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Printable Program Agenda

Speaker Bios


The 2012 election saw bold statements from both sides regarding social and economic policy, and plenty of fishing for women's votes. However, the real needs and concerns of women are not easily reduced to a single issue or to an easy sound bite.  While some policies specifically target women or discrimination on the basis of sex, the gendered dynamics of other proposals are often more nuanced and difficult to detect.  The symposium will explore how current or proposed social policies affect the lives of women and their families.  Speakers will also analyze what role, if any, rhetoric about those policies played in the recent election.

Panel 1:  Contraception Matters:  The Latest Battleground in Women’s Health

The Affordable Care Act’s so-called “Contraception Mandate” has been highly controversial and the subject of ongoing litigation.  Panelists will discuss the constitutionality of the no-copay women’s health services and the larger implications of implementation for individuals, corporations, and the movement for reproductive justice. 

  • Professor Caroline Mala Corbin, University of Miami School of Law
    The Contraception Mandate
  • Sarah Lipton-Lubet, American Civil Liberties Union
    The Contraception Chronicles: Dueling Narratives and their Policy Implications
  • Professor Elizabeth Sepper, Washington University School of Law
    Contraception and the Birth of Corporate Conscience

Panel 2:  Visibility Matters:  Forgotten Issues, Forgotten Women. 

Though the media deemed “women’s issues” a major factor in the 2012 election, the needs and concerns of vast numbers of women were never really considered.  Panelists will explore what would happen if policy makers placed intersectionality at the core of public debate.  

  • Elizabeth Chen, Center for American Progress, LSRJ
    Restoring Rights for Reproductive Justice
  • Professor Jasmine E. Harris, American University Washington College of Law
    Relational Resilience Theory, Latina Mental Health, and the Transformative Potential of Community Health Workers Under the Affordable Care Act


  • Stephanie Schriock, President of Emily’s List

Panel 3:  Perception Matters:  Stereotyping’s Long Tail

This panel explores the power of the gender-based stereotypes deployed during and after the 2012 election, and asks if law can play a role in dismantling their pernicious effects.

  • Professor Beth Burkstrand-Reid, University of Nebraska School of Law
    From Sex for Pleasure to Sex for Parenting: How the Law Manufactures Mothers
  • Professor Michele Gilman, University of Baltimore School of Law
    The Welfare Queen Returns
  • Sarah Stephens
    What Happens Next? Will Protection Against Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Discrimination Expand During Obama’s Second Term?
  • Ajmel Ahsen Quereshi, Howard University School of Law
    The Forgotten Remedy:  A Legal and Theoretical Defense of Intermediate Scrutiny for Gender-Based Affirmative Action Programs