Reproductive Justice will be a seminar reviewing legal and ethical issues surrounding decisions about pregnancy and childbirth with a focus on reproductive injustice issues. We will look mainly at United States case and statutory law on the rights of women, childbearing issues, maternal-fetal questions, as well as laws and practices restricting access to services. We will consider embryonic stem cell issues, individual rights versus societal standards, autonomy versus medical standards, post birth accommodations and sexual rights issues. We will pay special attention to how the law defines "rights" and the difference between "Women's rights" and "reproductive justice." We will use legal decisions, statutes and readings to see if/how the legal system works to resolve conflicts and navigate social policy issues.
The specific goals are:
1. To understand the impact of major legal decisions and analyze current questions about reproductive justice issues.
2. To understand relevant social and policy issues and see how the legal system plays a role in the lives of individuals.
3. To use legal and social policy approaches to help you think critically about reproductive justice and injustice in our society.
4. To think and write critically about how the legal system helps, hinders or is neutral on issues of reproductive justice.
5. To determine what the rules are, what you believe they ought to be (and why) and how to get from "are" to "ought."
6. To analyze legal and ethical materials, discuss positions taken by partisans in the reproductive justice debates, formulate thoughtful questions, discuss difficult issues and create new ways of discussing these issues.
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