What: This morning, U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, limiting access to abortions across the country. American University has several experts available for commentary that have researched aspects of reproductive rights or worked in the public arena on abortion issues.

We will also be hosting a media briefing on Monday, June 27 with AU experts to discuss further. More details to follow later today.

When: June 24, 2022 – ongoing

Where: Via Skype, Zoom, email, telephone, or in-person


Elizabeth Beske is a professor of legal rhetoric at AU’s Washington College of Law. She teaches civil procedure, federal courts, and constitutional law, and her scholarship focuses on Article III of U.S. Constitution, adjudicative retroactivity, and the separation of powers. Beske clerked for Judge Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court.

Caroline Bruckner is the managing director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center and professorial lecturer in AU’s Kogod School of Business. She has testified multiple times before the U.S. Congress and Internal Revenue Service and released ground-breaking research on the gig economy as well as women business owners and the U.S. tax code. She is available to comment on how a Roe v. Wade reversal would impact business and employees, and how workplace benefits may be expanded to support employees.

Sara Clarke Kaplan is director of AU’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center and a scholar of Black feminist studies. She has expertise in 19th– and 20th-century American/African American literary and cultural studies and is the author of the recently published The Black Reproductive: Feminism and the Politics of Freedom (University of Minnesota Press), which explores reproduction as the defining element of U.S. chattel slavery and its impact on contemporary reproductive politics. She can provide an antiracist analysis, including discussing how the overturning of Roe v. Wade will have a disproportionate impact on poor women, women of color and trans/gender-non-conforming pregnant people; the history of reproductive control and anti-abortion politics in Black communities; and how today’s policies of reproductive control reflect longstanding racial anxieties about decreasing white populations in the United States, among other issues.

Maya Manian is a professor of law and director of the Health Law Program at AU’s Washington College of Law. Her research focuses on access to reproductive health care and explores the relationship between reproductive rights and gender equality. She publishes and presents widely on abortion rights and related constitutional issues. Her publications include “Lessons from Personhood’s Defeat: Abortion Restrictions and Side Effects on Women’s Health” (Ohio State Law Journal, 2013); “Functional Parenting and Dysfunctional Abortion Policy: Reforming Parental Involvement Legislation” (Family Court Review, 2012); “The Irrational Woman: Informed Consent and Abortion Decision–Making” (Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, 2009); and “Rights, Remedies, and Facial Challenges” (Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 2009).

Rachel Sullivan Robinson is a professor in the School of International Service, is an expert on global health interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, including family planning, HIV/AIDS, and sexuality education. She has used insights from field research in Namibia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal to understand the prioritization of sexuality education in Mississippi, and also studies how social movements support sexual and gender minority populations in conservative contexts. Her research has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, and the National Science Foundation. Robinson can discuss issues related to abortion politics in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as how U.S. abortion politics influence health outcomes in countries receiving global health assistance from the U.S.

Jessica Waters is the dean of undergraduate education and vice provost for academic student services, is a faculty member in the School of Public Affairs and has also taught at the Washington College of Law. Her research focuses primarily on reproductive rights law and questions related to the legal impact of women’s medical decisions during pregnancy and childbirth, employment-based conscience protections for reproductive health care providers, and the reproductive rights of employees working for religiously affiliated employers. She has recently written on this issue for USATODAY.

Tracy A. Weitz is a professor of sociology and a national expert on abortion care, policy, culture, and politics. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of California at San Francisco, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and the U.S. Programs Director at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. Weitz co-founded and directed UCSF’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health research program, which influenced the California legislature to pass AB154, which permits nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform aspiration abortions. Six additional states have since implemented the same policy change. While at UCSF, Weitz also served as the founding executive director for the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

Stephen Wermiel is a professor of practice in constitutional law and part of the program on law and government at the Washington College of Law. He is co-author of JUSTICE BRENNAN: LIBERAL CHAMPION, the definitive biography of the late Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. He is also co-author of THE PROGENY: JUSTICE WILLIAM J. BRENNAN’S FIGHT TO PRESERVE THE LEGACY OF NEW YORK TIMES V. SULLIVAN, published by ABA Publishing in 2014. Wermiel holds expertise in the U.S. Supreme Court, having covered the court for the Wall Street Journal from 1979 until 1991. Wermiel teaches constitutional law, First Amendment and a seminar on the workings of the Supreme Court. 

Contact: AU Communications, at 202-885-5950 or via e-mail at [email protected]   

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