CRRJ@5 — Speaker Profiles

Jill E. Adams
Jill E. Adams is the founding executive director of the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at Berkeley Law, which bolsters law and policy advocacy efforts, furthers scholarship, and influences legal and social science discourse to improve the reproductive experiences of people living in poverty and other marginalized communities. She is also the founding chief strategist of the SIA Legal Team, which aims to ensure that people in the U.S. can end their own pregnancies with dignity, safe from the threat of arrest. 

She teaches Selected Topics in Reproductive Justice and is co-executive editor of Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice (Foundation Press, 2015), the first legal textbook on the subject. Her recent scholarship includes, “And Damned if They Don’t: Prototype Theories to End Punitive Policies Against Pregnant People Living in Poverty,” co-authored by Melissa Mikesell (Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, 2017). Adams currently serves as vice president of the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, board member of Cambridge Reproductive Health Consultants, and steering committee member of the Coalition to Expand Access to Mifepristone. She is active on the advisory boards of Feminist Judgments Series: Rewritten Reproductive Justice (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), Reproductive Justice Book Series (University of California Press, ongoing), If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health, and other organizations. Adams earned a JD from Berkeley Law and a bachelor of journalism summa cum laude from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She has been selected for the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Fellowship and the inaugural Rockwood Fellowship for Leaders in Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice. 

Aziza Ahmed
Aziza Ahmed, Professor of Law at Northeastern University Law School, is an internationally renowned expert in health law, criminal law, and human rights. Her scholarship examines the role of science and activism in shaping global and national law and policy with a focus on criminal laws that impact health. She teaches Property Law, Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, and International Health Law: Governance, Development and Rights.

Ahmed has been selected as a fellow with the Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University. She will be combining her sabbatical and her fellowship to spend the 2017-2018 academic year developing her work on law, feminism and science into a book with particular emphasis on legal and policy responses to HIV.

Abigail R.A. Aiken
Abigail R.A. Aiken is an assistant professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on reproductive health and reproductive rights, combining perspectives across multiple disciplines including biomedical sciences, public policy, demography, and public health. She completed her MD at the University of Cambridge, her MPH at Harvard University, and her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin.

Her current research focuses on pathways to obtaining medication abortion outside the formal healthcare setting in contexts where access is restricted. The goal of this project is to help identify and address unmet needs and inform programs designed to ensure safe, effective, and supported options. Other recent projects include evaluating programs and policies affecting access to contraception; and investigating the determinants and impacts of unintended pregnancies through a health equity and reproductive justice framework. Aiken serves on the board of Central Health, the hospital district that provides healthcare to underserved populations in Travis County, Texas. Her research has been covered by the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

Brigitte Amiri
Brigitte Amiri is a Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. She leads the Project’s efforts to ensure that religion is not used to discriminate against or harm women seeking access to reproductive health care. Amiri is currently litigating several cases involving that issue, including a case against the federal government for authorizing religious organizations to restrict access to reproductive health care for unaccompanied immigrant minors. She is also representing the last abortion clinic in Kentucky in a case that will determine whether the clinic will be forced to close, and she is challenging restrictions on Medicaid funding for abortion in Alaska. Before joining the ACLU, Brigitte worked at South Brooklyn Legal Services in the Foreclosure Prevention Project and at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Jessica Arons
Jessica Arons is a reproductive health, rights, and justice advocate and policy expert. Most recently, she served as the President and CEO of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP). Prior to joining RHTP, she was the Director of the Women’s Health and Rights program at the Center for American Progress. Before that, she worked at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, the labor and employment law firm of James and Hoffman, the Supreme Court of Virginia, the White House, and the 1996 Pennsylvania Democratic Coordinated Campaign. She currently serves on the advisory board of If/When/How, and she is a former board member of the DC Abortion Fund and the Virginia ACLU.  She is an honors graduate of Brown University and the William and Mary School of Law.

Farah Diaz-Tello
Farah Diaz-Tello is a US human rights attorney whose career is dedicated to the pursuit of reproductive justice, with a focus on pregnancy and the full spectrum of pregnancy outcomes. She is Senior Counsel for the SIA Legal Team, where she works to halt the criminalization of self-managed abortion and shift narratives within and outside RHRJ movements to ensure that anyone can end a pregnancy with dignity and without fear of arrest. In her previous work as a Senior Staff Attorney for National Advocates for Pregnant Women, she developed and directed programming in human rights and Birth Justice. Her writing includes scholarly publications about obstetric violence and economic coercion of birthing people, as well as essays and commentaries on issues related to reproductive justice, pregnancy and birth, the law, and popular culture. She was selected as a 2017 Rockwood Reproductive Rights, Health, and Justice Fellow, and participated in the inaugural cohort of CoreAlign’s Innovation Lab program to make progress toward reproductive justice by using design thinking to approach intractable conflicts. Diaz-Tello is a member of the Birth Rights Bar Association, and is honored to serve the needs of pregnant people and families on the boards of directors of All-Options and the Family Law Cannabis Alliance.

Myra Gissel R. Durán
Myra Durán is the Senior Policy Manager for California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in Women’s Studies with a concentration in Women of Color Feminism and a minor in Labor and Workplace Studies. She currently serves as the National Programme Coordinator for AF3IRM, a national grassroots volunteer organization of women engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism and dedicated to the fight against oppression in all its forms.

Durán also served on the Young Women’s Leadership Council for the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP) to ensure that the interests and voices of young women of color, transgender, and gender non-conforming young people were included. She previously served as a board member for ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, an organization that removes barriers and builds the power of Californians to achieve reproductive justice. She is a strong advocate for passionate politics where love is at the center of the work and believes in the power people can co-cultivate in order to achieve full liberation from oppressive systems. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging with her familia back in her hood of Pomona, reading, and organizing in the community with her revolutionary sisters from AF3IRM.

Diana Greene Foster
Diana Greene Foster, PhD, is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a demographer who uses quantitative models and analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of family planning policies and the effect of unintended pregnancy on women’s lives. Foster leads the Turnaway Study, a nationwide longitudinal prospective study of the health and well-being of women who seek abortion including both women who do and do not receive the abortion. She also leads the Global Turnaway Study, an international collaboration of scientists studying the effect of access to abortion in countries where it is legal. Foster received her PhD in Demography and Public Policy from Princeton University.

Andrea Friedman
Andi Friedman is Founder and President of AF Advocacy, a consulting firm that helps progressive organizations build effective policy change campaigns.  She is a lawyer and advocate with extensive ties in the women’s rights and progressive communities.  Her current work focuses on advancing abortion rights in the United States.

She previously served as Director of Reproductive Health and Senior Policy Advisor for Reproductive Health at the National Partnership for Women and Families.  Friedman successfully led her team to develop and implement a new vision for defending and expanding access to abortion and contraception. Prior to joining the Partnership, she served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the late Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) where she covered international family planning and foreign aid, military and veterans affairs, and trade. She has also worked internationally as a human rights lawyer as Vice President and Co-Founder of the Global Justice Center, leading trainings around the globe on women’s rights and international law.  She began her career in women’s rights as one of the first staff of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government where she promoted research and programming on women and policy and helped launch the Women Waging Peace Network.

She has a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA summa cum laude from Tufts University.  She is currently a Board Member of Personal PAC and the Midwest Access Project and was a Fellow with the New Leaders Council.  

Liza Fuentes
Dr. Liza Fuentes joined the Guttmacher Institute as a Senior Research Scientist in 2016. Her research has focused on access to contraception, the evaluation of abortion restrictions and clinical training in reproductive health. Fuentes completed a DrPH at the City University of New York School of Public Health, and was a predoctoral fellow at CUNY Institute for Demographic Research, where she earned a certificate in demography. She also holds an MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Before joining Guttmacher, she was Senior Project Manager at Ibis Reproductive Health, where she worked on research regarding miscarriage management, self-induced abortion, and the evaluation of HB 2, the restrictive Texas abortion law whose provisions were struck down in the US Supreme Court decision Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Previously she was Senior Research Associate at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, where she conducted qualitative research and policy analyses on the effects of immigration and health policies on Latina, immigrant, and adolescent reproductive health. She serves on the board of directors of Forward Together, and is a former member of the boards of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, the National Network of Abortion Funds, the New York Abortion Access Fund and the DC Abortion Fund.

Kelli Garcia
Dr. Kelli Garcia is Director of Reproductive Justice Initiatives and Senior Counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. She works on a range of issues to advance reproductive justice and ensure that all people are able to make decisions about their bodies, health, sexuality, and families with dignity and autonomy. Prior to joining the Center, Garcia was a law fellow at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, where she worked on scholarship related to global health and human rights and health care reform. She was also an Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fellow at Yale Law School and previously worked at the Center where she began as a fellow and was promoted to counsel. Garcia is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School. She also holds a PhD in social psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Michele Goodwin
Michele Goodwin holds the Chancellor’s Professorship at the University of California, Irvine with appointments at the School of Law, School of Public Health, and Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is the founder and director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy and its Reproductive Justice Initiative.  She researches and writes about legal concerns with regard to the human body. She is an acclaimed bioethicist and prolific author. Goodwin has published with Forbes, Salon.com, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times, Houston Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, and New York Times among others.  She is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including the much anticipated, Policing The Womb, which chronicles how women’s reproduction has become the political scapegoat in Congress and legislatures across the United States, resulting in the rise of personhood measures, practices that force women to undergo cesarean births under threat of court order, abuse of prosecutorial discretion that results in the criminalization and punishment of pregnant women for falling down steps, refusing bed rest, or attempting suicide, and policies that dramatically erode reproductive liberty.

Her work appears in the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Northwestern Law Review, California Law Review, and many other esteemed journals.  Her commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and other news media.

She frequently lectures world-wide on issues involving biotechnology, human rights, reproductive justice, bioethics, and health law. She served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and as a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University Law School.

Richard Hearn
Since graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown Law School in Washington DC in 1991, Dr. Richard Hearn has often been required to draw upon his training as a physician to help his clients. Whether representing individuals, health care providers, or corporations, he has used his 20-plus years of experience practicing medicine to benefit his clients. In a Section 1983 case, he obtained a 5.4-million-dollar personal injury judgment against Prison Health Services for a female prisoner and her son born in prison. This is still one of the largest personal injury judgments in Idaho, as well as being one of the largest jury verdicts for a prisoner ever obtained in the United States.

Since coming to Idaho in 1996, Hearn has fought to protect the constitutional rights of Idaho residents in several important civil rights cases. After obtaining a preliminary injunction prohibiting the State of Idaho from criminally prosecuting Jennie McCormack for allegedly undergoing an illegal abortion using medication purchased over the Internet, he convinced the Federal District Court to declare the Idaho criminal statute facially unconstitutional. The State appealed, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court decision striking down the criminal statute.

Yvette Lindgren
Yvette Lindgren in currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at University of San Francisco Law School. She earned her LLM and JSD from Berkeley Law and her JD from Hastings College of the Law. Lindgren served as a post-doctoral legal fellow at the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at Berkeley Law. She was co-executive editor of the first-edition casebook, Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice, co-authored by Melissa Murray and Kristin Luker, published in Spring 2015. Lindgren was an Assistant Professor of Law at Indiana Tech Law School from 2015-2017. Her research and scholarship focus on reproductive rights, constitutional law, and health law policy. Her work has appeared in Utah Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and Law, The Women’s Rights Law Reporter, and Domestic Violence Reporter. Her most recent article, “The Doctor Requirement: Griswold, Privacy, and At-Home Reproductive Care,” is forthcoming in Constitutional Commentary. She teaches courses in Constitutional Law, Torts, Family Law, Health Law, and Community Property.

Destiny Lopez
As Co-Director of All* Above All, Destiny Lopez elevates the efforts of low-income women and people of color working to lift the bans that deny abortion funding. Lopez was previously a principal at the communications firm ConwayStrategic, leading innovative campaigns for clients advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice. She also served as director of Latino engagement for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, executive director of ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, an account director at Fenton Communications, and vice president of programs at NARAL Pro-Choice New York.  She is past chair of the Board of Directors of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and a current member of the board of El Pueblo in Raleigh, NC. She earned a Master’s degree from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. 

Kristin Luker
Kristen Luker is the Founding Faculty Director (Emerita) of the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice, as well as the Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology (Emerita) at the University of California, Berkeley.  Before joining the Boalt faculty and the UC Berkeley Department of Sociology in 1986, Luker taught in the sociology department at UC San Diego (UCSD) for 11 years. In 1993-1994, she visited at Princeton University as the Doris Stevens Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Sociology. Luker was appointed to the Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Chair in 2006.

She has received several awards, including Ford and Guggenheim fellowships, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Alumni Association of UCSD. In 1997 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1993 she was chosen as one of three sociologists to meet with President Clinton to discuss “issues confronting the nation,” and in 1994 the White House solicited her testimony on teenage pregnancy.

Luker is the author of When Sex Goes to School (2006), Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood (which received the Cooley Award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize), and Taking Chances: Abortion and the Decision Not to Contracept. Her book, Dubious Conceptions, published in 1995, was selected as New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She is currently at work on her fourth book, tentatively titled Bodies and Politics, which is about sex education controversies in the United States.

Melissa Mikesell
Melissa Mikesell is the Supervising Attorney at Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at Berkeley Law. Mikesell has spent her career fighting for low-income communities, communities of color, and immigrant communities and engaging with voters and constituents that are often left out of, or are systemically excluded from, the policy-making process. She has 12 years’ experience practicing law in a heavily regulated and politically-charged environment, including statutory and regulatory compliance where the interpretation of the law impacts constitutionally protected rights. She has written and trained extensively on compliance with state laws, served on a team of attorneys challenging state laws on constitutional grounds, and has experience navigating the legislative process, including drafting, reviewing, revising, and commenting on ordinances, policies, procedures, as well as state legislation. She served as the West Coast Director of Alliance for Justice, where she spent five years building the capacity of civil rights, women’s rights, and consumer rights organizations to advocate for public policies that serve the needs of their communities. She has worked with reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations from across the country as they fight back against ballot measures and legislation designed to erode access to reproductive care. Her work on reproductive rights is greatly influenced by her experiences as a daughter, wife, and mother and believes that families are at the heart of the movement.   She has a BA in Journalism from California State University, Chico and a JD from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Mariko Miki
Mariko Miki is the Director of Academic and Professional Programs at If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice. There, Miki provides vision, direction, and evaluation for multi-faceted projects in curriculum enrichment and professional training. Miki launched and directs the Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program, which places new lawyers with organizations across the country for a one-year policy fellowship to advance reproductive justice at the federal, state, and regional level. She currently serves on the advisory board for TEACH (Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare) and served on the Board of Directors for Exhale Pro-Voice. Prior to working at If/When/How, Miki practiced general litigation at a law firm in San Francisco. She graduated from Brown University and Harvard Law School, and is licensed by the State Bar of California.

Jill Morrison
Jill Morrison is the Executive Director of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program (WLPPFP) and Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Program, as well as Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law School. She also teaches the LAWA seminar, where each of the LLM candidates develops a thesis focusing on a particular woman’s human rights issue.  Morrison recently began working with JD students, supervising the writing requirement and teaching a seminar on Reproductive Justice.

Morrison returned to WLPPFP in 2012, after thirteen years at the National Women’s Law Center, where she was a 1998-1999 Fellow. At the Center, she developed legal theories to protect and advance access to comprehensive reproductive health services, and to protect the rights of vulnerable pregnant and parenting women.

Morrison currently serves on the National Board of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice.  She is also on the Steering Committee of the District of Columbia Bar Association’s International Law Community, and pursuing an LLM in Global Health Law.

Lourdes Rivera
Lourdes Rivera is the Senior Vice President, US Programs, at the Center for Reproductive Rights. She provides vision and strategic guidance to the Center’s legal and policy programs in the United States, including overseeing program strategy and implementation, shaping the legal and policy landscape, and building new strategic alliances.

Prior to joining the Center in January 2017, Rivera served as Senior Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, where she designed and implemented their US and global grantmaking strategy in sexual and reproductive health and rights, using a social justice and human rights approach. Before joining Ford in 2006, she was the Managing Attorney of the National Health Law Program’s Los Angeles office, a Senior Associate with the Children’s Defense Fund, Health Division, and a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow with the National Women’s Law Center.

Rivera is a Board member for the Brush Foundation and the National Health Law Program. She is a co-founder and former Board chair of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and a former member of the American Bar Association’s Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section Council (now known as Civil Rights and Justice Section).  She has a JD from Yale Law School and a BA in Latin American studies from Yale University.

Cynthia Soohoo
Cynthia Soohoo is an Associate Professor and Director of the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic, CUNY Law School. Her scholarship focuses on reproductive justice, youth justice, and US human rights. Her scholarship and advocacy focuses on inter-sectional identities and barriers to reproductive health and abortion services, including affordability, regulatory burdens, attacks on health providers, and criminalization of pregnant women. She uses international and comparative law to reframe the domestic reproductive justice conversation and develop theories to expand legal protections for women’s reproductive autonomy.  She has authored submissions to the US Supreme Court, appellate courts and international forums on access to abortion, forced sterilization, and criminalization of women’s reproductive choices.

Soohoo was US Legal Program Director, Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) from 2008-2011 where she managed US litigation and state advocacy and spearheaded CRR’s US human rights work and Law School Initiative.  From 2001-2007, she was US Human Rights Program Director, Human Rights Institute, Columbia Law School and a supervising attorney for the Human Rights Clinic.  She is board chair, US Human Rights Network, and serves on the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative board.  She is a former If/When/How national board member and co-edits the Reproductive Rights Prof Blog.


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