The Reproductive Rights Law Initiative (RRLI) at Case Western Reserve University School of Law has recently hired two staff attorneys/lecturers to help advance its mission of preserving and expanding Ohioans’ legal access to abortion and reproductive health care. They join the RRLI’s faculty director, Jessie Hill, and program manager, Holly Bland.
Becca Kendis (LAW MSASS ‘19) moves into her new role as staff attorney/lecturer after spending three years as the RRLI’s Reproductive Rights Fellow. In addition to her work as a member of the RRLI team, Kendis has held numerous roles over the past decade at organizations fighting for social justice and serving marginalized populations, including at CWRU’s Human Trafficking Clinic, the ACLU of Ohio, Milestones Autism Resources, and NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. Her interdisciplinary background ignited her passion for inter-professional collaboration and approaching advocacy through a creative and holistic lens, which Kendis brings to her work with the RRLI. Kendis holds a J.D. degree and a Master of Social Science Administration, both from Case Western Reserve University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Social Change and Activism from the University of Michigan.
Maggie Scotece joins the RRLI from the Abortion Fund of Ohio, where she was Interim Executive Director and launched the organization’s first Legal Access Program to address legal barriers and the criminalization of abortion seekers. Scotece has extensive litigation experience, having served as an attorney with Disability Rights Ohio, as well as the Environmental Division of the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, and a litigation intern with the Human Services Division of the Alaska Dept. of Law. In addition to her reproductive rights background, Scotece also brings a deep connection to disability justice including as a founding member of the Ohio Supported Decision Making Network. She earned a J.D. degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Italian Studies from Miami University.
As integral members of the RRLI team, Kendis and Scotece provide legal support to reproductive health care providers and advocacy organizations, conduct legal research, analyze legislation, and engage in outreach and education efforts. They will also assist with litigation challenging abortion restrictions in Ohio.
The RRLI team is supported by Holly Bland, who joined CWRU as the RRLI Program Manager in March of 2023. Her work focuses on overseeing, developing, and managing the RRLI’s programs and projects. She brings to the RRLI team her expertise in political consulting and strategy as well as in reproductive rights and justice. Bland began her career at Preterm, Ohio’s largest, independent, nonprofit abortion provider, where she worked in development while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and promotional communications from Cleveland State University.
As the only law school-based program of its kind outside the East and West Coasts, the presence and visibility of the RRLI sends a compelling message about the importance of reproductive rights in the Midwest and the need to continue efforts to protect and expand them. The RRLI’s work is supported by numerous grants from local and national foundations and by individual donors.