News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.


Remembering Dean Browne Lewis

photo of Browne LewisDean Browne Lewis passed away on June 2 while attending the Health Law Professors Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  She became the Dean of the North Carolina Central University School of Law on July 1, 2020.  Previously, she was the Leon M. and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and the founding Director of the C|M|LAW Center for Health Law and Policy.  She also served as a faculty adviser to the C|M|Law Black Law Students Association, Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Team, and Journal of Law and Health.  Dean Lewis was a prolific writer in bioethics, environmental law, and family and inheritance law, authoring numerous articles and several books.  An accomplished scholar, she was a Visiting Researcher at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva; a Visiting Scholar at the University of Texas Institute for Medical Humanities, The Hastings Center, and the Yale University Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics; as well as a Senior Fulbright Specialist at Haifa University and Hebrew University in Israel and a Core Fulbright Scholar at King’s College in London.  Dean Lewis is particularly remembered for her passion for social justice.  In a recent Attorney At Law Magazine interview, she stated “The key value I want to imprint on the law school is overcoming the impossible through hard work, perseverance, and tenacity.  It is important to overcome adversity and realize that you can accomplish any goal even if you do it in bite-sized pieces.”  RIP Browne Lewis.

GAO Recommends CMS Action to Ensure Medicaid Abortion Coverage

GAO LogoThe U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) recently released the CMS Action Needed to Ensure Compliance with Abortion Coverage Requirements report.  Federal law prohibits federal funding for abortions in most circumstances, but state Medicaid programs are required to cover abortions if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or the life of the pregnant woman is physically endangered by the pregnancy.  [See Pub. L. No. 115-245, §§ 506-7, 132 Stat. 2981, 9/28/18.]  The GAO report documents “state variation in Medicaid abortion coverage and payment requirements,” including South Dakota’s Medicaid state plan not covering abortions in cases of rape or incest, and 14 states not covering Mifeprex, a drug used in non-surgical abortions.  The GAO report also identifies “seven key factors that could pose challenges to women accessing abortions…:  gestational limits, mandatory counseling, out-of-pocket costs, parental involvement requirements, provider availability, stigma and harassment, and waiting period requirements.”  As the federal agency that oversees Medicaid, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) monitors state compliance with federal requirements.  The GAO report recommends CMS action to ensure South Dakota’s compliance with federal law, as well as to determine state Medicaid program coverage of Mifeprex and accurate reporting of fee-for-service abortions.

Ohio “Heartbeat Bill” Sent to Governor Kasich

photo of Ohio StatehouseThe Ohio General Assembly recently passed HB258, a bill “to generally prohibit an abortion of an unborn human individual with a detectable heartbeat and to create the Joint Legislative Committee on Adoption Promotion and Support.”  The bill provides exceptions to prevent the death or “serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” of a pregnant woman, but no exceptions for pregnant women who are victims of rape or incest.  The bill also states the Director of the Ohio Department of Health may adopt rules “specifying the appropriate methods of performing an examination for the purpose of determining the presence of a fetal heartbeat of an unborn individual based on standard medical practice,” and specifies “the rules shall require only that an examination shall be performed externally.”  HB258 was sent to Governor John Kasich on 12/14/18.  Per the Ohio legislative process, if the Governor does not sign or veto the act after 10 days (excluding Sundays), it becomes law without the Governor’s signature.  Kasich vetoed a similar act in December 2016, and says he will veto this new act after waiting 10 days. [See 12/14/18 Columbus Dispatch post.]  The Ohio Senate and House have scheduled sessions on 12/27/18, but it is unlikely there are sufficient votes for a 3/5 veto override.

ORC 3701.034 Ruled Unconstitutional

Planned Parenthood LogoThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed that ORC 3701.034 is unconstitutional.  [See Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio v. Lance Himes, 6th Cir., No. 16-4027, 4/18/18.]  The court said the law violates the “unconstitutional conditions doctrine,” which forbids the government from placing conditions on a recipient of federal funds that would infringe on the recipient’s constitutional rights. While the government has no obligation to fund abortion activities, it may not use its control over federal funds to stop Planned Parenthood from exercising its constitutionally protected right to advocate for legal abortion.  ORC 3701.034 was codified by House Bill 294, and was to become effective May 23, 2016.  It would have prevented Planned Parenthood’s 28 Ohio-based affiliates – only 3 of which provide abortion services – from receiving federal money to pay for programs under the Violence Against Women Act, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act, an infertility prevention project, the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative, and a personal responsibility education program.  On 5/23/26, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio issued a temporary restraining order, blocking enforcement of the law.  [See Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio v. Hodges, 201 F. Supp. 3d 898 (S.D. Ohio 2016).]

Law & Gender, Journals & Databases

If you’re writing a seminar paper, independent study requirement, or note on a gender-related topic, we have plenty of resources for you. Secondary sources like journal articles are a great way to start your research, see what has and hasn’t been written, and get ideas for your own paper. Here is a list of some of the law and gender journals available to you. Check  Scholar, the library catalog, to find out how to access each journal.

  • Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice
  • Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender
  • Columbia Journal of Gender and Law
  • Duke Journal of Gender, Law and Policy
  • Gender Issues
  • Harvard Journal of Law and Gender (formerly Harvard Women’s Law Journal)
  • Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law (formerly American University Journal of Gender and the Law)
  • Michigan Journal of Gender and Law
  • The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law
  • Yale Journal of Law and Feminism

Law and gender topics lend themselves to interdisciplinary research, so don’t limit yourself to the familiar law databases. The Michael Schwarz Library lists several core databases for women’s studies:

  • Gender Studies Database
  • GenderWatch
  • LGBT Life with Full Text
  • Viva Database
  • Women’s Studies International