Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) has completed its seven-year survey [PDF] of reproductive rights-related course offerings and instructor-led reading groups at the nation’s 197 law schools. The results are troubling for women’s health advocates:
- Only 18% of responding law schools offered even a single reproductive rights law and justice course between 2003 and 2010.
- Only thirty-two schools in 17 states offer reproductive rights courses.
- Only three Pennsylvania law schools—University of Pittsburgh School of Law (taught by WLP Senior Staff Attorney Susan Frietsche), Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University, and University of Pennsylvania Law School—offer reproductive rights courses.
There is reason to hope that this picture is changing. Significantly, 13 courses—over one-third of the total—were initiated in response to advocacy on the part of LSRJ students.
The power to defend our freedom begins with the ability to understand and value it. We applaud those law schools that already offer coursework in this complex, fascinating, and evolving field of law, and congratulate LSRJ on their effective advocacy. If your law school does not offer a reproductive rights course, the answer could lie in simply organizing and asking for it.