The Future of Roe v. Wade

Virtual Panel Discussion


Maria San Filippo (Emerson College), Ellen Key (Appalachian State University), and Caroline Voithofer (University of Innsbruck)

moderated by Cornelia Klecker (University of Innsbruck)

co-organized by the Department of American Studies and the Student Council for English and American Studies

 Roe v. Wade 1

June 13, 2022 | 6 pm | Zoom Link

The recently leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. on the Supreme Court Case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has sparked a renewed debate regarding the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. The 1973 Supreme Court decision established the constitutional right to abortion and prohibited states from banning the procedure before fetal viability. While Supreme Court draft opinions are subject to change, the Supreme Court will likely rule on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi case, sometime this June.

The Mississippi law before the Supreme Court this summer was enacted in 2018 by the Mississippi Legislature but never went into effect because it was immediately challenged. The law directly challenges Roe v. Wade as it aims to ban abortions, if the gestation age exceeds 15 weeks and only includes restrictive exceptions in medical emergencies. Central to the case is Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. If the Supreme Court moves to overturn Roe v. Wade based on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, several Republican governed states, including Mississippi, have so-called trigger laws that would outlaw abortion within 30 days. Such laws would leave women in many states, particularly in the Midwest and the South, without legal access to abortion and severely limit women’s reproductive choices and rights.

Our panelists include Ellen Key, PhD (Appalachian State University), who will provide us with her extensive judicial politics expertise on Roe v. Wade. In addition, Maria San Filippo, PhD (Emerson College), will help us critically reflect upon the screen representations of abortion and reproductive rights in the United States. Finally, Dr. Caroline Voithofer (University of Innsbruck) will share her expertise regarding the Austrian and European legislation on abortion with us.

First and foremost, the virtual panel discussion invites students to learn and ask questions about the US-American and Austrian context regarding the highly politicized issue of abortion and restrictive legislation limiting women’s reproductive rights.

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