Personal Injury

Professor Carter Snead Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee

Professor O. Carter Snead
O. Carter Snead, Of Counsel at Tracey Fox & Walters, recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C. during a hearing on “The Continued Assault on Reproductive Freedoms in a Post-Dobbs America.”

Snead is a Charles E. Rice Professor of Law, Concurrent Professor of Political Science, and Director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at University of Notre Dame. He is one of the world’s leading experts on public bioethics – the governance of science, medicine, and technology in the name of ethical goods.

Examining the fallout of the Dobbs decision

The hearing was held on March 20, 2024, and focused on state legislative efforts and court rulings following the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed individual states to regulate abortion.

“After nearly 50 years of being deprived of the authority to meaningfully govern ourselves in this domain, the current political and legal landscape is widely varied, complicated, and a work in progress,” Snead told the committee. “But our system of federalism allows for divergent approaches to vexed questions. Some states have enacted strict limits on abortion whereas others have dramatically increased access.”

Snead offered three suggestions for good governance as new laws are considered.

First, he said it is important to acknowledge the complexity of the issues, considering the bodily autonomy of women, the life of the unborn child, and burdens of unwanted pregnancy and parenthood.

Second, he called for the fair and accurate representation of the legal landscape, citing mischaracterizations of a recent Alabama case regarding IVF and Texas abortion law.

And third, he asked members of the committee to consider the human context in such legal questions – as a crisis facing a mother and her child, rather than a zero-sum conflict.

“Then ask how we can work together across our differences to come to their aid not just during pregnancy, but throughout life’s journey,” he said.

Helping our practice bring justice to clients

Snead joined the firm as Of Counsel in 2017. At the time, founding partner Sean Tracey discussed the impact of making him a member of the team.

“His particular expertise on the cross section of bioethics and science is particularly relevant to our practice, which is heavily weighted to cases involving complex scientific issues,” Sean Tracey said.

Snead has published more than 40 journal articles, book chapters, and essays on topics including abortion, embryo research, neuroethics, assisted reproduction, end of life decision-making, assisted suicide and euthanasia.

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