2024 Gordon Sandison Memorial Lecture




The 2024 Gordon Sandison Memorial Lecture, "The Pregnancy Police: Conceiving Crime, Arresting Personhood" will be given by Grace Howard, Associate Professor of Justice Studies at San José State University.  Howard earned her Ph.D. in Political Science at Rutgers University, with concentrations in Women and Politics and Public Law. Her new book, The Pregnancy Police: Conceiving Crime, Arresting Personhood is set to be published by University of California Press in June 2024. Dr. Howard is a Public Voices Fellow for the 2023-2024 academic year. She was an American Fellow with the American Association for University Women in 2016-2017 and is Co-Director of the Rutgers University Informed Consent Project. Her body of work explores reproductive law and policy, and the dimensions of legal personhood for people with the capacity for pregnancy.


About the Lecture:  Decades before the overturning of Roe v. Wade, pregnant people faced arrest and prosecution for supposed crimes against the fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses they gestated. The Pregnancy Police investigates the legal arguments undergirding these prosecutions and sheds much-needed light on the networks of healthcare providers, social workers, and legal personnel participating in this ongoing surveillance and punishment of pregnant people. Drawing on detailed analyses of legislation, statements from prosecutors and law enforcement, and records from over a thousand arrest cases, Professor Howard traces the long history of state attempts to regulate and control people with the capacity for pregnancy—from the early twentieth century's white supremacist eugenics to the end of Roe and the ever-increasing criminalization of abortion across the United States.