On Monday 21 May the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre (QMLAC) hosted roundtable discussions on reproductive justice in collaboration with the School of Law, Leverhulme, and Trinity College Dublin.
Tackling questions such as “How do legal struggles over abortion involve commitments to justice for all reproducers, particularly those made more marginal and vulnerable by law?”, this roundtable conducted a deep dive into new directions in abortion law and reproductive justice.
Indeed, the overturning of Roe v Wade’s constitutional right to abortion in Dobbs, sparked a global conversation on realities and nuances of reproductive rights, as well as the state of societal attitudes to such. The roundtables sought to share and expand that space by talking about how public legal education, including university classrooms, law clinics, social justice lawyering, and community organising could best respond to the challenges of our reproductive times.
It was a privilege to host a number of outstanding experts and academics to bring this discussion to life. The interplay of theory, real life case studies and personal experiences ensured a riveting and inspiring event. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the remarkable speakers that attended this event.
Catherine Conlon (chair) is Associate Professor of Social Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Principal Investigator of the Reproductive Citizenship Project, co-author of the UnPAC study (pdf), and academic advisor to the O’Shea operational review of Ireland’s abortion law (2023). Barbara Baird is Associate Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, Flinders University, author of the forthcoming history of abortion provision in Australia Abortion Care is Health Care, and co-convenor of South Australian Abortion Action Coalition where abortion was decriminalised in 2021. Erica Millar is a DECRA Research Fellow working on institutional abortion stigma, author of Happy Abortions, and a lecturer in the School of Crime, Justice and Legal Studies, La Trobe University.
Kate Antosik-Parsons is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Social Studies, Trinity College Dublin, co-author of the UnPAC study, an art historian and a visual artist, and a past organiser with the Dublin Bay North Repeal the Eighth campaign.
Maeve Taylor is Director of Advocacy and Communications at the Irish Family Planning Association, the leading provider of sexual and reproductive health services in Ireland, and a published human rights practitioner.
Paola Bergallo is Associate Professor in the School of Law at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella, author of publications on public health, gender justice and reproductive rights, including El Aborto en America Latina (2018), and advocate in the 2021 legalisation of abortion in Argentina.
Ruth Fletcher (chair) is Reader in Medical Law and Leverhulme Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London working on timely abortion, expert witnessing and reproductive justice.
Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC is a human rights barrister at Doughty Street Chambers who regularly acts in test cases seeking justice with marginalised and vulnerable clients, nationally and internationally. She is Special Rapporteur for Child Protection in Ireland, and acted in a series of cases contesting the almost complete legal restriction of abortion in Northern Ireland before decriminalisation in 2019.
Emma Campbell is co-editor of Decriminalising Abortion in Northern Ireland, co-convenor of Alliance for Choice, an artist and member of Turner-prize winning Array Collective, and a PhD student in photography and reproductive justice at Ulster University.
Máiréad Enright is Professor of Feminist Legal Studies at Birmingham University, co-author of Repealing the Eighth, and a Leverhulme Research Fellow working on legal histories of gendered institutional violence.
Sabrina Germain is Reader in Healthcare Law and Policy at City University London, author of Justice and Profit in Healthcare Law and currently working on access to healthcare for ethnic minorities and migrant women.
Sandra Duffy is Lecturer in Law at Bristol University with interests in gender variation, human rights and reproductive justice, including Contested Subjects of Human Rights (2021).