Reproductive Health and Human Rights Fellowship Awarded to Erez Aloni

Reproductive Health and Human Rights Fellowship Awarded to Erez Aloni

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New York, July 29, 2011—Erez Aloni is the latest recipient of the Center for Reproductive Rights-Columbia Law School Fellowship, a full-time academic position designed to prepare recent law school graduates for legal academic careers in reproductive health and human rights.

Aloni, a S.J.D. candidate (Doctor of Judicial Science) at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, will be affiliated equally with the Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) and Columbia Law School, participating fully in the intellectual life of both organizations. His fields of interest include family law, sexuality and the law, as well as comparative and constitutional law.

Currently studying legal recognition of different forms of relationships in the U.S. and Europe, Aloni (left) said he sees legal scholarship “... as a vehicle for legal and societal change, making this fellowship ideal.”  He explained that  “the synergy between academia and grassroots activism in the field of sexual and reproductive rights can push the boundaries of human rights norms.”

The fellowship was launched three years ago after Carol Sanger, the Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and Nancy Northup’88, the Center’s president, discussed ways to encourage scholarship in the area of reproductive rights and health, while also preparing promising lawyers to enter the legal academy.

“The CRR-CLS Fellowship is one of the most focused and innovative among all law school fellowships nationwide,” Sanger said. “And because it is a two-year program, the fellows have ample time to produce a sophisticated piece of scholarship,” she added. “It combines real world work at the Center with Law School collegiality, so our fellows get the best of both worlds.”

According to Sanger, the program offers “the perfect ‘theory and practice’ combination, as the work of each of our three fellows demonstrates.”

Liz Sepper (left), the 2010-2012 fellow, has been focusing on health, medical ethics, and human rights in her research. Her current paper, Whose Conscience Counts?, challenges the conventional account of morality in medicine, which limits the right of conscience to doctors and nurses who refuse to deliver controversial treatments, such as end-of-life care, abortion, and sterilization.

“The first year of the fellowship allowed me to delve into the legal and bioethical questions that interest me most, like how do morality, professional ethics, and law interact in medical practice” Sepper said. “I’ve benefitted immensely from mentoring from Columbia’s faculty and exposure to the day-to-day litigation and advocacy of the Center for Reproductive Rights.”

Khiara Bridges ’02, Ph.D., the program’s first fellow (left), now serves as associate professor of law and associate professor of anthropology at Boston University. She recently authored the book, Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization, which explores the role of race in the medical setting.

The 2012-2014 selection process for new fellows has begun. Qualified candidates have until Oct. 31, 2011 to apply. Applicants must show exceptional promise as legal scholars and a commitment to entering academia. A strong interest in reproductive or sexual rights, women’s rights and/or human rights is required, although extensive experience in the field is not essential. Applicants will be evaluated by the quality of their application materials, and by their record of academic and professional achievement. Details and an application can be found here.

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