OnMarch 22 at 5:30pm, the Program for Public Discourse will host a panel composed of religious leaders and thinkers from various faiths to discuss the relationship between abortion and faith in the final spring installment of the Abbey Speaker Series.
Maharat Ruth Friedman is a member of the inaugural class of Yeshivat Maharat, which is the first institution to ordain Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halakhic (legal) authorities. She serves as Maharat (clergy) at Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue in Washington, DC, where she performs all traditional rabbinic functions. She is also a proud member of the Washington Boards of Rabbis and sits on the Executive Committee of the board of the International Rabbinic Fellowship, of which she is also a member. Maharat Friedman is also a founding member of the Beltway VAAD. She and her husband Yoni are the proud parents of Ezra, Jobe and Evie, and their four-legged princess, Cocoa.
Lauren W. Reliford, MSW is a passionate and mission-oriented public and population health professional focused on bridging the gap between social theory, spirituality, research, and practice and bringing them to the forefront of our major policy decisions. She currently serves as Political Director for Sojourners, an ecumenical Christian organization that seeks to discover the intersection of faith, politics, and culture through our magazine and putting that faith into action for social justice through our mobilizing work.
Leah Libresco Sargeant is the author of Arriving at Amen and Building the Benedict Option. She is a convert from atheism to Catholicism who has worked as a policy analyst, a data journalist, and a curriculum developer at an organization teaching “defensive driving for your brain.” Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Plough, Comment, First Things, America, and other outlets. She runs Other Feminisms, a substack community focused on the dignity of dependence.
Mara Buchbinder is a professor and vice chair of the department of social medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. She is also an adjunct professor of anthropology. She is a medical anthropologist whose work focuses on how patients, families, and healthcare providers navigate social and ethical challenges resulting from changes in medical technology, law, and health policy. Dr. Buchbinder is the author of Scripting Death: Stories of Assisted Dying in America and All in Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain, as well as the co-author of Saving Babies? The Consequences of Newborn Genetic Screening. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.