In this interdisciplinary conversation, a historian, clergymember, and attorney discuss whether the right to religious liberty includes a right to access, provide, and facilitate abortion care as a matter of conscience.
Join Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson, Director of Spiritual Care and Activism at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Professor Gillian Frank, historian of the pre-Roe activist group the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion, and Rupali Sharma, Senior Counsel & Director at The Lawyering Project at this panel event hosted by the Law, Rights, and Religion Project and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life.
Rupali Sharma (she/her/hers) is a Senior Counsel & Director at the Lawyering Project. She previously worked at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she successfully litigated challenges to unlawful abortion restrictions in Ireland and the U.S., including Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. Rupali clerked for Chief Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for Judge Matthew F. Kennelly on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She has also worked at the Supreme Court of India.
Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson is the Director of Spiritual Care and Activism at Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Dr. Cari collaborates with religious and community leaders, advocating for reproductive freedom as a vital aspect of human dignity and divine integrity. Cari seeks to help foster a society in which religious pluralism and cultural diversity are valued, as she believes a society’s greatness is reflected in its demonstrated commitment to honor, care for and nurture each individual, especially those most marginalized. She coaches leaders to strengthen their capacity and courage as agents of social healing and transformation. She is a minister in the United Church of Christ, who grew up in the Pentecostal Church and participates regularly in other spiritual traditions. Dr. Cari has a Ph.D. in Christian Social Ethics and is the author of several books.
Gillian Frank is a historian of sexuality and religion. He is the author of numerous academic articles on the histories of sexuality, gender and religion (which have appeared in venues like the Journal of the History of Sexuality, American Jewish History, and Gender and History) and public facing scholarship (which has been published by the Washington Post, Time, Jezebel and Slate). He is also co-editor of Devotions of Desire: Histories of Sexuality and Religion in the 20th Century United States (UNC Press: 2018). Frank is currently at work on a manuscript called A Sacred Choice: Liberal Religion and the Struggle for Abortion Before Roe v Wade (forthcoming UNC Press). You can listen to his podcast Sexing History, which explores how the history of sexuality shapes our present.