DCII Advanced Symposium: Reproductive Justice

Reproductive Justice is the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.



Interdisciplinary Symposium on Reproductive Justice: 

Perspectives from Law, Religion, Business and Culture 

April 4-5, 2019
Crum Auditorium, Collins Executive Education Center
3150 Binkley Avenue, Dallas, TX 75275
Lunch: Boxed lunch will be provided for attendees that register before April 1, 2019. Please note dietary restrictions to
Click here to see a complete tentative schedule
All attendees must register for each day of the symposium separately. Guests who are attending both days will have 2 tickets - one for Thursday and one for Friday


The concept of reproductive rights has long been a cornerstone of feminist activism and feminist discourse. In the early twenty-first century, women of color emended this concept, replacing the question of rights with that of justice.  They were led to do so by their experiences with a health care system that made questions of the right to choose birth control and abortion only part of the constraints upon choice that they face. Others have included forced sterilization, reduced access to affordable health care, higher rates of maternal mortality, and unequal expectations about motherhood and paid work.

Even middle-class women who are covered by insurance contend with constrained access to contraception and abortion, alarming rates of C-sections, the various ways that newly enforced laws give priority to fetal health over that of the pregnant woman, and an economy in which most women do not have access to paid maternity leave. Access to sexual and reproductive health care has been compromised for many women in recent years by the increased reliance on religious exemptions.  The problems faced by women of reproductive age proliferate when global forces are added into the mix: NGOs are hampered in their ability to provide reproductive healthcare by the “global gag” rule, and the reproductive choices of immigrant women have been sharply curtailed.

Our symposium looks beyond the entrenched pro-choice/pro-life binary to explore a larger range of issues affecting women of reproductive age--and their families--in the twenty-first century. It will bring together scholars, advocates, and practitioners for an interdisciplinary discussion of these important issues.

This symposium is co-sponsored by the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, the Dedman School of Law, the Perkins School of Theology, and the Women's and Gender Studies Program in SMU's Dedman College. The program includes:


  • Keynote by Michelle Goldberg, award-winning author and Op- Ed columnist for The New York Times (sponsored by the Ellen K. Solender Institute in Free Speech and Mass Media)
  • Keynote by Loretta Ross, one of the creators of the term "Reproductive Justice" and co-author of the book Reproductive Justice: An Introduction (sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program in Dedman College)
  • Keynote by Rebecca Todd Peters, author of Trust Women (sponsored by The Women’s Lectureship Fund of Perkins School of Theology)
  • Panel discussions featuring SMU faculty, visiting experts, and local activists

    Getting to the Symposium:

    • By Car: Parking at Binkley Garage (3105 Binkley Ave.) Parking passes are available for purchase here for $5 per day.
    • By Public Transportation: Mockingbird Station is the closest DART stop. From there, you can take an SMU Express shuttle to SMU Bishop, which is in walking distance to the Collins Center.
      • DART day passes ($7) are available for purchase here.