de Nicola Center Hosts Expert Roundtable Discussion on Caring for Women and Children in a post–Roe World

Author: Kenneth Hallenius

DC Panelists 20230119

On Thursday, January 19, the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame will mark the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in Washington, DC, with an expert roundtable discussion on how best to care for and protect mothers, babies, and families in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision.

Building a Civilization of Love” will bring together experts in law, medicine, social science, public health, and social service to discuss the most important opportunities for and challenges to protecting the intrinsic equal dignity of every member of the human family following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dobbs

The roundtable features luminaries including Sen. Katrina Jackson, a Democrat representing Louisiana’s 34th district and the sponsor of groundbreaking pro-life legislation; Heather Hacker, partner at Hacker Stephens and former assistant solicitor general of Texas; Mary Hallan FioRito, former vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal George Fellow of the de Nicola Center; Monique Chireau Wubbenhorst, former faculty member of Duke University’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, former senior official in Global Health at USAID, and fellow of the de Nicola Center; and Leah Libresco Sargeant, feminist, author, and policy expert.

The roundtable will serve as the latest entry in the de Nicola Center’s Women and Children First Initiative, a comprehensive interdisciplinary program of teaching, research, service, and public engagement that aims to help create a post–Roe future in which mothers, babies (born and unborn), and families receive the protection and support necessary to flourish. The discussion is being held in conjunction with the Harvard Radcliffe Institute's Conference on "The Age of Roe: The Past, Present, and Future of Abortion in America."

“As the principal engine of Notre Dame’s institutional commitment to building a culture of life, it is incumbent upon us in this post–Roe moment to convene an array of brilliant leaders from a variety of disciplines and viewpoints who share our commitment to building a world in which mothers, babies, and families are cared for and protected as they deserve,” said O. Carter Snead, director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture and professor of law at Notre Dame Law School. 

2018 March For Life Scotus

The de Nicola Center’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (and its recent reversal) will also include support for the more than 700 students, faculty, and staff from Notre Dame, St. Mary’s College, and Holy Cross College who will travel to Washington, DC, to participate in the annual March for Life on Friday, January 20—one of the largest single contingents to participate in the event, year after year.

“This year’s March for Life marks the first time that pro-life supporters from around the nation will gather together to celebrate the end of Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for a future in which all people of goodwill can work together to find new ways to support mothers, children, and families,” said Petra Farrell, culture of life program manager at the de Nicola Center. “We are proud to represent Notre Dame at the national march and to give voice to the University’s commitment to proclaiming the dignity of all human life, at all stages and in all circumstances.”

Following the March, the de Nicola Center will again cosponsor a reception with the Notre Dame Alumni Association, gathering alumni, faculty, staff, families, and students in a celebration of the University’s public witness to the sanctity of human life. The de Nicola Center will close out the weekend’s offerings with “Art for Life,” a guided tour at the National Gallery of Art focusing on pieces that engage with themes evoking the culture of life. 

“Building a Civilization of Love” will be held at the National Press Club on Thursday, January 19, at 5:30 p.m., with a reception to follow. For more information and to register for the roundtable, reception, and guided tour, visit

The Notre Dame de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture is the leading center for scholarly reflection within the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition. The center is committed to sharing the richness of this tradition through teaching, research and dialogue, at the highest level and across a range of disciplines.