Breaking the Law or Breaking the Oath?

How Abortion Bans Betray America’s Patients and Physicians

About the Webinar

The decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization and the subsequent overturn of Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood forced physicians and patients across the country to prepare to navigate the ethical quagmire that abortion bans present. That preparation requires an assessment of the full scope of abortion restrictions' effects, including how physicians' ethical obligations to their patients and to the practice of medicine may be reshaped, redirected, or even contradicted by the threat posed by laws not founded in science or based on evidence.

This webinar, cosponsored by the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, brought leading physician, legal, and ethicist voices together to discuss how the Dobbs decision betrays America's patients and physicians—and asks physicians to be complicit by betraying their patients as well. While it's difficult to anticipate the reach and effects of the oncoming wave of abortion bans and restrictions, panelists discussed how clinicians must prepare themselves mentally for the changes they will be forced to make and provide ideas on how the medical community can bring the most ethical and comprehensive care possible to patients.

Carrie Baker, JD, PhD
Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Chair of American Studies, Professor in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender
Smith College

Carrie N. Baker, JD, PhD, is the Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman chair of American studies and a professor in the program for the study of women and gender at Smith College. Her scholarly research centers on the intersections of gender and race in law and policy, focusing in particular on sexual harassment, sex trafficking, and reproductive health, rights and justice. She is a regular writer and contributing editor at Ms. magazine and she has a monthly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She is the former president of the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts.

Art Caplan, PhD
Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and Founding Head of the Division of Medical Ethics
NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Art Caplan, PhD, is the Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty professor and founding head of the division of medical ethics at NYU School of Medicine in New York City. Prior to coming to NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Caplan was the Sidney D. Caplan Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, where he created the Center for Bioethics and the Department of Medical Ethics. Caplan has also taught at the University of Minnesota, where he founded the Center for Biomedical Ethics; the University of Pittsburgh; and Columbia University, where he received his PhD.

Tawana Coates, MD, MPH
Chief Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident
University of Louisville

Tawana Coates, MD, MPH, is chief obstetrics and gynecology resident at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. She completed her undergraduate education in her hometown of Kansas City, Kansas, and received her master's in public health and her medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Dr. Coates' interests include advocating for women's rights, reducing black maternal mortality, infant mortality, family planning and access to contraception and abortion care, and adolescent pregnancy. Many of her efforts have been centered around qualitative research.

Michele Bratcher Goodwin, JD
Chancellor’s Professor of Law
University of California–Irvine

Chancellor's Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin is the founding director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy. She is the 2022 recipient of the American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Award. Dr. Goodwin is also the recipient of the 2020-21 Distinguished Senior Faculty Award for Research, the highest honor bestowed by the University of California and the 2021-2022 Provost's Distinguished Visiting Faculty Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center (the organization central to the founding of bioethics). She is an American Law Institute Adviser for the Restatement Third of Torts: Remedies.

Dr. Goodwin is the author of the award-winning book, Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood. She is an acclaimed bioethicist, constitutional law scholar, and prolific author.

Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, MD, FACOG
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

Dr. Iffath Abbasi Hoskins is Clinical Professor and Director of Patient Safety in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine. She is a Maternal Fetal Medicine subspecialist.

Dr. Hoskins served 29 years with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Captain/Colonel. She held numerous leadership positions including Member of the Secretary of the Navy's Policy Planning Board for Reserve Affairs; Commanding Officer Surgical Company; and Chief of Professional Services, 4th Medical Battalion (Marine Corps Reserves). She served on numerous Selection/Promotion Boards and as Faculty for the "Commanding Officers' Training" at Naval War College, Newport, RI. She has received several awards for Military Leadership.

Molly Meegan, JD
Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

Molly A. Meegan, JD, is Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for ACOG. She advises on the full range of legal and strategic issues that arise in the operation of a nonprofit organization. She oversees the General Counsel's Office, ACOG's Impact Litigation Practice, and the Human Resources Department. She focuses on enterprise risk management, board governance, strategic and mission-driven litigation, legal compliance, complex commercial contracts, and employment concerns.

Ms. Meegan has 30 years of experience practicing law in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She graduated with honors from Cornell University and the Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the New York and District of Columbia bars. She clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. While in private practice, Ms. Meegan represented leading financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies in federal courts across the country and before various federal regulatory authorities. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law Center and served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. Ms. Meegan has received the Human Rights Campaign's National Ally of Justice Award and the U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Award for Superior Performance of Duty.

Nisha Verma, MD, MPH, FACOG
Darney-Landy Fellow
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

Nisha Verma, MD, MPH, FACOG, was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, and received her bachelor’s in biology and anthropology and her medical degree from the University of North Carolina. She graduated from obstetrics and gynecology residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and completed her complex family planning fellowship and master’s in public health degree at Emory University. She is currently serving as the Darney-Landy Fellow at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists with their Strategies for Healthy Equity team and provides abortion care at Planned Parenthoods in the Delaware and Maryland areas. She is also adjunct assistant professor in the department of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory University. She is particularly passionate about improving access to reproductive health care in the southeast United States, her home region, and has expertise in effective messaging techniques on complicated topics such as abortion.

Jennifer Villavicencio, MD, MPP, FACOG
Lead for Equity Transformation
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

Jennifer Villavicencio, MD, MPP, serves as the Lead for Equity Transformation at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and practices as an abortion caregiver and ob-gyn hospitalist. She is a first-generation Cuban American who was born and raised in Miami, FL. She is the daughter of an immigrant and a nurse. She is an expert in obstetrics and gynecology, complex family planning, health policy, and strategic communication of socially complex subjects. She is dedicated to reproductive justice-informed health policy, structural equity, and anti-racism within organizations, institutions, and systems.

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, JD
Women and Democracy Fellow
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, JD, is the women and democracy fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, executive director for partnerships and strategy at Ms. Magazine. A passionate advocate for issues of gender, politics, and menstruation, she was dubbed the "architect of the U.S. campaign to squash the tampon tax" by Newsweek. Her 2017 book Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity was lauded by Gloria Steinem as "the beginning of liberation for us all." Weiss-Wolf's writing has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, TIME, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Teen Vogue, and NPR, among others. Her forthcoming book, Period. Full Stop. The Politics of Menopause, will be published in 2024 by NYU Press.