Defending New Ground in Reproductive Rights

Date: 
June 9, 2017

Reproductive rights have seen significant new and renewed protections during the past several years, as the Affordable Care Act guaranteed full coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptives for women and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt reaffirmed and strengthened the constitutional right to abortion. On the other hand, there have been some setbacks, as the contraceptive mandate has been limited by successful religious objections in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell and Congress threatens to repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood. This panel will discuss the current state of protections for reproductive rights and will consider existing and future threats to those rights. Will politicians continue to attack the right to abortion despite the Supreme Court’s recent rebuke? Will religious accommodations and exemptions swallow rules guaranteeing the provision of contraception, abortion, and other reproductive services? With the executive branch, both houses of Congress, and a majority of the states under Republican control, might anti-choice legislators make changes in the law for which they lack popular support? If so, how should pro-choice advocates most effectively respond both inside and outside of the courts?