Welcome to the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice (CRRJ), a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to issues of reproduction and designed to supportpolicy solutions by connecting people and ideas across the academic-advocate divide. If you would like to support our efforts as an investor or volunteer, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to stay informed about our progress and pursuits, sign up for our newsletter here.
Landmark Feticide Conviction Overturned in Indiana
Last year, the state of Indiana sentenced Purvi Patel to 20 years in prison for self-administering abortion pills to end her own pregnancy. CRRJ co-authored an appellate amicus brief, arguing, on behalf of 30 reproductive justice organizations, that no one should be prosecuted for ending a pregnancy or for pregnancy loss. In July 2016, the Indiana Court of Appeals vacated the feticide conviction and remanded her case to the trial court for resentencing under a lower felony neglect charge. The court correctly applied settled legal principles to recognize it was neither the intent of the state legislature nor the precedent of the court to apply the feticide statute to a pregnant person who self-induced an abortion.
“The SIA Legal Team is pleased the court recognized that feticide laws are intended to protect, not prosecute, pregnant women,” Jill E. Adams is quoted as saying in Mother Jones. “Women don’t need to be stigmatized and sentenced; instead, they need safe, affordable access to provider-directed and self-directed health care.”
As Adams told the Associated Press, prosecutions like Ms. Patel’s are a misuse of the criminal justice system, undermining public health and disproportionately targeting communities of color, immigrants, and people living in poverty.
CRRJ Director Weighs in on SCOTUS Ruling
Jill E. Adams joined other faculty experts to assess the reasoning and implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s final major rulings of the term. Read more here.
Victory at the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court took an important stand against clinic shutdown laws that cut off abortion access. The 5:3 majority in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down the ambulatory surgical center and admitting privileges requirements of the omnibus anti-abortion bill in Texas known as HB2. The Court’s decision will allow the remaining clinics to stay open, serving the state’s 5.4 million women of reproductive age. However, an untold number of people in Texas, and indeed around the country, who still won’t be able to travel the long distance to the nearest clinic or pay out-of-pocket for the procedure. CRRJ Directors made a variety of contributions to the collection of 45 amicus briefs submitted on behalf of petitioners in the case. Read more here.
End of California’s Welfare Family Cap
California repealed its welfare family cap after four years of tireless advocacy by Senator Holly Mitchell with support from a broad-based coalition of organizations and families impacted by this policy. As part of the coalition, CRRJ has been working since its inception to educate elected officials and the public about the problematic nature and harmful effects of these policies. To learn more about the MFG Rule of CalWORKS or welfare family caps generally, read CRRJ’s issue brief or watch video testimony from a hearing on SB 23 (Mitchell), beginning at minute 16.
CRRJ Now on Podcast
Jill E. Adams and Melissa Mikesell were featured on TheGravity.fm podcast, Gone with the Wind – Reproductive Rights on Retreat. The podcast can be found here or on iTunes.
Plotting the Legal Landscape of Self-Induced Abortion
CRRJ convenes the Self-Induced Abortion (SIA) Legal Team, a consortium of organizations using law and policy tools to ensure people throughout the U.S. can end their own pregnancies outside of the formal health system with dignity and safe from the threat of arrest for themselves or anyone who assists them. The SIA Legal Team employs various tactics to improve information relay, support community-based distribution, shift culture, and halt the criminalization of self-induced abortion. Learn more about this timely issue.
Reproductive Justice Working Group – Fall 2016
CRRJ’s Working Group is a facilitated bi-weekly interdisciplinary meeting of students, researchers, faculty, and community members deepen their understanding of reproductive justice and develop practical ideas for integrating it into their research and practice. Details for the fall session will be announced August. For more information, please email email@example.com.