Earlier this month, women lawyers and law students filed an amicus brief that told the story of their own abortions and the value that reproductive rights played in their careers.

Earlier this month, women lawyers and law students filed an amicus brief that told the story of their own abortions and the value that reproductive rights played in their careers.

The legal battle over reproductive rights continues to be much in the news. And the heat got turned up this week when Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit over an antiabortion ‘sting’ video-maker. As the Washington Post reports:

“Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the maker of a series of undercover videos released last year that sought to prove that the women’s health organization illegally profits by selling tissue from aborted fetuses.”

You can read about the allegations here.

But that reminded me, in an in-case-you-missed-it spirit, that a remarkable brief was filed at the U.S. Supreme Court in early January. As reported in the National Law Journal:

“More than 100 female lawyers joined in a brief to tell the U.S. Supreme Court about their own abortion experiences and why their reproductive freedom was pivotal to their personal and professional lives.”

“The extraordinary brief, filed last week, was signed by former judges, law professors, law firm partners, public interest lawyers and law clerks, though none who clerked for the high court itself.”

A Texas case may be "the most important Supreme Court battle over abortion in a generation."

A Texas case may be “the most important Supreme Court battle over abortion in a generation.”

The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, comes out of Texas, which enacted restrictions on abortion clinics “that could result in shuttering many facilities. [Abortion advocates] claim the regulations pose an ‘undue burden’ on women’s rights.”

Read the whole story (and the brief) here.

Wherever you stand on the question of abortion, this advocacy and the attempt to persuade the Justices are noteworthy. As the story says, attorney Janice Mac Avoy is an attorney who volunteered to tell her own story and to be a lead party on the brief. She pointed out that the drafting in the brief “responds to ‘storytelling briefs,’ often filed on the other side, that relate the stories of women who have regretted their abortions.”

Legal history is filled with examples of parties adopting the strategies of opponents. Time will tell whether this amicus brief, and the many others filed, are ultimately persuasive. “Set for argument on March 2, the case is viewed as the most important abortion rights case in nearly a decade.”

Have a terrific—and persuasive—weekend.

Opponents and supporters of Planned Parenthood demonstrate Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Philadelphia. Anti-abortion activists are calling for an end to government funding for the nonprofit reproductive services organization. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Opponents and supporters of Planned Parenthood demonstrate Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Philadelphia. Anti-abortion activists are calling for an end to government funding for the nonprofit reproductive services organization. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

This Thursday is an anniversary event of The Liberty Project.

This Thursday is an anniversary event of The Liberty Project.

Today, I share news from the Liberty Project, established by two ASU law school graduates 10 years ago. This Thursday, October 1, the organization hosts an anniversary gathering at Cibo in downtown Phoenix (603 N. 5th Ave. 85003). More detail about the event is here. Besides celebrating a decade of existence, the group will be kicking off an endowed scholarship.

And here is the news as described by the Project:

Next week, the Liberty Project will celebrate a pretty significant point in its life. The Liberty Project is a reproductive rights think tank made up of young lawyers, law students and other interested individuals working for the preservation of reproductive rights and sexual health. The group was established at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor Law School by 1989 ASU Law alum and Gordon & Rees co-managing partner, Leon Silver, and 2007 ASU grad Rebecca Lumley. Along with current and previous members, Mr. Silver and Ms. Lumley will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Liberty Project on October 1.

Rebecca Lumley, co-founder of The Liberty Project

Rebecca Lumley, co-founder of The Liberty Project

In celebration of this milestone, let us reminisce on past successes and what the future holds for the group.

In addition to serving as a great legal networking group for up-and-coming lawyers, the group has published papers and articles on the topic of women’s rights, prepared legislative analyses and veto messages regarding proposed bills, provided white papers on the financial ramifications of unwanted pregnancy, and been a constant advocate for women’s rights and medically accurate sexuality education. The Liberty Project has been successful in presenting a variety of panel discussions on topics such as: the right to privacy under the Roberts Court, legal and medical ethics of fetal tissue research, and a three-part panel series revisiting life before Roe v. Wade, examining the societal impact of Roe and looking at the future of reproductive rights.

The Project’s long-term sex-ed project consists of understanding to what extent schools are teaching sex-ed, what they should be teaching but are not, and how to implement these teachings. Other ongoing projects include but are certainly not limited to providing resources for girls seeking a judicial bypass and drafting and promoting pro-choice legislation.

Leon Silver, co-founder of The Liberty Project

Leon Silver, co-founder of The Liberty Project

As far as what the future brings, neither Mr. Silver nor any current member of the group could say with certainty. Each year’s projects depend solely on the choices of the current members, and with each year, come a new group of student members with unique passions.

“My involvement in the group is to provide structure and offer my resources and connections, not to steer, direct or restrict what the group decides to pursue,” said Silver. “Ultimately, the goal is to create a legal networking group that members can turn to after graduation as they enter and build a career in the legal field.”

RSVP to the free event here.

There may be no more divisive issue today than reproductive rights and abortion. A speaker series begins this Thursday that aims to say some things about the topic we may not have heard—not an easy task.

The Liberty Project is an advocacy organization. As they describe themselves:

“The Liberty Project is a think tank made up of law students, young lawyers and other interested professionals dedicated to the preservation of reproductive rights and sexual health.”

So, yes, the group comes down strongly on one side of the issue. I share news of this Thursday’s panel because it proposes to explain something about the time that preceded Roe v. Wade—not something often done.

In fact, on the panel—to be held at ASU Law School—will be Sherri Chessen. She may be best known to Arizonans as an actress who worked on the state’s version of Romper Room. Her own story about being unwillingly thrust into the spotlight due to her seeking an abortion is told here. (I’ve never met Ms. Chessen, but I should note that I attended law school with one of her daughters.)

Thursday’s panel is the first of three panels, and it’s called “Then, Then and Now: Reproductive Rights Before and After Roe and into Our Future.” It will occur noon on Thursday, February 2 at the ASU College of Law Great Hall. After the panel discussion, lawyer Leon Silver will moderate a discussion with the audience.

Lunch will be provided by Carolina’s Mexican Food. No RSVP needed.