Amendment 26 – Exploring the Implications of Mississippi’s Personhood Initiative

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reception 6:00 p.m. | Program 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

MC Law Auditorium | 151 East Griffith St | Jackson, MS 39201

Jonathan Will

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Faculty Development, Professor of Law, Founding Director of Biothetics & Health Law Center

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Caitlin Borgmann
Caitlin Borgmann is a Professor of Law at City University of New York School of Law.  She graduated from Yale College and earned a J.D. from New York University, where she was executive editor of the New York University Law Review. She clerked in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York and spent four years as a litigator at Davis Polk & Wardwell, after which she was the State Strategies Coordinator at the Reproductive Freedom Project of the ACLU for six years. In this capacity she was responsible for legislative and affiliate support, provision of legal advice, legislative strategy and communications support. She also litigated reproductive rights cases. Professor Borgmann has spoken and written widely about reproductive rights and given testimony before several state legislatures on these issues. Professor Borgmann is the editor of the Reproductive Rights Prof Blog, the only reproductive rights blog written by a law professor.

I. Glenn Cohen
Glenn Cohen is an Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and serves as the Co-Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.  He graduated with High Distinction from the University of Toronto, and received his law degree Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School where he served as primary editor of the Harvard Law Review.  Professor Cohen has spoken at legal, medical, and industry conferences around the world and his work has been covered on PBS, NPR, in the Boston Globe, and several other media venues. Professor Cohen’s current projects relate to reproduction/reproductive technology and to medical tourism. His past work has included projects on end of life decision-making, FDA regulation, research ethics, and commodification. Professor Cohen has published extensively, and his works have appeared in many reputable journals including: Stanford, Southern California, Minnesota, Iowa, and Hastings Law Reviews, the Harvard Journal of Law and Negotiation, the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, the Food and Drug Law Journal, the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics and the Hastings Center Report.

Stephen Crampton
Stephen Crampton received his law degree from the University of New Mexico where he was a member of New Mexico Law Review. He currently serves as Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family. He has previously served as Chief Counsel of the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy in Tupelo, MS. In addition to practicing constitutional and civil rights litigation, he has advised legislators on constitutional issues both on the state and national level. Mr. Crampton has also appeared on several news programs speaking on current events and social issues.

Rebecca Kiessling
Rebecca Kiessling is a family law attorney who specifically deals with cases involving protection of preborn human life. She litigated several cases on a pro bono basis that received international attention.  Two of these cases involved rape and abortion and another involved frozen embryos.  Ms. Kiessling also currently serves on the Advisory Board of Crossroads Pregnancy Center. She has also worked since 1995 as a national speaker on Pro-Life ideas and Adoption.  She authored a pamphlet with Heritage House entitled “Conceived in Rape: A Story of Hope.” Ms. Kiessling has appeared on numerous news programs speaking as a pro-life attorney, and testified before the Ohio Legislature regarding the proposed Prefer Childbirth Over Abortion legislation.  Her story was also featured in Glamour magazine as well as Marie Claire magazine.

Michael Tucker
Dr. Michael Tucker received his undergraduate degree in Zoology and Physiology from the University of London and his doctorate in Reproductive Physiology from the University of Birmingham in the UK.  He has worked in the field of reproductive medicine/embryology for over 26 years, and has received world-wide recognition for his breakthrough achievements in assisted reproductive technology.  Since 1983, Dr. Tucker has served as scientific director and chief embryologist at major fertility centers in London, Hong Kong, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Rockville, MD, and Jackson, MS.  In 1992, he helped to advance the ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) technique and was responsible for the first “ICSI baby” born in the US.  In 1997, he led the team that was successful in achieving the first pregnancy and birth using cryopreserved eggs.  Recognized in his field as one of the world’s top ten scientists in early human reproduction, Dr. Tucker has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and written 28 book chapters.  His current research interests include preimplantation genetic diagnosis, egg and embryo freezing, blastocyst cultures, embryo growth and selection, and gamete/embryo micromanipulation.

Renee Whitley
Renee Whitley is the volunteer co-chair of the national advocacy committee for RESOLVE: the National Infertility Association, a non-profit organization focused on education and advocacy issues for men and women suffering from infertility.  She has a BA in political science from Clemson University and has spent her career in public relations.  Whitley became involved with advocacy and public policy issues surrounding infertility after she and her husband were diagnosed with infertility.  As a volunteer, she regularly briefs legislators, reporters and community leaders in states throughout the country on issues surrounding infertility.  She has testified before the Georgia State Legislature and has spoken about infertility issues at college campuses and hospitals.  She has been recognized by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine for her advocacy efforts in Georgia and in 2010, was a recipient of RESOLVE’s “Hope Award for Advocacy.”

Amelia McGowan
Amelia McGowan is a staff attorney with the ACLU of Mississippi.  She is a native Mississippian and graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi before obtaining her Master’s and law degrees at Tulane University in New Orleans.  Before working for the ACLU, Amelia worked as an immigration attorney and provided bilingual “know your rights” presentations to immigrant detainees in Jena, Louisiana.  As an ACLU attorney, she handles a number of cases involving social justice issues, including reproductive freedom, prisoners’ rights, and youth justice.