Seminar Series: When Pregnancy is Punishment: Foreclosure of Abortion and the Traumas of Motherhood in Incarcerated Settings by Carolyn Sufrin, MD, PhD

Monday, Mar 13, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Bloomberg School of Public Health Feinstone Hall
615 N. Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD

Join us in the School of Public Health’s Feinstone Hall or virtually at:
Password: Seminar

Incarcerated individuals have a constitutional right to health care, and before the 2022 landmark Supreme Court decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned legal precedent on abortion rights, this included the right to abortion. Despite this pre-Dobbs legal right to abortion in incarcerated settings, incarcerated pregnant people in many prisons and jails were already living in a post-Roe reality, with written and unwritten prison policies that de facto prevented abortion access. In this talk, Dr. Sufrin will use data from a qualitative study of incarcerated pregnant people pre-Dobbs to explore the punitive entanglements of abortion and forced pregnancy as they play out in carceral environments marked by racial oppression and intentionally limited autonomy. 

Carolyn Sufrin, MD, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and an obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in family planning at Johns Hopkins University. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Gyn/Ob and the associate director of the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine at the School of Medicine and in Health, Behavior and Society at the School of Public Health. She has worked extensively on reproductive health issues affecting incarcerated women, from providing clinical care in jail, to research, policy, and advocacy.  Dr. Sufrin is founder and director of the Hopkins based research group Advocacy and Research on Reproductive Wellness of Incarcerated People (ARRWIP). Her work is situated at the intersection of reproductive justice, health care, and mass incarceration, which she examines in her book, Jailcare: Finding the Safety Net for Women Behind Bars.