Professor Louise Newman, UF Sociology and Women’s Studies Professor Connie Shehan and Robin Lewy of the Rural Women’s Health Project. The panel will be moderated by Angel Kwolek-Folland, a UF history and women’s studies professor and associate provost.

The symposium concludes Friday with the art exhibit “Gender and Reproduction.” A noon reception in Ustler Hall honors the participating artists. It ishosted by the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, and organized by UF Fine Arts Professor Craig Smith.

The symposium organizers, Judith W. Page, director of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, and Wright, of the Levin College of Law, thank  the Center on Children and Families, the School of Art and Art History, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, and the Law Association for Women for their support and co-sponsorship.




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