Reproductive Health Care is Foundational to Thriving: A Discussion with Youth Leaders and Reproductive Health Advocates


June 28, 2023


2-3:30p ET / 11a-12:30p PT


On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade and revoking the constitutional right to abortion. Although reproductive health access for many low-income, rural, and systems-involved girls has long been difficult, the Dobbs decision paved the way for states to outlaw abortion entirely, which is likely just the beginning of attempts to further restrict access to more comprehensive reproductive health services.

The impact of this decision is being felt by young people across the country and has implications for a wide range of services provided in multiple settings, including K12 and post-secondary education, healthcare, housing, foster care, and juvenile justice. This session will feature young people who are on the front lines of advocacy on this issue and who will share why access to reproductive health care is foundational to thriving and how this decision is impacting girls, young women, and gender expansive young people, particularly those of color. We will also hear from a national leader on social and gender justice, on how young people and advocates are responding to an increasingly hostile environment that restricts access to care, and what philanthropy can do about it.

This program is free and open to grantmakers and others in the thriving youth community. GTY’s webinars and funder learning opportunities are made possible through the time and expertise of presenters from the field. In the spirit of transparency, GTY will make available the list of webinar participants to presenters upon request, unless the registrant requests to remain anonymous (please indicate your preference via the registration form).


Rebecca Gudeman

Senior Director of Health, National Center for Youth Law

Rebecca Gudeman, attorney, is Senior Director of Health at the National Center for Youth Law. Gudeman specializes in issues of health equity and access for youth, including adolescent consent, confidentiality and information sharing law. Prior to joining NCYL in 2001, Gudeman was a lecturer at the Universidad de las Americas in Mexico City. She began her career with the Children’s Rights Project at Public Counsel in Los Angeles, where she created Public Counsel’s Teen Legal Clinic program. The program was one of the first school-based legal assistance programs in the country. In 1997, she was named the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Child Advocate of the Year. In 2016, she received the National Chapter Recognition award from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard and a law degree from UCLA.

Jeannette Pai-Espinosa

President, National Crittenton

Jeannette has led National Crittenton through the reinvention of this 140-year-old national advocacy organization since 2007. Her commitment to advocating for issues of importance to cis and trans girls, young women and gender expansive young people began as a young activist in the mid 70’s. This is where her firm belief in the “nothing about us without us” practice and a dedication to following the leadership of those most impacted by all forms of oppression and the intersections of them was born. Her prior experience includes being a partner in a social change consulting agency; working in human and civil rights at the city, county and state levels; serving as senior policy advisor on Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts team; founding a nonprofit education program for middle and high school students; and holding leadership roles in student services in public and private four-year universities. Jeannette holds a master’s degree of education in student development theory, counseling and administration. She and her husband are the parents of four “grown” children ages 37–42.

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