On Monday, a United States appeals court allowed Texas to enforce restrictions on abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic – just one of the many issues that have been bought to light concerning the reproductive rights of women, from the debate as to whether abortions and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are considered an “essential service” to how families are being supported in a time of financial stress. In the delivery room, the limitations being placed on birth partners leave serious questions for how women will be supported. For families of essential workers or those who cannot shelter-in-place, daycare and school closings produce real challenges.

Seema Mohapatra, associate professor of law and dean’s fellow at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, is available to talk about the need for reproductive justice and support for policies that benefit families.

“This pandemic is raising a whole host of reproductive issues,” Mohapatra said. “Reproductive justice includes in its framework the need for support for people who decide not to become or remain pregnant, for those who wish to have a healthy pregnancy and birth, and to raise the children one has. It goes beyond just abortion care, and it includes the backing needed to ensure women are able to have a healthy birth and raise their own children.”

Mohapatra is an expert in the areas of health care law, public health law, bioethics, torts, and international health and family law. Her research interests include the intersection of biosciences and the law, assisted reproduction and surrogacy, international family and health law, health care disparities in the United States, and informed consent.