Since the June 24 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, litigation has been focused on “keeping access available for as long as possible for as many people as possible, especially in hostile states,” says Aracely Muñoz, director of the Lawyers Network at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
She will moderate a panel of experts at the Showcase program “Is it the End of Roe and the Rule of Law?” on Friday, Aug. 5, at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago that will take a step back and look at the aftermath of the decision from a number of angles.
The panel wants “to give folks an understanding of what’s really happening right now” and recognize the “ripple effects on a whole spectrum of issues and areas,” Muñoz says.
Chief among the panel’s aims, she says, is to “center those birthing people who are going to be most impacted by this,” as well as the organizations, loved ones and communities who support them.
Joining her on the panel will be Melissa Murray, professor at New York University School of Law, who will “locate us in this moment in time,” Muñoz says.
The executive director of the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois, Dr. Erin King, whose clinic has “seen an influx of patients from hostile states coming to receive care,” will give a report from on the ground.
Chi Chi Okwu, the executive director of EverThrive Illinois in Chicago, which supports access to quality health care and provides resources to achieve health equity, will speak about her work in reproductive justice. Muñoz says Okwu will discuss the last few years, which already had “terrible maternal health outcomes for black women” before dealing with “the post-Dobbs landscape” and can “shed some light on what’s happening in diverse communities.”
Finally, co-lead counsel on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Hillary Schneller, who is senior staff attorney for U.S. litigation at the Center for Reproductive Rights, will provide “the state of play with litigation” and provide an overview of the national, state and local policy landscape.
Muñoz says people have read a lot about the Supreme Court decision, so the focus will not be on the ruling that overturned more than five decades of precedent but on “what got us to this point, where are we right now and then recentering those most impacted by it.”
The program is sponsored by the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice.