Blog: Sexual and Reproductive Rights

March 12, 2018

LISTEN: Criminal Abortion in the United States

Earlier this month, we welcomed Carol Sanger, Visiting Professor at HLS and Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and Mindy Roseman, Director of International Programs and Director of the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights at Yale Law School, for a timely and compelling conversation about human rights and the criminal punishment of abortion. Below is the full audio of their conversation.

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February 28, 2018

Tomorrow, March 1: Criminal Abortion in the U.S.

March 1, 2018

“Criminal Abortion in the U.S.”

11:45- 12:45 p.m.
WCC 2004

Please join us for a lunch talk on human rights and the criminal punishment of abortion with Carol Sanger, Austin Wakeman Scott Visiting Professor of Law at HLS and Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and Mindy Roseman, Director of International Programs and Director of the Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights at Yale Law School.

Despite Vice President Pence’s pledge to consign Roe v. Wade to the “ash heap of history,” there are signs that many Americans would not support the re-criminalization of abortion. Professor Sanger will discuss this evidence and raise questions about the criminal punishment of abortion, such as why pregnant woman have not been subject to criminal abortion laws in the U.S. and whether the current administration and red state politicians actually want Roe V. Wade to be overturned. Dr. Roseman will situate the U.S. experience within a global context by discussing criminal abortion in other countries and examining the treatment of criminal abortion under international human rights law.

This event is being co-sponsored by the HLS Criminal Justice Policy Program, the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, and HLS Students for Reproductive Justice.

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January 31, 2018

Tomorrow, Feb. 1: Feminism and Advocacy in Saudi Arabia

Thursday, February 1, 2018

“A Road Less Traveled: Feminism and Advocacy in Saudi Arabia”

A talk by Saudi scholar and activist Hala Aldosari

12:00- 1:00 p.m.
WCC 1023

Lunch will be served

Saudi activist and scholar Hala Aldosari will discuss the status of women’s rights advocacy in Saudi Arabia, drawing lessons for feminists who choose to tread an uncharted, less traveled road. In this talk, Aldosari will draw personal insights and reflections from women’s rights campaigns and the ongoing journey to organize thought and action in a country where activism continues to be criminalized.

Co-Sponsored by the Middle Eastern Law Students Association, HLS Advocates, and the Islamic Legal Studies Program: Law and Social Change.

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January 26, 2018

Monday, Jan. 29: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness

Monday, January 29, 2018

“Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness”

WCC 3012

Lunch will be served


Please join us for a talk with Trevor Hoppe, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, SUNY, on his book, Punishing Disease: HIV and the criminalization of sickness. The book examines how and why U.S. policymakers and public health systems have adopted coercive and punitive responses to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. It also looks at how others diseases have been punished throughout history, and cautions against the extension of criminalization to diseases such as hepatitis and meningitis.

This talk is part of the Human Rights Program’s year-long speaker series examining the criminalization of human rights concerning gender, sexuality, and reproduction. The event is co-sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law, Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics, the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, and the Criminal Justice Policy Program.

November 9, 2017

Tomorrow, Nov. 10: Addressing the Harms and Curbing the Use of Armed Drones; LGBTQ Rights in the Arab World

Friday, November 10, 2017

“Armed Drones: Addressing Harms and Curbing Use”

A talk by Elizabeth Minor, Advisor, Article 36

12:00- 1:00 p.m.
WCC 3016

Please join us for a brown bag informal lunch discussion with Elizabeth Minor, an Advisor at UK-based disarmament NGO Article 36. Minor will explore the current state of international action by states and NGOs to address the concerns raised by armed drones. She will also discuss the need to work towards agreement on the limits of the acceptable use of these technologies in order to respond to the harm they cause.

Minor is a researcher and campaigner who has worked for eight years with NGOs and in international coalitions, undertaking policy analysis and advocacy to address armed violence and harm from certain weapons. Most recently with Article 36 she worked to achieve the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017.

This event is part of the International Human Rights Clinic’s work on armed conflict and civilian protection.


“Dismantling Oppressive Structures: LGBTQ Rights in the Arab World”

A panel discussion

12:00- 1:00 p.m.
WCC B015

This event is open to Harvard Law School affiliates only

Over the past ten years, new battle lines have begun to form in much of the Arab world. Quietly, slowly, but firmly, LGBTQ activists across the region have begun to resist the legacy of decades of injustice and discrimination against them visibly and vocally by organizing their ranks and embarking on brave acts of resistance.

This panel will examine the cultural and sociopolitical origins and dynamics of homophobia and transphobia in the Arab world and engage in an open and honest conversation about what queer liberation would look like in this complex region. Panelists will draw on their own experiences as activists and debate solutions to dismantle the existing structures of oppression in a number of contexts, including Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, and Palestine.

The panelists: Sa’ed Atshan, Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College (Palestine); Dalia Al-Farghal, LGBTQ Rights Activist, (Egypt); Senda Ben Jbara, LGBTQ Rights Activist (Tunisia); and Tarek Zeidan, LGBTQ Rights Activist, Helem or Lebanese Protection for LGBTQs (Lebanon).

This event is co-sponsored by Lambda, HLS Advocates, MELSA, and the Human Rights Progam, all at Harvard Law School.

September 27, 2017

Tomorrow, Sept. 28: Tackling Gender-Based Violence and HIV in Southern Africa

Thursday, September 28, 2017

“Rights, Action, and Accountability: Tackling Gender-Based Violence and HIV in Southern Africa”

A talk by Dean Peacock, Executive Director, Sonke Gender Justice

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
WCC 3016

Lunch will be served


Please join us for a talk by Dean Peacock, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sonke Gender Justice, an award winning South African NGO working across Africa to prevent gender-based violence, reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS, and promote human rights. Dean is a visiting scholar at the University of California, San Francisco Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and is an honorary senior lecturer at University of Cape Town’s School of Public Health. He is an internationally recognized expert on masculinities and serves on many advisory boards, including the Nobel Women’s Initiative Campaign to Stop Rape and Domestic Violence in Conflict, and was a member of the U.N. Secretary General’s Network of Men Leaders.

September 12, 2017

Statement in Solidarity with Lambda and QTPOC on JAG Recruiting

Posted by Anna Crowe, Yee Htun, Salma Waheedi, Tyler Giannini and Susan Farbstein

As human rights advocates, we support the student groups Lambda and QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) in their action today against Harvard Law School’s decision to allow JAG recruiting on campus, which is the school’s only exception to its anti-discrimination policy. We also support the students’ call for increased support and awareness for issues affecting the transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming community. We stand in solidarity with the students, staff and faculty seeking to build a more inclusive Harvard Law School.

Read the students’ statement here.

Student action outside the classrooms where JAG was recruiting today.

February 28, 2017

Tomorrow, March 1: “Shifting Grounds in International Human Rights”

Shifting GroundsMarch 1, 2017

“Shifting Grounds in International Human Rights”

12:00- 1:00 p.m.
WCC 3016

Please join the Human Rights Program for a panel discussion on how the international human rights landscape has changed since President Trump took office. HRP’s resident scholars and advocates will examine the question: what impact is the change of administration having on the work of international human rights scholars, lawyers, and activists working internationally? Panelists will address a range of topics, including women’s rights, LGBTQI rights, and the rights of religious minorities, and examine these issues in contexts where human rights are already under threat, such as Myanmar and the Middle East.

January 26, 2016

Moving on from the Human Rights Program (a note from Mindy Jane Roseman)

Posted by Mindy Roseman

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

After ten years as Academic Director at the Human Rights Program, and many years before that as a collaborator at the Harvard School of Public Health, I write to let you know that I am leaving HRP, effective February 5, 2016.  I will be joining Yale Law School as Director of both its International Programs and its Gruber Program on Global Justice and Women’s Rights. This was not an easy decision, especially since it means I will be warming the bench from the other side of the basketball court.

There are many communities at Harvard Law School that are dear to me, but I cherish HRP – its work, staff, faculty, students, alumni – perhaps above all. I’ll still be on campus this semester (teaching a seminar), and my email will be active through June.

I hope to stay in touch and wish you all the best of luck.



November 9, 2015

Tomorrow: “After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate”

“After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate”

November 10, 2015

12:00- 1:00 p.m.

WCC 3012


Please join us for a book talk with Prof. Mary Ziegler, Stearns Weaver Miller Professor of Law at Florida State University College, for a discussion of After Roe: The Lost History of The Abortion Debate (Harvard University Press, 2015). After Roe uses more than 100 oral history interviews and extensive archival research to challenge the conventional legal and historical account of social-movement reactions to Roe v. Wade. In studying the decade after Roe, the project explores reasons for the contemporary polarization of the abortion wars. Prof. Ziegler is a 2007 graduate of Harvard Law School.

Co-sponsored by HLS Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Books will be available for purchase.

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