Reproductive health and rights are under attack in every branch and level of government. States are rushing to pass laws that further restrict access to reproductive health care, such as contraception and abortion. These laws have already limited access to care, especially among poor and low-income women, and are ultimately designed to strip Americans of some of their most basic rights. Restrictions on Title X funding have already begun to reduce access to family planning programs across the country. And federal and state governments are creating religious and moral exemptions to anti-discrimination laws that threaten to deny access to contraception, abortion, and other fundamental health care services.
Given these attacks and the drastically changing landscape of reproductive rights in the nation, the need for scholars, policymakers and advocates who are focused on advancing reproductive health, law, and policy could not be more pressing. Founded in 2021 through a budget allocation from the state of California, the the UCLA Law Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy is an interdisciplinary, national academic research center designed to bridge this gap. The Center is dedicated to training the next generation of reproductive health and rights leaders, while producing research-informed strategies to transform current debates. The Center amplifies UCLA Law’s current work on reproductive health, law, and policy and builds capacity by attracting new leaders, scholars, and students.
Educating the UCLA Law community about the legal dimensions of reproductive justice.
Examining in all areas of reproductive rights.
Supporting a vibrant pro bono culture at UCLA School of Law.
A Conversation on the Long Legal Fight over Abortion with Cary Franklin.
Who We Are
Law School Affiliated Faculty
Cary FranklinMcDonald/Wright Chair of Law
Faculty Director of the Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy
Faculty Director of the Williams Institute
Robert Bradley SearsAssociate Dean of Public Interest Law
David Sanders Distinguished Scholar of Law & Policy, The Williams Institute
Founding Executive Director, The Williams Institute
Sapna KhatriSears Clinical Teaching Fellow
Lara StempleAssistant Dean for Graduate Studies and International Student Programs
Kate MackintoshExecutive Director, Promise Institute for Human Rights
Allison KornAssistant Dean for Experiential Education
LaToya Baldwin ClarkAssistant Professor of Law
Kimberlé W. CrenshawDistinguished Professor of Law
Promise Institute Chair in Human Rights
Laura E. GómezProfessor of Law
Rachel F. Moran Endowed Chair in Law
Jill R. HorwitzDavid Sanders Professorship in Law and Medicine
Professor of Public Affairs (by courtesy)
Founding Faculty Director, Program on Philanthropy and Nonprofits
Vice Dean for Faculty and Intellectual Life (2019-2021)
Russell KorobkinInterim Dean
Richard C. Maxwell Distinguished Professor of Law
Seana ShiffrinProfessor of Philosophy
Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice
Adam WinklerConnell Professor of Law
Jessica PeakeDirector, International and Comparative Law Program
Assistant Director, the Promise Institute for Human Rights
Jon D. MichaelsProfessor of Law
Fellows and Scholars
Sapna Khatri, Sears Clinical Teaching Fellow on Sexual and Reproductive HealthSapna Khatri (she/her) is the inaugural Sears Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinical Law Teaching Fellow and will help create a new policy clinic on reproductive and sexual health for UCLA Law students. Khatri joins UCLA Law from the ACLU of Illinois, where she served as Advocacy and Policy Counsel and Staff Attorney. She spent the first year as a legal fellow in their Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project, focusing on a range of reproductive health and justice issues. As Advocacy and Policy Counsel, Khatri focused on a range of privacy, technology, and surveillance matters. Her research focus as a Teaching Fellow explores the intersection of reproductive justice and increasingly invasive technology.
Sofia Perdoza, 2021 UC Presidential Public Service FellowSofia Pedroza (she/her) is serving as the Olivia and Jamie Cayden Reproductive Rights Fellow with the California Planned Parenthood Education Fund. Pedroza, UCLA Law ’21, clerked with Administrative Judge Louis Garcia in the Federal Sector of the EEOC. She served as articles editor for UCLA Law Review and Women’s Law Journal, while also co-chairing If/When/How, Lawyering for Reproductive Justice. Pedroza earned her B.A. summa cum laude, from Cal Poly Pomona and her M.A., magna cum laude, from UC-Irvine.
Brittany Chung, 2021 Reproductive Rights Public Interest ScholarBrittany Chung (she/her) is the new Center’s first public interest scholar. She is currently a first year at UCLA School of Law, where she is a member of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. Prior to coming to UCLA, Brittany worked as a legal advocate for domestic violence survivors in Philadelphia. During her time in the city, Brittany worked on a campaign to shut down crisis pregnancy centers and a community listening project regarding self-managed abortion care. She also served as a community organizing fellow for an abortion fund and a member of a practical support network that provided transportation and lodging for people seeking abortion services. Brittany firmly believes that true reproductive justice is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice and encompasses issues of family safety and affordable and accessible healthcare. She hopes for a world where everyone has full control over what their family looks like.
Cathren Cohen, Scholar of Law and Policy, Sexual and Reproductive RightsCathren Cohen (she/her) is a Scholar of Law and Policy with the new Center and the Williams Institute at UCLA Law, where her work focuses on sexual and reproductive rights. Cohen previously served as a Staff Attorney with the National Health Law Program, where she engaged in policy and administrative advocacy to advance access to high quality health care for low-income and underserved individuals with a particular focus on behavioral health care, substance use disorder treatment, and the health needs of LGBTQ individuals, incarcerated populations, and youth in foster care. Prior to that, Cohen was a Law Fellow with Lambda Legal’s Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project, where she advocated for the rights of LGBTQ youth in child welfare, juvenile justice, and homelessness systems of care and opposed efforts to use religion as a license to discriminate. Cohen received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she served as a Senior Articles Editor for the NYU Review of Law and Social Change and served on the board of the law school’s chapter of If/When/How (then Law Students for Reproductive Justice). She received her B.A. with majors in Political Science and Psychology from UCLA.
Rabbi Barbara ZackyIn June 2022, Rabbi Barbara Zacky gave a leadership gift to CRHLP for a series of strategic convenings that will lay the groundwork for new legal theories, research, and approaches to reproductive justice after the fall of Roe v. Wade. Read more about what this gift means to her by clicking the link below.
Pro Bono Opportunities
Student Research is supervised by Clinical Law Teaching Fellow, Sapna Khatri.
The Center launched its first in a series of research projects with students at UCLA Law in the Fall of 2021. Through a partnership with the Williams Institute and the student organization, If/When/How – Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, students are exploring abortion criminalization across the country. While we are seeing a rise in abortion restrictions recently, several states have long criminalized abortion in some capacity. To help better understand the status of abortion criminalization in the U.S., students completed a 50-state survey on the topic, which will serve as the foundation for in-depth research.
Students will have additional opportunities to assist with Center research and participate in pro bono events. Specifically, students will continue exploring barriers to abortion access, religious refusals, comprehensive sex-ed implementation, and issues of economic justice as related to veteran access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.
UCLA Law has a rich history of training public interest leaders who strive to make a difference in communities across the world through their dedication to public service and social justice. The Epstein Program offers one such avenue to prepare and empower students as they pursue a career in public interest law.
Students interested in building a career as public interest lawyers focused on reproductive justice are eligible for a CRHLP scholarship. To apply, students must apply to the Epstein Program, write their public interest essay about reproductive justice, and be admitted into the Epstein Program.
Recognizing that a young lawyer’s training extends beyond the classroom, UCLA Law is committed to supporting law students throughout all aspects of their law school journey. This includes assisting students gain summer employment, secure externships, and participate in clinics.
UCLA Law students who wish to spend their summers focused on reproductive justice work, can apply for a CRHLP summer fellowship. Students must apply for summer funding through the regular application process for UCLA Law summer funding and have a host organization that is focused on reproductive justice. They should describe their passion for reproductive justice and the work they will be doing over the summer in their UCLA Law summer funding application. CRHLP summer fellowship awards are for $6,000 for 1Ls and 2Ls and are in place of UCLA Law summer funding (not in addition to it.)
In addition to offering support during a student’s law school career, UCLA offers a number of fellowships to support graduates. Specifically, the CRHLP awards two public interest fellowships each year to UCLA School of Law graduates. At least one fellowship will be to work for one year with CRHLP. Graduating UCLA Law students can also apply for funding to work with a non-profit organization focused on reproductive justice. Applications for post-graduate fellowships will be announced to UCLA Law students in the spring semester of year.
Law Teaching Fellowships
Periodically, CRHLP will award a law teaching fellowship to work with CRHLP and teach at UCLA School of Law, including clinical law teaching fellowships. Any law graduate with a demonstrated commitment to reproductive justice, legal scholarship, and law teaching can apply for this fellowship program. Announcements for these fellowships will be posted each year.
Projects and Programs
The Center and its affiliated faculty and scholars file amicus briefs in key court cases and publish original legal scholarship and public policy analysis. Recent examples include:
Lauren van Schilfgaarde helped draft this amicus on behalf of Cecilia Fire Thunder, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the Native American Community Board, and Additional Advocacy Organizations and Individuals in support of respondents in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Org.
Read the brief.
Jill Horwitz helped draft this amicus on behalf of economists in support of respondents in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Org.
Read the brief.
Jon Michaels joined Blake Emerson (UCLA Law), David Noll (Rutgers Law), and Diego Zambrano (Stanford) in this Brief of Legal Scholards in support of Petitioner, United States v. Texas.
Read the brief.
Research and Reports
People Traveling to California and Los Angeles for Abortion Care if Roe v. Wade is Overturned
A new study from the Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy at UCLA School of Law finds that when the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, an estimated 10,600 people will travel to California each year for abortion care, 6,200 of whom will come to Los Angeles County.
Read the study.
Testimony of Cary Franklin before the California State Senate Judiciary Committee in support of State Constitutional Amendment 10
On Tuesday, June 14, 2022, Professor Cary Franklin provided testimony on behalf of SCA 10, a resolution which would amend the California State Constitution to "prohibit the state from denying or interfering with an individual’s reproductive freedom," "which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives."
Read her testimony.
Recommendations to Protect, Strengthen, an Expand Abortion Services in California
The Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy joined more than 40 organizations to create the California Future of Abortion Council. Comprised of sexual and reproductive health care providers, reproductive rights and reproductive justice advocacy organizations, legal and policy experts, researchers, and advocates, with the support of California ‘s Governor and Legislative leadership, the Council released a set of Recommendations to Protect, Strengthen, an Expand Abortion Services in California. We are proud to sign on to these recommendations and to work in partnership with others in the Council to ensure California remains a state where the rights of patients seeking abortion care, and those who support them, are protected.
Read the set of recommendations.
Report on Preserving Reproductive Health Access on the Anniversary of Roe V. Wade
The Center on Reproductive Law, Health, and Policy joined a working group convened by the Chief Executive Office’s (CEO), Women and Girls Initiative (WGI) to meet and develop written recommendations on how the County of Los Angeles (County) could respond should Roe v. Wade (Roe) be overturned. In phase one, the working group created an initial Report on Preserving Reproductive Health Access on the Anniversary of Roe V. Wade. This report includes information regarding monitoring the legislative timeline related to reproductive health care and contains recommendations for each of the Board directives in the areas of budget, enhanced medical training, expansion of the reproductive healthcare workforce, creating a uniform referral system, and opportunities to reduce and address health disparities.
Read the report.
- Franklin, Cary, Living Textualism, Supreme Court Review, 2021 Forthcoming. Full Text
- Michaels, Jon, Legal Vigilantes and the Institutionalization of Anti-Democratic Politics (2021). Full Text
- Franklin Cary, The Story of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and What It Means to Protect Women, in Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories, (edited by Melissa Murray, Kate Shaw & Reva Siegel, Foundation Press, 2019). Full Text
- Franklin, Cary The New Class Blindness, 128 Yale Law Journal 2 (2018). Full Text
- Franklin, Care Biological Warfare: Constitutional Conflict over “Inherent Differences” Between the Sexes, 2017 Supreme Court Review 169 (2018). Full Text
- Khatri, Sapna, Hijras: The 21st Century Untouchables, 16 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 387 (2017). Full Text
- Franklin, Cary, Roe as We Know It, 114 Michigan Law Review 867 (2016). Full Text
- Franklin, Cary, The Anti-Stereotyping Principle in Constitutional Sex Discrimination Law, 85 NYU Law Review 1 (2010). Full Text
In the News
- Cathren Cohen (Elite Daily)
- Cathren Cohen (Daily Bruin)
- Brad Sears (Town Hall: Criminalization of Reproductive Rights)
- Cathren Cohen quoted in NBC News
- Cary Franklin Podcast Guest, Lawyer 2 Lawyer
- Cary Franklin, Spectrum News
- Adam Winkler in GQ
- Cary Franklin in the Boston Globe
- Cary Franklin in Christian Science Monitor
- Cary Franklin on Air Talk with Larry Mantle (KPCC)
- Cary Franklin on Press Play with Madeline Brand, KCRW
- Cary Frankling in USA Today
- Cary Franklin - Podcast Then & Now
- Cary Franklin - PPLA in Conversation
- What the Supreme Court’s Abortion Decision Means, The Atlantic, Cary Franklin quoted
- Supreme Court justice signals openness to allowing religious beliefs to trump LGBTQ rights in hiring, San Francisco Chronicle, Cary Franklin quoted
- The Most Important Woman Lawyer in the History of the Republic, Politico, Cary Franklin quoted
- UCLA students, faculty worry for future of abortion rights amid new Texas Law, Daily Bruin, Sapna Khatri quoted
- Jon Michaels Op-Ed, New York Times
- Jon Michaels Co-Authored Article, TIME
- A Strategy of Confusion, The Atlantic, Adam Winkler quoted
- Supreme Court appears poised to expand gun rights and restrict abortion in its new term, Los Angeles Times, Adam Winkler quoted
- The Thomas court, Courthouse News Services, Adam Winkler quoted
Associate Dean of Public Interest Law
David Sanders Distinguished Scholar of Law & Policy, The Williams Institute
Founding Executive Director, The Williams Institute
McDonald/Wright Chair of Law
Faculty Director, Center on Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy
Faculty Director, The Williams Institute
Connell Professor of Law
Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies and International Student Programs
Founding Faculty Member, Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment
Professor of Law
Sears Clinical Teaching Fellow
Cathren Cohen – email@example.com
Scholar of Law and Policy, Sexual and Reproductive Rights
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