SPEECH, SYMBOLS, AND SUBSTANTIAL OBSTACLES: THE DOING AND “UNDUE”ING OF ABORTION LAW SINCE CASEY
Panel 1 – Abortion Narratives: Women as Agents, Victims, Heroes, and Sluts
This panel will investigate the constitutive power of abortion law. It will look at how the law has shaped our understanding of abortion and the women who seek abortion care. What are the stories we tell ourselves (and the law tells us) about women who seek abortions? This panel will address the symbolic impact of abortion laws and other less tangible impacts of the current regime including stigma. It will question whether the stories on which current laws and thinking are based are accurate. It will investigate the stories we tell as advocates for abortion rights, asking whether, when and how the narratives constructed support a robust vision for reproductive rights and law.
Panel 2 – Abortion Speech: Legal Standards in the Abortion Context
This panel will investigate the legal role of speech in abortion care, inquiring into the proper relationship, if any, between First Amendment law and the undue burden standard in this context. Notice will be taken of recent Circuit Court opinions in Rounds and Lakey, which have further confused the state of the law and seemingly conflated abortion due process rights with First Amendment standards. This panel will look at the normative assumptions underlying the creation and judicial review of recent state abortion laws, including ultrasound mandates and physician speech requirements. Panelists will engage one another with an eye toward articulating a better understanding of how speech rights could and should operate in abortion provision.
Lunch Roundtable – Abortion Scholarship: An Interdisciplinary Conversation
Leaders from a range of disciplines discuss the state of abortion research and identify gaps and opportunities. What research is needed and what questions are pressing for a more robust scholarly agenda? What are the opportunities for interdisciplinary work?
Panel 3 – Abortion Law: Articulating an Undue Burden Standard with Bite
This panel seeks to imagine a more robust undue burden standard. How can we construct a standard that takes into account a greater range of harm, including non-materialistic impacts such as symbolic harms, psychological harms and stigma? How can the standard better acknowledge the lived experience of women and the cumulative impacts that restrictive abortion laws have on their lives? How can burdens and obstacles be better understood?