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Interdisciplinary Dialogue: Reproductive Rights and Public Health Post-Dobbs

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A virtual lunchtime talk examining the legal and political context of the Supreme Court's recent decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which overturned the longheld right to abortion established in prior cases such as Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Panelists will also address the effects of this decision on public health.


Patrick C. Wohlfarth is an Associate Professor and the Co-Director of Graduate Studies & Placement in the Department of Government and Politics. His current research examines judicial behavior and legal institutions in the United States, including executive branch litigation, the impact of public opinion, opinion writing, and the impact of aging in the federal judiciary. Dr. Wohlfarth is coauthor of two books: The Conscientious Justice: How Supreme Court Justices' Personalities Influence the Law, the High Court, and the Constitution (Cambridge University Press, 2020); and U.S. Supreme Court Opinions and Their Audiences (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Elizabeth Aparicio, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Behavioral and Community Health department in the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She directs the Community THRIVES Lab, a research group that conducts Community-engaged Transformative Health Research at the Intersection of family Violence, Early childhood, and adolescent Sexual health intervention. She is also the deputy director for clinical training and intervention for the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center.

Dr. Amy B. Lewin is an Associate Professor in Family Science in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to coming to the University of Maryland in 2014, she was on the faculty at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. Lewin works to develop and evaluate community-based interventions. Her goal is to strengthen the health and well-being of marginalized youth and families, specifically socioeconomically disadvantaged ethnic and racial minority youth who face significant disparities in health and education. The primary focus of her research is on the reproductive health and mental health of adolescents. Dr. Lewin’s research interests include teen pregnancy, parenting and co-parenting; integration of mental health care into youth-serving organizations, trauma and resilience in Latino immigrant youth and families, community-engaged program evaluation and the development of interventions to address social, cultural, and familial determinants of health and health disparities.

Marie Thoma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She received her PhD from the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health and her MHS from the Department of Biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH).

Dr. Shanéa Thomas, LICSW (He/She/Dr.) is a bold lecturer and seasoned scholar-practitioner with more than 15 years of professional social work experience in the Washington D.C. metro area. Dr. Thomas has facilitated over 60 workshops centering DEI needs, grief and loss, mental health, sex and gender, and LGBTQI+ populations. When creating organizational change through strategic planning, Dr. Thomas' work unapologetically centers marginalized voices with community organizations and healthcare institutions to help shift power, privilege, and organizational accountability. For 10 years, Dr. Thomas was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Southern California School of Social Work as a Senior Lecturer and continues her academic work at the University of Maryland School of Public Health as their new LGBTQ+ Training Specialist and Assistant Clinical Research Professor to further the commitment around LGBTQ+ inclusivity for mental health practitioners. Dr. Thomas developed a clinical tool to help researchers and clinicians foster safe spaces for LGBTQ+ clients speak about their reaction to the Supreme Court ruling.

Powered by the University Libraries. Starting in 2015, the Interdisciplinary Dialogues have addressed crucial issues to the campus community including immigration, the intersection of race and COVID-19, the January 2021 insurrection, and women in American politics.



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