Dr. Kimberly Mutcherson on Reproductive Justice, Racism and the Insurrection

Please join us on March 15 at noon when we’re joined by special guest Dr. Kimberly Mutcherson. Dr. Mutcherson is an award-winning professor whose scholarship focuses on reproductive justice, bioethics, and family and health law. She has presented her scholarship nationally and internationally and publishes extensively on assisted reproduction, families, and the law. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics and the Columbia Law School Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, and is a contributing author to Beyond Imagination: The January 6 Insurrection

Click here to register for this virtual event.

Kimberly Mutcherson is a Professor of Law and former Co-Dean at Rutgers Law School in Camden. She was the first woman, the first Black person, and the first member of the LGBTQ community to be a Dean at Rutgers Law. Professor Mutcherson is a reproductive justice scholar whose work focuses on assisted reproduction and abortion among other topics. Cambridge University Press released her edited volume, Feminist Judgments: Reproductive Justice Rewritten in 2020.

In 2023, Professor Mutcherson received the Trailblazer Award from the New Jersey Women Lawyer’s Association. Professor Mutcherson was a co-recipient of the 2021 M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award from the Society of American Law Teachers and the 2020 Association of American Law Schools inaugural Impact Award as one of the creators of the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project. Also in 2021, the Rutgers Law School Black Law Students Association honored her with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Champions of Social Justice Award and the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey celebrated her as a Distinguished Changemaker. Professor Mutcherson received the Center for Reproductive Rights Innovation in Scholarship Award in 2013, a Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2011, and the Women’s Law Caucus Faculty Appreciation Award in 2011 and 2014.

Professor Mutcherson has served as a Scholar in Residence at the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership at NYU Law School, a Senior Fellow/Sabbatical Visitor at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School, and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Columbia Law School. Upon graduation from Columbia, she received the Kirkland and Ellis Fellowship for post-graduate public interest work. Prior to entering academia, Professor Mutcherson was a consulting attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights and a Staff Attorney at the HIV Law Project.

 

Supreme Court (Cult?) Opinions 2023

The Supreme Cult has continued its attack on the underpinnings of democracy in this just finished session. We dodged a fatal bullet in the “independent legislature” nonsense and got unexpected positive rulings in the Indian Child Welfare Act and gerrymandering cases.

But we got the expected negative rulings on affirmative action and student debt. Two religious privilege cases were on the agenda, and both gave special privileges to those who claim religion as an excuse to harm other people.

In Groff v. DeJoy a rural postal carrier argued that he should be able to take all Sundays off because of his religious practice as an evangelical. To allow him to do so meant that other employees would be forced to take Sunday shifts to cover for him.

A written agreement outlined how employees are chosen to work on Sunday to deliver Amazon packages. He fell into the third category of employees compelled to work on a rotating basis.

To accommodate him, others — including the postmaster who normally did not deliver mail — did the work or it was assigned to the regional hub for other carriers. Several grumbled; one filed a written complaint. Groff received progressive discipline for failing to work and then in 2019 he resigned.

Read the rest of this article on Secular AZ’s Substack

Fetal Heartbeat Laws Defy Science, Religion, and Law

The laws against abortion that include a “fetal heartbeat” provision defy science, religion, and the law. There is no fetal tissue, no heart, and no heartbeat at the early stages of pregnancy to which these laws apply. Women are being forced to carry pregnancies based on a scientific lie.

No religious or societal consensus exists on when life begins or whether abortion is an allowable health choice. Women are forced to carry pregnancies based on the beliefs of one religion. Basing a law solely on the beliefs of one religion violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, because it cements into law the belief of that one religion that is contrary to the beliefs of many other religions and nonreligious people. It also violates the Free Exercise clause of the Constitution because people of any other religion or none are prohibited from practicing their religion as they see fit.

Click here to read the rest of this article on Secular AZ’s Substack. 

Women’s Bodies, Ducey’s Choice

By Sami Al Asady | March 30th 2022

Governor Doug Ducey just signed three bills violating constitutional principles: SB1164, banning abortion after 15 weeks; SB1165, prohibiting trans girls from sports; and SB1138, restricting gender transitions. Each is a reminder that there are lawmakers who pay no regard to the constitutional separation of church and state, the Establishment Clause, nor our founding principles. Prejudicing marginalized communities and perverting scientific findings to accord with religious beliefs is dangerous to the security of Arizona. Continue reading

The Startling Truth About Religious Refusals: What Your Healthcare Providers Aren’t Telling You

The intersection of law, medicine and so-called “morality” in the U.S. healthcare system poses a serious threat to patients’ access to healthcare and information. That’s the overarching message sent by a panel of experts in medicine and law we convened in December of 2021. As part of our annual Secular Summit event, Secular AZ organized a discussion on refusals of service based on religious beliefs, featuring the following experts and moderated by Secular AZ Legal Director Dianne Post:

  • Atsuko Koyama, MD, MPH, Clinical Asst Professor University of AZ, COM, Creighton University; Dpt of Child Health and Emergency Medicine, Valleywise Health Medical Center
  • Professor Elizabeth Sepper, Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc, FACOG, board-certified OB/GYN, clinical professor, and owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix

You can see the full video here. Let’s summarize what these experts working in the fields of medicine and law have to say about how refusals of service based on religious beliefs affect patients.

Continue reading

We Did It!! Bill Funneling Taxpayer $ to Fake “Women’s Health Clinics” Defeated

GOOD NEWS! Late night, the AZ Senate voted down a terrible bill that would have funneled taxpayer money into fake “women’s health” clinics that were, in reality, fronts for pro-life groups that seek to thwart access to safe, legal abortion.

 

HB 2759 got just 15 votes, one short of what’s needed -thanks in large part to secular supporters like you who raised their voices loudly in opposition to this bill.

As Secular AZ’s Tory Roberg says, “We are strong, but we are mighty!”

We want to thank those who spoke out, attended the rally at the State Capitol, and contacted their lawmakers to voice their opposition to this clear violation of separation of church and state.

Secular AZ took your voices to the House and Senate, where Tory stood up and testified in front of both appropriations committees. Secular AZ was alone in providing public testimony… and these efforts made the difference!

But this is just one of many such battles. Did you know that Secular AZ is the only group with a paid lobbyist, full legal team, and active board of volunteers that fight tirelessly for separation of church and state at the Capitol?

We don’t receive funding from any national groups. Instead, we rely solely on the generosity of Arizonans like you who understand the value of this work.

When the lines between church and state blur, we see attempts to:
  • limit access to reproductive health care
  • restrict women’s right to choose
  • install policies that discriminate against LGTBQ individuals
  • pass bills that harm sound science and medicine
  • decrease funding for public schools

With more than 4,000 supporters around the state, we amplify the voice of reason at the Arizona State Capitol as we fight for secular public policies that benefit allArizonans.

Help us keep fighting! Now, more than ever, we need your support. Please donate today to help keep religious influence out of Arizona’s public policy.