On September 16, the Gender Justice Clinic led a workshop on reproductive justice following the Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling that ended the federal constitutional right to abortion.
The workshop, “Our Bodies, Their Laws: Reproductive Justice After the Fall of Roe,” focused on the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Whole Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade. Co-hosted by Cornell’s Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies (FGSS) Program, the Gender Justice Clinic, Cornell Health, Cornell’s LGBT Studies Program, End Abortion Stigma, and the Women’s Resource Center, the event was the second in a semester-long, campus-wide series that includes a variety of events related to the Dobbs decision, spanning education-based workshops to action/advocacy-based events.
Clinic director Liz Brundige and clinic professor Lorelei Lee ’20, along with clinic students Esme Brooker ’23, Peyton Brooks ’23, and Jacinda Rivas ’23, provided a historical overview of abortion rights and restrictions in the United States and reflected on the impact and implications of the Dobbs decision, particularly for communities that are likely to face disproportionate harm. They also suggested ways in which students might advocate for themselves, their communities, and those affected around the country in a post-Dobbs world.
Brooker and Brundige described legal and political advocacy paths, while Rivas emphasized the need for “movement building and working with justice movements as well as engaging in activism in different ways.” Brooks highlighted the value of “supporting each other . . . and taking care of yourselves, not only as advocates but as human beings.” Lee also encouraged the audience to practice self-care and community care, explaining that “these are at the core of political power and the basis of community and the basis of community organizing.”
FGSS graduate students then led small group conversations where participants collaborated on identifying needs in the Cornell and Ithaca-area communities, and the workshop closed with a discussion among the participants and panelists. “Participants raised such thoughtful questions and expanded on many of the panel’s themes, emphasizing the need to work together towards a holistic and inclusive vision of reproductive justice,” Brundige noted. She added, “we look forward to continuing to participate with others in this ongoing dialogue of learning, awareness, advocacy, and support.”
The next event in the “Our Bodies, Their Laws” series is the “Impacts of Dobbs v. Jackson on LGBTQ+ Communities,” which will take place in Goldwin Smith Hall, Room 132, Tuesday, October 25, at 4:30 p.m.