2018 Trends in Reproductive Rights Law

(210 Ratings)

Produced on: March 08, 2018

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down two Texas statutes that restricted access to abortion, articulating a robust, evidence-based legal standard that courts are obliged to apply to such laws moving forward. Since then, courts have nearly unanimously struck down restrictions on abortion access similar to the unconstitutional Texas laws, in addition to newer types of medically unjustified restrictions. Aside from developments in the courts on these cases in 2018, state legislatures will consider hundreds of pieces of legislation that will affect access to reproductive health services across the country. Lawmakers are expected to introduce not only restrictions on access to abortion, but legislation that will improve access to affordable birth control and abortion care in 2018.

Laws restricting access to reproductive health services are often challenged in state and federal courts using a variety of legal claims, and 2018 will see litigation developments on a variety of issues related to reproductive health in a number of forums, including at the appellate level in the federal courts. There will also be developments in a number of challenges to the Trump administration's rollback of the Affordable Care Act's birth control benefit that gave access to copay-free contraception to hundreds of thousands of women.

This course, presented by Amanda Allen of the Lawyering Project, will review the legislative activity from the year thus far, as well as major litigation developments regarding access to reproductive health services and an overview of what to expect for the remainder of 2018.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review major trends and themes in legislation affecting reproductive health and rights
  2. Identify common legal claims made in challenging reproductive health restrictions and recent jurisprudential trends, particularly the application of Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt to statutes restricting abortion access
  3. Discuss next steps for major court cases, particularly at the appellate level and around the birth control benefit, and looking ahead to the rest of 2018


Amanda Allen

The Lawyering Project

Amanda Allen has spent her legal career advocating for meaningful access to reproductive health services. She is currently Senior Counsel & Managing Director at the Lawyering Project, a new initiative that aims to eliminate laws that undermine access to reproductive health services. At the Lawyering Project, Amanda cultivates and manages the organization's relationships with partners and allies, directs the organization's technical assistance portfolio, and oversees the organization's management and operations. Before joining the Lawyering Project, she held several positions at the Center for Reproductive Rights, including most recently Senior State Policy and Advocacy Counsel, where she oversaw the Center's state and local policy and advocacy initiatives in the United States. Amanda has also served as Policy Counsel at the National Institute for Reproductive Health and held post-graduate fellowships at the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum as a Georgetown Women's Law and Public Policy Fellow and If/When/How (formerly Law Students for Reproductive Justice).  Amanda has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry show and Huffington Post Live, and in outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Nation, and The Guardian. 

Amanda is a 2008 graduate of CUNY School of Law and holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota.


Melissa W.

Solid overview of a large topic. I felt the instructor presented the material in an unbiased manner, which I appreciate!

Laura c.

Excellent presentation!

Cynthia K.

Extremely excellent course. Would highly recommend this.

Pauline M.

I have enjoyed all the Lawline classes I have taken so far, but this is definitely one of the beset! Very good speaker and very well organized presentation.

Karen T.

Presenter did a good job presenting the topic.

G. Christine P.

I do prefer panels or group discussions to this kind of talking head webinar, but the speaker here is well-informed and well-spoken, so I recommend this webinar!

Jayne W.

timely and thorough - well done .

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