An experienced and passionate advocate for equality, attorney Julie F. Kay is an expert on women's human rights domestically and internationally. As the lead attorney who designed and litigated the landmark case ABC v. Ireland, Kay successfully argued before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights that Ireland's ban on life-saving abortion violated her client’s human rights.
On behalf of her non-profit clients, Kay develops innovative legal and policy solutions that work in tandem with community organizing and advocacy efforts. Her initiatives increase support for access to reproductive rights and religious freedom, advance gender equality and work to prevent family violence and promote women's economic security.
Kay has fought to protect the parenting rights of people leaving ultra-religious communities through her legal reform work with the non-profit organization Footsteps and through partnerships she creates with America's leading law firms and legal non-profits. Previously, as the inaugural Senior Strategist for Advocacy and Policy at the Ms. Foundation for Women, Kay created coalitions to advance innovative national and grassroots gender equality initiatives.
Earlier, as a Senior Staff Attorney at Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) Kay designed and launched the Sexuality and Family Rights Program which challenged gender bias in "abstinence only" restrictions in sexuality education and health care, and opposed bans on same-sex marriage.
Kay began her legal career as a Staff Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, litigating domestic reproductive rights cases nationwide on behalf of individual women and health care providers. Immediately after graduating from law school, Kay had served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf. Kay has a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Social Studies cum laude from Harvard University, and a J.D. cum laude from Brooklyn Law School.
Kay's work with the Irish Family Planning Association is credited with playing a vital role in abortion legalization in Ireland. She was a founding President of Women's Link Worldwide, served as a long-time board member for the Center for Constitutional Rights and as board chair of the National Institute for Reproductive Health.
Reproductive freedom has never been in more dire straits. The Supreme Court has made it clear that we are about to lose fundamental constitutional protections that Roe v. Wade established and Planned Parenthood v. Casey unexpectedly preserved. Learn ...