Roe v. Wade Teach-Out to address questions about abortion access

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As several lawsuits attempt to challenge or codify abortion access in Michigan and other states, the University of Michigan has created an online “Roe v. Wade Teach-Out” to help people understand the history of abortion rights, legal challenges and what comes after the Supreme Court’s ruling that there is no constitutional right to abortion.

Part of that teach-out includes a live online Q&A, to be livestreamed on YouTube from 3-4 p.m. Aug. 18, featuring experts from the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health.

The teach-out, available on Coursera, includes experts from the Law School, Michigan Medicine and LSA discussing the history of reproductive rights in the United States and the ramifications of the Supreme Court and state rulings from a legal, social, medical and political perspective.

The panel will discuss the importance of reproductive freedoms, impacts of abortion restrictions on communities, and approaches to advocacy.

Participants in the Q&A can register to view the panel and submit questions to the experts. Answers will come from Bonsitu Kitaba, deputy legal director at ACLU of Michigan and an expert featured in the teach-out, and Shakti Rambarran, advocacy director at MOASH.

Questions and concerns from people in Michigan and throughout the United States have been plentiful since the Supreme Court’s June ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which held that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. The court’s decision overruled both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The situation became even murkier recently when a series of court rulings called into question where abortion access stood in Michigan.

The university is closely monitoring the legal proceedings related to abortion care in the state. Currently, Michigan Medicine will continue to include abortion care in the reproductive health services it provides to patients.

The free online “Roe v. Wade Teach-Out” is designed to help foster thoughtful discourse on the issue of abortion, its history of litigation and what could be expected in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling.

In addition to Kitaba, teach-out experts include Barb McQuade, professor from practice at the Law School; Dee Fenner, co-chair of the U-M task force on abortion access and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Michigan Medicine; and Lisa Harris, co-chair of the task force and professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

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