Conference Program

Program Schedule

Friday, October 9, 2015

Conference Opening

  • Conference Welcome
    Dean Kellye Y. Testy , Toni Rembe Dean & Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law
    Beth E. Rivin, M.D., M.P.H. – Conference Chair
  • Special Recording: Paul Hunt, MA, MJUR – Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health; University of Essex, U.K.
  • Keynote Address: Marleen Temmerman, MD, MPH, PhD – World Health Organization
    Family Planning—a Global Perspective
  • Keynote Address: Sofia Gruskin, JD, MAIA – University of Southern California
    Human Rights and Family Planning: Debates, Dilemmas, Challenges and Opportunities

Panel 1:  The Right to Choose – A Global Perspective
(Panel 1 Speaker Bios)

Rajat Khosla, JD  – World Health Organization
Susan Cohen, MPH – Guttmacher Institute

The Panel will discuss the foundational international human rights law supporting the right to family planning, including the right to abortion and to choose spacing and timing of children.  The issue of customary international law will be addressed.  The exercise of that right, the public health perspective, including unmet needs to family planning, will be presented during this interdisciplinary panel.

Panel 2:  The Right to Choose – The US Perspective
(Panel 2 Speaker Bios)

Stewart Jay, JD – University of Washington School of Law
Roberta Riley, JD – NoHLA
Janet Chung, JD – Legal Voice

The panel will discuss the history, current situation and challenges in the U.S. regarding access to family planning, including abortion.  This includes an examination of Constitutional law and the diverse state law that exists in the U.S.  Effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on contraception and abortion will also be reviewed.

Keynote Address:  Nancy Northup, JD – Center for Reproductive Rights
Global and Local Legal Advocacy in Support of Family Planning

“Vessel” Film screening


Saturday October 10, 2015

Keynote Address:  Rebecca Gomperts, MD,  MPP, PhD – Founder and Director of Women on Waves
Women on Waves: Supporting Access to Abortion for Women around the World

Panel 3:  The State of Affairs for Global Family Planning:  Challenges and Successes of Contraception Access
(Panel 3 Speaker Bios)

Purnima Mane, MA, MPhil, PhD – Pathfinder International
Douglas Huber, MD, MSc – Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH)
Regina Tamés Noriega, LL.M, Director – Grupo de de Información en Reproducción Elegida (Information Group on Reproductive Choice, GIRE)

This panel takes a look at on-the-ground approaches to improving access to family planning, with examples from different resource-poor settings. The panel is interdisciplinary, with perspectives from the legal and health sectors.

Panel 4: The State of Affairs for US Family Planning: Challenges and Successes of Contraception and Abortion Access
(Panel 4 Speaker Bios)

Leah Rutman, JD – ACLU
Ying Zhang, MD – NRSA Fellow, University of Washington, Department of Family Medicine
Monica Harrington, Catholic Watch, Washington Women for Choice, Board Member Center for Reproductive Rights

This panel provides the audience case studies in the US focusing on the evolving trend in many states of Catholic hospital mergers and their impact on access to family planning.  Washington State will be highlighted as a prime example of this current challenge. The panel is interdisciplinary, with perspectives from the legal and health sectors.

Panel 5: Family Planning Focus: Adolescents
(Panel 5 Speaker Bios)

Janet Cady, ARNP – Associate Chief Medical Officer, Neighborcare Health
Aletha Akers, MD, MPH, FACOG – Medical Director, Adolescent and Gynecology Consultative Services, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
M.A. Keifer, MPH – Advocates for Youth

Globally, adolescents are one of most vulnerable populations in terms of sexual and reproductive health consequences, but rights are frequently ignored or violated due to minor status leading to inadequate access to quality services and poor outcomes that are ultimately preventable. This panel seeks to highlight clinical successes and challenges, nontraditional ways of bringing family planning to adolescents, and legal and political backdrops that alternately help, hinder or fall short of real change in practice and access for a population with varying levels of marginalization and vulnerability.

Panel 6: Family Planning Focus: The Unique Needs of Specific Communities
(Panel 6 Speaker Bios)

Lisa Lindley, DrPH, MPH, CHES – George Mason University
Andrea Jackson MD, MAS – Department of OBGYN, University of California San Francisco
Monica McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN – School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco
Karen Hays, DNP, CNM, ARNP – Bastyr University

Many populations have challenges attaining their right to family planning, including women and girls in poverty and in rural areas.  Other groups that face significant access challenges include ethnic minorities, migrants/immigrants, people with disabilities and incarcerated women.

Panel 7: Taking Action to Ensure Access to Contraception:  New Technologies
(Panel 7 Speaker Bios)

Sara Tifft, MBA – Associate Director, Reproductive Health Global Program, PATH
Jenni Unger, MD, MPH – Department of OBGYN and Department of Global Health, University of Washington
Dan Grossman, MD – Ibis Reproductive Health

Access to contraception has been improved with technologies that are safe, effective and affordable.  Examples are Sayana Press (PATH) & use of misoprostol for postabortion and abortion care (Gynuity Health Projects).  Other technological advances that improve access will be examined, such as m-health.

Panel 8: Particular Issues Related to Emergency Contraception
(Panel 8 Speaker Bios)

Donald Downing, BS Pharm – University of Washington School of Pharmacy, Institute for Innovative Pharmacy Practice
Lisa Stone, JD – Legal Voice
Gabriela Flores Rodríguez, Executive Director, GOJoven Honduras

Emergency contraception has not been embraced to the same extent as other contraceptive methods.  This panel discusses the unique debate around EC, leading issues related to access and successful programs and advocacy efforts.

Reception sponsored by GIRE

Play performance: “Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign,” a project of Advocates for Youth, performed by the University of Washington Undergraduate Theater Society, co-presented by the Human Right to Family Planning Conference 2015.

Open to the public. RSVP

Ethnic Cultural Theater
3931 Brooklyn Avenue Northeast, Seattle


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Panel 9: Challenges to Protecting Women’s Right to Family Planning:  Experiences and the Way Forward
(Panel 9 Speaker Bios)

Sara Ainsworth, JD – National Advocates for Pregnant Women
Joanna  Erdman, JD – Dalhousie University, Health Law and Policy
Courtney Normand – Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH)

Social movements, legislation and court action will be discussed as challenges and examples of protecting women’s rights to choose timing and spacing of children, including access to abortion.

Panel 10:  Abortion:  An Important Part of Family Planning

(Panel 10 Speaker Bios)

Willie Parker, MD – Doctor at last abortion clinic in Mississippi
Joan Kaufman, MA, M.S., Sc.D – Director, Columbia Global Centers | East Asia, Beijing, China
Alison Edelman, MD – Department of OBGYN, Oregon Health and Sciences University

This panel will focus on the critical importance of abortion as part of the right to family planning and extend the discussion that has already begun on this issue during the previous days.  The legal and comprehensive health aspects of abortion access will be reviewed, while focusing on action in support of women’s rights.

Facilitated break-out sessions on action forward

  1. Move towards including safe abortion on the global family planning agenda
  2. Measuring and systematically documenting violations of the right to family planning and health impacts
  3. Policy and legal solutions
  4. Filling research gaps

Lunch & Facilitated Plenary
Monica Kerrigan, M.P.H. – Family Planning 2020 (FP2020)

This session will summarize the discussions in the break-out sessions on action forward and delineate a suggested plan that supports existing efforts globally and locally for the right to family planning.

Conference Closing
Patricia C. Kuszler, M.D., J.D., Vice Dean and Charles I. Stone Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law