Promotional video for “Birthright: A War Story,” recent documentary on policing women’s pregnancies, featuring Prof. Goodwin

Reproductive Justice Initiative

The Reproductive Justice Initiative (RJI) aims to engage in the cross-disciplinary study of urgent legal and human rights issues affecting the lives of women and children around the globe, focusing on four key capacity-building areas: security and safety; health and human rights; incarceration; and education. The RJI serves as a center of excellence and specialization on those vital areas of concern.

  • April 1–3, 2016: Baby Markets 10th Anniversary International Congress
    This symposium will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars, policy-makers, civil society advocates, journalists, activists, and others to examine the myriad ways in which families are created, shaped, formed, and regulated. The Congress addresses the role and status of the child, mother, father, surrogate, grandparents, and the state in the creation and deconstruction of the family. This international meeting will explore the shifts in family-making, reflecting trends in single- and same-sex parenting as well as the ways in which heteronormativity constructs legal and social norms in child custody, child-rearing, and family planning.
  • April 1–5, 2016: Reproductive Justice Film Festival
    Held in conjunction with the Baby Markets Congress, this film festival brings together Sundance and Emmy award winning and Oscar-nominated directors and producers to showcase and premier films that directly address women’s lives. Featured among these brilliant films are State v. Shuai, which tracks first-degree murder charges filed against a pregnant woman who attempted suicide; Beautiful Sin, which tells the surprising, decade-long story of three couples struggling with infertility in Costa Rica who fight their government in an international human rights court for the right to use in vitro fertilization; and the director’s rough cut of Misconception, a powerful forthcoming film that chronicles the dramatic rise in laws that restrict women’s reproductive rights. Join us for these films and more. You will have the unique opportunity to meet and discuss these incredible works with the filmmakers.
  • November 6, 2015: Reproductive Justice Hearing, National Press Club, D.C.
    This hearing shines a bright light on the status of women’s reproductive and health care access. In recent years, more anti-reproductive rights legislation has been proposed than in the thirty years combined following the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling Roe v. Wade. At the same time, maternal and infant mortality in the United States rivals that of many developing countries and is the worst among nearly all developed nations. From limitations on contraception to threats of arrests for refusing Caesarian sections and prosecutions for miscarriages, a severe hostility is being shown toward women and their health. Expert panels, including an opening address by UCI Law’s Chancellor’s Professor of Law Michele Goodwin, will cover issues such as violations of women’s reproductive privacy, women's mass incarceration (and their health behind bars), access to reproductive health services, domestic violence, online sexual harassment, and the religious objections to medical services. Press Release >
  • September 22, 2015:  Women & Mass Incarceration: The U.S. Crisis of Women and Girls Behind Bars
    This Summit shines a light on mass incarceration in the United States, specifically illuminating the dramatic consequences in the lives of women and girls. This summit turns to the missing narrative of women in prison, including failed drug war policies. It explores complex patterns that frame women’s subjugation to law enforcement and the extra-legal and collateral consequences of policing women, including felony disenfranchisement, loss of housing and the chilling impacts on their children.

Reproductive Justice Fellowships

If/When/How (formerly Law Students for Reproductive Justice) is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2017–18 Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program (RJFP), a policy-focused fellowship seeking to advance reproductive justice through federal, state, and HIV advocacy. Information about the RJFP and instructions for applying can be found here.

The Initiative for Studying Gun Violence and Trauma

The Initiative for Studying Gun Violence and Trauma is a national task force focused on expanding awareness, discourse, and public policy on gun violence trauma. Assembled under the aegis of the University of California, Irvine School of Law’s Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, the task force features a diverse collaboration of lawyers, scholars, physicians, psychologists, and advocates committed to initiating, sustaining, and acting upon this critical discourse. During the 2016-2017 academic year, the Initiative will host three town hall meetings and other events across the country through 2016-2017:

  • September 22, 2016: Chicago: Gun Violence and Vulnerable Populations
    University Club of Chicago
    This town hall meeting focuses on how gun violence and trauma uniquely impact vulnerable communities, including racial minorities, children, the homeless, and individuals with mental disabilities. More event details >
  • November 1, 2016: Washington D.C. Congressional Briefing
    U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room HVC-201 A & B, 12:00 p.m. ET
    The Congressional Briefing focused on educating lawmakers and expanding awareness, discourse, and public policy on gun violence, trauma, and policing, particularly as it relates to how gun violence impacts low-income communities throughout the U.S. In just the past 14 years, firearm deaths accounted for over 470,000 fatalities, making death by firearm the second-leading cause of all violence-related deaths in our nation. This Congressional Briefing educated lawmakers and the public about the public health, mental health, and economic impacts of gun violence. Participants offered recommendations for pathways forward. Joining us were: Dr. George Woods, President, International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Judge Glenda Hatchett (ret.) (representing Philando Castille’s family); Camiella Williams, a member of Congresswoman Robin Kelley’s Violence Prevention Taskforce. Ms. Williams is a millennial who has suffered the deaths of 28 loved ones in Chicago due to gun violence; Robert Bennett, Esq., civil rights litigator and expert on police-civilian interaction; Dr. Patricia Jones Blessman, psychologist and expert on child trauma; and Professor Michele Goodwin, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Chair, Initiative for Studying Gun Violence and Trauma. More event details >

  • November 1, 2016: Washington D.C.: Gun Violence and Trauma: Policing & Training
    National Press Club, 6:00 p.m. ET
    This town hall meeting featured a discussion on policing, police violence, and training. It will highlight the privatization of law enforcement agencies, looking particularly at the fiscal structures that underlie, and at times demand, high risk policing practices. More event details >

  • May 5, 2017: Los Angeles: Gun Violence and Trauma: A Public Health Response
    Feminist Majority Foundation, 5:30 p.m. PT
    The Los Angeles Town Hall meeting on gun violence and trauma brings an important conversation to the West Coast. Gun violence impacts not only the lives of those physically harmed by its devastation, but also families, schools, places of worship, first-responders, police, and so many more. Increasingly, gun violence touches more lives than ever before. On an average day in the United States, seven teens and children will die from gun violence. However, 40 children and teens will be shot on any given day and somehow survive. Overall, nearly 100 people per day die in the U.S. from gun violence. In fact, more people die in the U.S. from gun wounds inflicted by toddlers than terrorists on U.S. soil. Female victims of domestic violence are more likely to be murdered if there is a gun in the home. What can be done to stem the tide of gun violence? How should lawmakers respond? How should society address the trauma resulting from gun violence? More event details >

Public Health and Legal Policy

The CBGHP is currently working with the UC Irvine Program in Public Health to develop a joint JD/MPH program to afford UCI students an opportunity to forge new directions at the intersections of law and public health.

Biotechnology and National Security

The Biotechnology and National Security Initiative aims to engage public officials, private industries, civil society and advocates in conversations about technology and security. Our concerns range from food and water supply to the transfer of information and privacy.