Reproductive Justice Lawyering: A CLE Webinar Series

Part of the ongoing collaboration between the Women and Law Program and If-When-How the purpose of the “Reproductive Justice Lawyering Webinar Series” is to engage practicing attorneys with new concepts and developments in reproductive justice advocacy while fulfilling their Continuing Legal Education requirements. We know that attorneys across the country are interested in these issues, yet may not practice specifically in this area of the law. By offering this webinar series, we hope to give attorneys the opportunity to learn about emerging issues and to facilitate a sense of community for those attorneys in more isolated areas.

Summer 2017 Webinar Series

Barriers to Reproductive Autonomy, June 29, 2017 from 2:00-3:00pm (EST)

Listen in to learn how laws and systems are used to interrupt the well-being of people in our society. Priya Walia will share with us how the religious right uses feminist language and over 1,200 fake reproductive health clinics to attack women's health decisions. In the second half of the webinar, Nnennaya Amuchie will discuss how to incorporate an abolitionist framework into reproductive justice by approaching the prison industrial complex as a system that needs to be broken down in order to rebuild systems that affirm our humanity and help us all to thrive.


When Sex and Bodies Are Criminal, July 6, 2017 from 2:00-3:00pm (EST)

Tune in to learn about the current landscape of laws and policies that criminalize the bodies and sex lives of people around our country. In the first half, Cammie Dodson will share how the criminalization of HIV affect folks living with HIV, especially women, people of color, and trans and gender non-conforming folks. Learn why these laws run counter to reproductive justice principles and how they hinder efforts to curb the epidemic, especially among vulnerable communities. Later in the webinar, Mohini Lal will demonstrate how criminal statutes are misinterpreted and misapplied to punish pregnant people by using the 2013 prosecution of Purvi Patel for feticide and neglect of a dependent after her miscarriage.


Summer 2016 Webinar Series

Zubik v Burwell: A Case Study of Religious Exemptions and the Connections Between LGBTQ Liberation and Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice
June 13, 2016 from 2:00- 3:00pm (EST)

On May 16th, the Supreme Court remanded the challenges to the contraceptive coverage benefit of the Affordable Care Act back to the lower courts. Currently, employees at religiously affiliated organizations are able to receive seamless contraceptive coverage due to the notice and accommodation process that these institutions must follow. At issue was whether this process constituted a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. These employers argued that the accommodation process imposes a substantial burden on their religious beliefs. The government argued that complying with the accommodation was not a substantial burden on petitioners’ religious beliefs. The Supreme Court expressed no views on the merits of the case. Panelists will discuss how the non-decision in Zubik impacts the healthcare needs of diverse communities. The panelists will also discuss how Zubik and other religious exemption battles across the nation provide an opportunity for LGBTQ and reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates to work together.


  • Candace D. Gibson, Policy Analyst/Counsel, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH)
  • Candace Bond-Theriault, Policy Counsel for Reproductive Rights, Health and Justice, National LGBTQ Task Force
  • Watch the Webcast.
  • Access CLE Materials.

Shifting the Frame in Law & Policy from Preventing Teen Pregnancy to Supporting Young Parents
June 20, 2016 from 2:00- 3:00pm (EST)

In recent years, pregnancy and birth rates among young people have declined, but young women of color still experience disproportionate rates of pregnancy and birth compared to their white peers. Additionally, young people that choose to parent are met with social and political stigma and policies that shame rather than support their families and choices. This session illuminates the need for a paradigm shift away from "teen pregnancy prevention" campaigns and toward dignity and respect for expectant and parenting youth, and identifies policies that can make this frame a political and social reality. Participants will leave with an understanding of the "young parents' dignity" frame, concrete tools and strategies for better messaging, and the ability to identify federal bills and policies that support young families.


  • Madeline Gomez, LSRJ Reproductive Justice Fellow, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
  • Sonya Rahders, LSRJ Law & Policy Fellow, Advocates for Youth
  • Watch the Webcast.
  • Access CLE Materials.

A Reproductive Justice Analysis of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act: New Protections and Remaining Challenges Under the Nation's Newest Civil Rights Law
June 27, 2016 from 2:00- 3:00pm (EST)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released regulations implementing Section 1557, the groundbreaking nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, “color,” national origin, sex (including gender identity), age, and disability throughout all kinds of health care settings. Highlighting the law's application for people living with HIV, women, and LGBTQ people, this webinar will provide an overview of Section 1557, discuss its expanded nondiscrimination protections and remaining limitations, explain enforcement mechanisms, and make clear why this exciting new civil rights law should be on the radar of all social justice advocates.


  • Sabrina Rewald, Law Students for Reproductive Justice HIV Law and Policy Fellow at SisterLove
  • Julia Quinn, Law Students for Reproductive Justice Federal Policy Fellow at National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
  • Watch the Webcast.
  • Access CLE Materials.

Summer 2015 Series

Criminalizing HIV in the United States: A Reproductive Justice Analysis of the Impact of Criminalization Laws and Principles for Reform (1 CLE Credit)

June 9, 2015
2:00- 3:00pm (EST)

HIV-specific criminal laws were created at the height of AIDS hysteria, and remain on the books today. This webinar will focus on HIV-specific and generally applicable criminal laws that target the behavior and actions of people living with HIV, also known as “HIV criminalization.” Panelists will provide both a broad overview of the scope of HIV criminalization laws in United States – and will then closely examine state-specific laws, focusing on  California and Georgia. By the end of the CLE, participants will be able to identify HIV-specific laws, appreciate the discriminatory effect of these laws, and understand legal reform and modernization efforts.

Prosecuting Pregnancy: The Need for Reproductive Justice in Combatting the Trend Toward Criminalizing Pregnancy Outcomes (1 CLE Credit)

June 18, 2015
2:00- 3:00pm (EST)

The long-term trend of criminalizing women for their pregnancy outcomes is comingto a head as the prosecutions of women including Jennie Lynn McCormack, Bei Bei Shuai, and Purvi Patel have hit the mainstream news. This webinar will focus on the use of criminal lawsto prosecute women for their pregnancy outcomes. Panelists will provide both a broad overview of the scope of laws that criminalize pregnancy outcomes in United States, and will examine the context of passage of these laws and examples of the use of these laws to target women, focusing on Indiana as a case study. By the end of the CLE, participants will be able to identify laws that criminalize pregnancy outcomes, understand the discriminatory effect of these laws, and appreciate the context of the laws' passage and efforts for reform.

Poverty & Reproductive Justice: When Choice is a Privilege, Not a Right (Event)

March 23, 2015

Reproductive self-determination is significantly compromised for the 18 million women currently living in poverty in the United States. Women living in poverty are less likely to obtain important reproductive health care due to lack of access and inability to afford these critical services. In rural areas, women may live hundreds of miles away from the nearest clinic and are required to take days off of work, find childcare, and scrape together funds just to obtain safe and legal reproductive health services. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by lack of access to vital prenatal care and, as such, experience alarmingly high maternal and infant mortality rates. Panelists will delve into the ways the current legal framework is failing women, how to address the gaps caused by lack of funding, barriers to government programs, and restrictive state reproductive health care laws.

Summer 2014 Webinars (Archived)

Policy Barriers to Access for Immigrant Women (1 CLE Credit)
This webinar discusses the legal barriers and health disparities that immigrant women face when accessing reproductive healthcare. It also provides an overview of the legal implications of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) and religious refusals (otherwise known as conscience clauses). These politically- motivated laws are being introduced at the federal and state levels and limit a person’s decision- making ability in the healthcare context—disproportionately impacting immigrant women and the LGBTQ immigrant  community.

Confidentiality for Youth: Implications for Access to Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (1 CLE Credit)
This webinar provides an overview of parental involvement laws relating to minors' access to health services (including abortion, contraception, prenatal care, STI/HIV testing and treatment). It outlines the general steps required to seek a judicial bypass (which allows a minor to obtain approval for  abortion care from a judge rat her than from their parents) and covers common concerns minors express  regarding confidentiality of information they share with medical providers.

Sexuality Education for Medicaid and CHIP Eligible Adolescents (1 CLE Credit)
Medicaid and some CHIP-eligible youth younger than 21 years old are statutorily required to receive a medical screening that includes age-appropriate health education. A complete screening for adolescents should include sexuality education. Unfortunately, most state plans do not give providers guidance on health education or enforce these legal requirements. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded this benefit to legally require the Medicaid expansion population, as well as those covered under non-grandfathered group and individual private plans, to cover without cost-sharing comprehensive sexuality education.  This webinar serves to inform health lawyers and other health policy advocates of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and each programs required benefits, as well as introduces new ACA eligibility and benefit requirements. This webinar also lays out the gaps in the law that have perpetuated sexuality education not being delivered and it offers recommendations on enforcing existing federal legal requirements to ensure the delivery of this important benefit.

To apply for CLE credit, you must email American University Washington College of Law's Office of Special Events and Continuing Legal Education at

The fee is $55 and 1 CLE credit will be applied for. Washington College of Law is an accredited provider for Virginia and Pennsylvania, with reciprocity for various states, including New York, New Jersey, Colorado, and California. All other states will be applied to upon request.

Please check with your state for its rules regarding CLE credits for online programs.