Under Pressure: Roe v. Wade in 2021 (An Online Event)

January 27, 2021 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm

If Roe v Wade falls, what happens to abortion in the United States?  What are effective legal strategies to protect the right to abortion with a conservative Supreme Court? And in such a legal climate, what about access and equity for people who have been left out? Our experts will address these pressing questions about reproductive rights, health and justice, focusing on the opportunities and threats with a new Administration in Washington, aggressive anti-abortion legislatures across the country and a 6-3 conservative Supreme Court. With Roe v. Wade under intense pressure and at risk of being overturned or severely weakened, we will discuss how New York can position itself as a leader for abortion access, and how ACLU and its affiliates and partners can work together to protect access to abortion as broadly as possible.



Donna Lieberman
NYCLU Executive Director


Terry McGovern
Chair, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia


Katharine Bodde
NYCLU Senior Policy Counsel

Natalie Tanya Ohly, MD
Director of Family Planning, Kings County Hospital Center

Elizabeth Watson
ACLU Staff Attorney, Reproductive Freedom Project

Winnie Ye
State Strategies Manager at All* Above All

Speaker Bios:

Donna Lieberman has been executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union since December 2001.

Under Lieberman's leadership, the NYCLU has expanded the scope and depth of its work, supplementing litigation with an aggressive legislative advocacy and a field-organizing program. As a result, the organization is widely recognized as the state's leading voice for freedom, justice and equality, advocating for those whose rights and liberties have been denied.

Lieberman began her public interest legal career as a criminal defense lawyer in the South Bronx office of the Legal Aid Society, and she later acted as executive director of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys. For several years, she served on the faculty of Urban Legal Studies Program at City College. She Joined the NYCLU in 1989 and became the founding director of its Reproduction Rights project.

Terry McGovern is Professor and Chair of the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Her research focuses on health and human rights, sexual and reproductive rights and health, gender justice, and environmental justice. Terry founded the HIV Law Project in 1989 where she served as its executive director until 1999. She successfully litigated numerous cases against the federal, state and local governments including S.P. v. Sullivan, which forced the Social Security Administration to expand HIV-related disability criteria so that women and other excluded individuals can qualify for Medicaid and social security. From 2006 until 2012, she was Senior Program Officer in the Gender, Rights and Equality Unit of the Ford Foundation. Terry recently co-edited Women and Girls Rising: Rights, Progress and Resistance: A Global Anthology.

Katharine Bodde, Senior Policy Counsel at the NYCLU, specializes in gender equality and reproductive rights issues. Prior to joining the NYCLU in 2009, Bodde worked as a legal educator in Cambodia for communities in provincial areas focusing on the legal and extralegal remedies for violations of women’s rights and citizens’ land rights. This work combined her background as a New York City teacher and her commitment to fighting violence and poverty by empowering women.

Bodde has also worked at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and, as a volunteer immigration attorney, has assisted in securing asylum status for recent refugees. She currently teaches a course at Cardozo Law School on Reproductive Rights Law and Justice and is the Chair of the Sex and Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association. Bodde graduated magna cum laude from Brooklyn Law School with special recognition for her work in international law and women’s rights and her strong commitment to public service. Bodde received a B.A. from Boston College in 2003 and an M.S. in Education from Mercy College in 2005.

N. Tanya Ohly MD MSc is the Director of Family Planning, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYC Health and Hospitals Kings County in Central Brooklyn, NY. She runs the Women’s Options Center for abortion and miscarriage management and is the Title X Family Planning grant medical director. She is responsible for training SUNY Downstate OB/GYN residents in Family Planning and started a  Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program for trainees at Kings County.

After completing her medical education and residency training in Philadelphia, PA she moved to New York to complete the Fellowship In Family Planning at Columbia University Medical Center. At Kings County, she has focused on expanding hospital based abortion and family planning services to the women and families of Brooklyn. This includes starting a hospital based second trimester abortion service, training providers on post partum and post abortal long acting reversible contraception and starting a medication abortion service.

Lizzy Watson, she/her, Attorney, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project

Lizzy Watson is a staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. She litigates cases to defend the right to abortion and contraception for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, economic status, gender identity and geographic location. Prior to joining the ACLU, she provided legal services to individuals with low incomes at the Homeless Action Center in Berkeley, CA.

Winnie Ye is the State Strategies Manager at All* Above All. In this role, she collaborates with campaign partners to fight for affordable and accessible abortion care for people of color struggling financially. Winnie focuses on advancing proactive policy and building power with people of color, immigrants, and low-income communities at the state and local level. Winnie comes to All* Above All with a strong background in policy advocacy and political organizing from her time at the National Institute for Reproductive Health and NAPAWF New York City.