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Reproductive Rights at a Crossroads
Episode 218th March 2022 • In the Public Interest • WilmerHale
00:00:00 00:35:16

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In the Public Interest welcomes Partner Kim Parker, who speaks with Helene Krasnoff, the Vice President of Public Policy Litigation & Law at Planned Parenthood, and Dr. Amna Dermish from Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive healthcare services in the United States and around the world. The organization has also been a key player in challenging laws that restrict abortion rights and access in the United States.

Their discussion focuses on two recent US Supreme Court cases with major implications for reproductive rights: Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, a case that challenges a Texas law that bans abortion once cardiac activity is detectable in the pregnancy, typically at 6 weeks, and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that involves a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks, with Mississippi also asking the Court to overturn longstanding precedents like Roe vs. Wade, which would then potentially allow states to ban all abortions.

Parker is the vice chair of WilmerHale’s Litigation/Controversy Department and co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. Parker has represented Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health providers in numerous legal challenges over the past 20 years. In the Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, Parker and a team of WilmerHale lawyers helped several leading medical organizations file a brief in support of Jackson Women’s Health, arguing that access to abortion is a critical part of reproductive healthcare.

At Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), Krasnoff leads a team of attorneys who challenge attempts to restrict access to reproductive health care, advise Planned Parenthood affiliates around the country about the legal issues raised by such attempts, and assist with PPFA’s efforts to influence state and federal legislation in order to improve access to reproductive health services. She has been with PPFA since 2000 and has been in a lead counsel, co-counsel, or supervisory position in dozens of challenges at every level of the state and federal courts to laws and policies that limit the availability of reproductive health care services. She has also worked with members and staff on Capitol Hill on many pieces of legislation, including the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Dermish is a board certified OB/GYN with fellowship training in Complex Family Planning. She received her medical degree from the University of Colorado, followed by residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and fellowship training at the University of Utah, where she also completed a master's degree in Clinical Investigation. Dr. Dermish is currently the Regional Medical Director for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas where she also provides abortion care and oversees their transgender healthcare services, including gender affirming hormone therapy. Her clinical and research interests are in addressing barriers to accessing reproductive and sexual healthcare.

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