City Lights in conjunction with Mother Jones present
Defending Choice: Roe vs. Wade and the Battle to Preserve Women’s Reproductive Rights
Moderated by Becca Andrews of Mother Jones Magazine with Jenny Brown, Dr. Katherine Brown, Joshua Prager, and Mary Ziegler
With the reversal of Roe vs. Wade on the horizon and its dire consequences threatening women’s rights and healthcare, City Lights and Mother Jones Magazine bring together four of the most well-versed writers on the subject for an immersive exploration. Beginning with how we got here, we will explore the historical, legal, medical, and activist related aspects of Roe vs. Wade. A special focus will be placed on the political and economic issues at the heart of the battle for women’s rights. Our participants will offer a deep analysis, exposing the connections between the dismantling of Roe vs. Wade and the stripping of constitutional protections that extend beyond the issue of women’s reproductive rights and into campaign finance laws and beyond. We will offer a barometer for where the situation stands and how we can best fight to protect women’s rights.
About our panel:
Becca Andrews is a reporter at Mother Jones. A Southerner, she most often writes about the Southeast, gender, and culture. Before joining Mother Jones as an editorial fellow, she wrote for newspapers in Tennessee. Her work has also appeared in Slate, The New Republic, Wired, and Jezebel, among others. Her first book, No Choice, on the dwindling access to abortion in the United States, is due out in October from Hachette’s Public Affairs imprint.
Jenny Brown was a leader in the fight to get the morning-after pill over the counter in the US and a plaintiff in the winning lawsuit. She is co-author of the Redstockings book Women’s Liberation and National Health Care: Confronting the Myth of America. While editor at Labor Notes magazine, she coauthored How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers. She writes, teaches, and organizes with the feminist group National Women’s Liberation and is the author of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work. Verso Books published her book WITHOUT APOLOGY: The Abortion Struggle Now.
Dr. Katherine Brown is a general obstetrician-gynecologist and is fellowship-trained in family planning at UCSF. She provides full-scope reproductive healthcare. She is a passionate advocate for reproductive health, choice, and justice. Her research focuses on exploring and improving the reproductive health experiences of Black women.
Joshua Prager, a former senior writer for The Wall Street Journal, has written about historical secrets—revealing all from the hidden scheme that led to baseball’s most famous moment (Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World”) to the only-ever anonymous recipient of a Pulitzer Prize (a photographer he tracked down in Iran). His work, described by George Will as “exemplary journalistic sleuthing,” has shed new light on our cultural touchstones. So does his new book, The Family Roe, illuminating unknown stories and people behind Roe v. Wade, and enabling the public, for the first time, to see the abortion debate in America in its full social and personal context. The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Mary Ziegler is the Stearns Weaver Miller Professor at Florida State University College of Law. She specializes in the legal history of reproduction, the family, sexuality, and the Constitution. In the spring of 2022, she is visiting at Harvard Law School. Her most recent book, Abortion and the Law in America: A Legal History, Roe v. Wade to the Present, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020, and received positive reviews in outlets from the Washington Post to the Christian Science Monitor. Her new book, Dollars for Life: The Antiabortion Movement and the Fall of the Republican Establishment, will be published by Yale University Press in June of 2022. She also has a forthcoming book with Routledge, Reproduction and the Constitution. Her next project, What Roe Means: A History, will be published by Yale in 2023.
Founded in 1976, Mother Jones is America’s longest-established investigative news organization. They are based in San Francisco and have bureaus in Washington, DC, and New York. Mother Jones is a reader-supported investigative news organization recently honored as Magazine of the Year by its peers in the industry. Their nonprofit newsroom goes deep on the biggest stories of the moment, from politics and criminal and racial justice to education, climate change, and food/agriculture. They reach more than 10 million people each month via our website, social media, videos, podcasts, email newsletters, and print magazine. Their fellowship program is one of the premier training grounds for emerging investigative storytellers. Learn more at: https://www.motherjones.com
This event was made possible with support from the City Lights Foundation