Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

281.91 sec. 001 - Reproductive Justice and Environmental Justice (Fall 2020)

Instructor: Khiara Bridges  (view instructor's profile)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only

Due to COVID-19, this class is remote for Fall 2020.
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


M 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: TBA
From August 17, 2020
To October 05, 2020

Course Start: August 17, 2020
Course End: October 05, 2020
Class Number (1Ls): 34348

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 11
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 11
As of: 12/07 09:41 AM

This course will introduce students to the Reproductive Justice (“RJ”) framework as well as the Environmental Justice (“EJ”) framework. While RJ and EJ tend to focus on different areas, this course will put the two frameworks in conversation with one another. It will begin with an exploration of reasons-based abortion bans - focusing on abortion regulations that prohibit healthcare providers from performing an abortion on a patient if they believe that the patient is terminating the pregnancy on account of a fetus’s disability. It will then interrogate disability-selective abortion bans in light of state actions that increase the likelihood that a child will be born with, or develop, a disability. Flint, Michigan will be used as a case study. In 2014 - 2016, government actors knowingly exposed the city’s residents - who were largely poor and black - to dangerous levels of lead in the city’s water. The harm that lead causes fetuses, infants, and children is well-established, with lead being known to cause damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems. This course will explore the racial stakes of public actors engaging in acts that increase the likelihood that children will have a disability, and then endeavoring to compel the birth of children with disabilities through abortion regulations. Here, the state acts in a way that is the inverse of eugenic. Whereas the state, operating under the banner of eugenics, once regulated reproduction with the aim of ensuring that children would have characteristics that the state deemed to be advantageous, the state now regulates reproduction in a way that results in children having disadvantageous (that is, disabling) characteristics. There is a puzzle in these anti-eugenic impulses and behaviors of the state. This course will offer students the opportunity to interrogate this puzzle’s meaning and consequences.

This class is among the special Fall 2020 1L elective seminars designed to give entering 1Ls an extra opportunity to form connections despite our remote form of interaction. In light of that goal, these classes will expect real-time attendance and may not be recorded. These classes will all be graded on a Credit/No Credit basis and total written work requirement will be no more than 8 double-spaced pages.

Real-time attendance at the first Zoom class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

This course is only open to 1Ls.

Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: Social Justice and Public Interest
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Environmental and Energy Law
Family Law
First Year Courses

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