On Monday, November 7th, McDonnell Scholars and guests gathered to discuss reproductive justice from gendered, legal, medical, and religious perspectives. Moderated by Dr. Stephanie Kirk, the panel included Professors Rachel Brown, PhD, Adrienne Davis, JD, Emily J. Dumler-Winkler, PhD, Jason T. Eberl, PhD, and Rachael Bradshaw, MS, CGC. Following the panel, McDonnell Scholars from varied disciplines shared their reflections on Monday night’s rich conversation:
“Very good to hear comments from people who have different areas of study.” – Engineering: Systems Science & Mathematics PhD
“I appreciated the meaningful questions asked and the depth of the responses. The panelists left attendees with a sense of urgency. They challenged us to think about how shifts in reproductive rights impact our lives, our field, and our local and global community.” – Social Work MSW
“It was a good opportunity to learn how this supreme court decision will impact society in many ways, mostly impacting socially marginalized groups. Despite having panelists from such diverse backgrounds and opinions on this sensitive topic, the event was very civil and educational. The active participation of the scholars made the discussion shine brighter, which made me feel proud of being in the community. As one said, the first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. I hope this event made people recognize this complex problem as it did for me.” – Immunology PhD
“The discussion really gave me a whole new perspective on the topic of reproductive rights.… I would like to share the three major things I learned and my thoughts after the discussion. First, the legislation regarding abortion decisions influences more people than I had imagined…. Second, I was really impressed when the discussion came to “trusting women to make their own decision on aborting pregnancy”…. Last but not least, the most confident statement I could make is that at best legal access to abortion should be provided, at least some good choices should be clearly pointed out since unexpected or unwanted pregnancies still occur regardless how the laws or regulations are made.” Biomedical Engineering PhD
“Overall, I thought the discussion on reproductive rights was not only fruitful but very productive. It was enlightening to hear the aspects and discourse occurring within religious-affiliated organizations and specialties. Also, the panelists having such a broad array of specialties provided such a unique platform with immense engagement that remained civil and insightful.” – Immunology PhD
The panel on reproductive rights is the first event organized by the McDonnell Academy Panel of Scholars (MAPS). More cross-disciplinary and engaging events are planned for Spring 2023.
Photos from the event are available on the McDonnell Academy Flickr page.