Previous Reproductive Justice, Criminal Law, and the Carceral State Events

This speaker series considers the criminalization of reproduction—historical and contemporary, local and global—largely through the lens of reproductive justice.

  1. Speaker:
    Professor Ocen's talk highlights the racialized and gendered ways that incapacitation, or the idea of removing dangerous people from society, has been used to regulate the bodies and reproductive capacities of marginalized women. Specifically, through the “incapacitation of motherhood,” people in women's prisons are alienated from their children, denied reproductive care, humiliated during pregnancy and postpartum recovery, and in some cases, sterilized. It explores ways to contest these practices through both law and social movements, including prison abolition, informed by the principles of reproductive justice. Nessette Falu, Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, will respond.
  2. Speaker:
    • Assistant Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law
    Professor Song's talk examines the extent of hospitals' participation in policing and punishment, arguing that hospitals in the “free world” have become part of the carceral infrastructure, performing functions essential to the operations of mass incarceration by identifying criminals, helping build criminal cases, preparing people for incarceration, and treating and returning people to imprisonment. Snehal Patel, Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Dell Medical School, will respond.
  3. Speaker:
    • Professor of Law and N. Neal Pike Scholar at the Boston University School of Law; Co-Director of the BU Law Program in Reproductive Justice
    Using the example of the highly controversial forensic method known as the “floating lungs” test in the context of self-induced abortion and stillbirths, Professor Ahmed's will interrogate the relationship between scientific expertise, evidence, and lawmaking, and argue that contestation around medical and epidemiological evidence shapes the regulation and criminalization of pregnancy-related outcomes. Jennifer Laurin, Wright C. Morrow Professor of Law, will respond.
  4. Speaker:
    In this talk, Cynthia Conti-Cook will argue that because digital devices and the corporate archives that support them have given police and other system state actors profound access to the details of our daily lives, people forced into self-managed care for issues related to everything between birth through burial will increasingly need to rely on their digital bodies’ ability to safely traverse digital borders. Sarah Brayne, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, will respond.
  5. Speaker:
    • Dean and the James E. Beasley Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law
    Professor Rachel Rebouché will discuss the attempts by antiabortion activists to stop medication abortion by any means necessary, including through criminalization; the implications for reproductive justice and public health; and how abortion rights advocates can keep these implications at the fore of their own efforts to increase access to abortion pills through federal and state advocacy. Kari White, Associate Professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, will respond.