Summer 2013

Maintaining the Momentum of a Stupendous Start  

Classes have resumed, and CRRJ is abuzz with the fresh perspective and exciting potential a new year brings. Now in its second year, CRRJ will build on the momentum of an immensely productive inaugural year to reach further, dream bigger, and achieve even greater feats.

CRRJ has brilliant ideas and big plans for the year ahead, but we can't make them a reality without you. We rely on contributions from individuals who share our vision and value our work. Please consider making a tax-exempt donation today.

We welcome gifts of all sizes, which can be made in a matter of minutes by completing Berkeley Law's secure online donation form.  Thank you for helping to ensure CRRJ's success throughout this school year and beyond. 
Crafting a Groundbreaking Casebook

Throughout the year, CRRJ Affiliated Faculty and Berkeley Law Professor Melissa Murray and Faculty Director Kristin Luker will be co-authoring the first textbook that explores U.S. reproductive rights and justice issues from a legal perspective, to be published by Foundation Press in 2014.  The authors are supported by CRRJ Executive Director Jill Adams, Legal Fellow Yvonne Lindgren, and Law Student Researcher Abbey Marr. 


Their decision to write the casebook was prompted in large part by the work of Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ), which has been tracking the rapid development of relevant courses and providing stopgap educational materials to students and instructors throughout the country for the last decade. With the casebook, the authors will mark this emerging field and meet the needs of a large, untapped, and unsatisfied market.   


"The legal analysis of reproductive rights and justice implicates a host of other issues: from employment discrimination and access to health care, to race and gender inequalities. A comprehensive textbook is essential to understanding all the legal issues involved. CRRJ's support of this project will allow us to produce an invaluable resource for law schools, scholars, and legal practitioners."


- Melissa Murray, Professor, Berkeley Law

Bolstering Proactive Policies  

CRRJ has supported several bills and actions this session that would expand access to reproductive healthcare and protect the reproductive rights of California's residents and families, including: 

  • AB 154 (Atkins) Early Access to Abortion is heading to Governor Brown's desk for signature. Click HERE to sign a petition in support. #AbortionAccess
  • AB 271 (Mitchell) Repeal of the Maximum Family Grant is in the suspense file of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Click HERE to sign a petition in support.  View the picture campaign HERE.  #RepealMFG  
  • AB 912 (Quirk-Silva) Fertility Preservation Services for Cancer Patients has passed the Assembly and Senate and is heading back to the Assembly for final approval.
  • AB 1308 (Bonilla) Increased Access to Midwifery Care passed the Assembly and awaits a vote by the Senate.
Visiting Researcher Elena Gutierrez testified about sterilization abuse before the Senate Public Safety Committee on August 13th. She joined advocates calling on lawmakers to mount an investigation into the sterilization abuse of women in California prisons, documented by Justice Now, and to put stronger safeguards in place to keep it from happening again. 
Earning Kudos for our Contributions  

"CRRJ's issue brief on family cap policies has been very valuable to our broad-based coalition's efforts to pass AB 271 (Mitchell) and repeal California's welfare family cap. The noxious Maximum Family Grant rule inserts the state into private reproductive decisions of women who receive temporary state aid. Many who support reproductive rights do not immediately see their connection to welfare policy; however, the problem of family caps, and who is or is not sanctioned to have children as a matter of governmental policy, is one that CRRJ's Executive Director Jill Adams has long recognized as a key reproductive justice issue. Jill brought the brain power and credibility of CRRJ to the AB 271 campaign and introduced us to Visiting Researcher Dr. Elena Gutierrez. 


The brief Elena authored was the perfect marriage of scholarship and activism (which I'd like to see a lot more of). We took copies of CRRJ's issue brief with us on visits with legislators, and the association with Berkeley Law gave the brief and its message an immediate aura of respectability and authority. We so appreciate that CRRJ's commitment to the repeal of California's MFG rule resulted in this thoughtful and comprehensive brief."

- Nayantara Mehta, Esq. (Berkeley Law '06)

Women's Policy Institute Fellow, RJ Team

AB 271 passed the Assembly (53-25) in May and the Senate Human Services Committee (4-2) in July. It is in the suspense file in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Democratic Party has endorsed it as one of 25 priority bills this session. To learn more about the roots, results, and repeals of welfare family caps, download the issue brief described above, "Bringing Families out of 'Cap'tivity: the Need to Repeal the CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant Rule."  
Capturing CRRJ in Action
CRRJ Reception NYC August 2013
Attendees enjoyed a CRRJ networking reception for scholars of reproduction and local reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates on August 9th in New York City.   
Zakiya Luna and Kristin Luker, along with Stephanie Alvarado, Dorothy Roberts, and Jeanne Flavin conducted an intergenerational discussion about reproductive justice on a panel at the Sociologists for Women in Society conference on August 10th.    

"I was excited to learn about your new center. I think it is emphatically relevant at this historic moment and provides an intersectional space we can all use. The most invigorating moments for me at ASA were your Friday reception and the Saturday noon panel. The excitement at both gatherings was invigorating."

- Mary Patrice Erdmans, Associate Professor 
Dep't of Sociology, Case Western Reserve University
Elena Gutierrez was presented with an award from CRRJ for her exceptional commitment to the cause and service above and beyond the call of duty as Visiting Researcher on August 19th. The award will be given annually in her name to one person who provides exceptional service to CRRJ and contributions to the reproductive rights and justice movement. 
Jill Adams and Alicia Walters discussed who the RJ
movement is and where it is going at the Law   Students for Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute on July 27th at Berkeley Law. 
"Extremely informative & inspiring, got us fired up!  Also an important discussion about privilege and how we can own ours but still work on these issues."
 - law student feedback in evaluation 
Reconvening the Reproductive Justice Working Group

The Reproductive Justice Working Group (RJWG) is a facilitated gathering of activists, clergy, researchers, students, faculty, and community members who meet twice a month. The group's primary goal is to co-create an environment where participants can deepen their understanding of reproductive justice and develop practical ideas for integrating it into their research and practice. 


This semester, the RJWG will meet the following Wednesdays from 4:00 - 6:00 PM:  September 11, 25; October 9, 23; November 6, 20; December 4, 11. Meetings will be held in a wheelchair-accessible location in Berkeley with free parking for people with disability placards. Space is limited. Express your interest in participating by September 9th by emailing In response, you will receive details about registration, preparations for the first meeting, and directions. For more information about the RJWG, click HERE.     
Speech, Symbols, and Substantial Obstacles:  
The Doing and "Undue"ing of Abortion Law since Casey

CRRJ Abortion Law Symposium Web Banner

Register HERE for a fascinating symposium and reception to be held at Berkeley Law on Friday, October 4, 2013.  Thought leaders from diverse disciplines will examine the constitutive power and widespread impact of current laws related to abortion in the U.S. Discussion will focus on Planned Parenthood v. Casey's undue burden standard and the way this "standardless standard" is playing out in courts across the country, altering people's access to and experience of abortion care.


The event is free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible. Registration is required. Click HERE for more details.
Recruiting for the CRRJ Crew

CRRJ is seeking law student research assistants and work-study students to support multiple projects during fall semester 2013. Visit the website for information about qualifying and applying.

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