Since Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, state courts and legislatures have grappled with its legal and policy implications, especially as they pertain to abortion and IVF. In LePage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine, for example, the Alabama Supreme Court held that frozen embryos should be regarded as “children” for the purposes of Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. And in Planned Parenthood v. Mayes, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law that bans all abortions in the state except those deemed necessary to save the life of the mother.
These recent rulings have been highly criticized by commentators on both sides of the aisle, and they raise important questions about the legal status of IVF and abortion in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. For example, in both cases, the courts interpreted the law in accordance with textualist principles, and the state legislatures swiftly enacted measures to address the state supreme court decisions afterward. Are these cases therefore examples of the proper allocation of powers, where the judiciary says what the law is, and the legislature is tasked with implementing policy? With the question of abortion being returned to the legislative process post-Dobbs, do these cases invite more thoughtful dialogue about abortion and IVF policy, or do they sow further acrimony? Were these cases rightly decided? Can we articulate a legal standard vis-à-vis abortion and IVF that is both thoughtful and conceptually consistent? In what ways do abortion and IVF interact, both philosophically and legally? Please join us as we discuss these issues and others with some of the leading scholars in this space.

Prof. I. Glenn Cohen, James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law & Deputy Dean; Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics; Harvard University Law School
Prof. O. Carter Snead, Director, de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture and Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law School
(Moderator) Jennie Bradley Lichter, Deputy General Counsel, The Catholic University of America

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