David S. Cohen
Making Sense of the Medication Abortion Litigation with Professor David S. Cohen
On May 1, Professor Cohen gave a briefing on the status of and prospects for the litigation concerning the abortion drug mifepristone.
View the recording
David S. Cohen’s scholarship explores the intersection of constitutional law and gender, emphasizing how the law impacts abortion provision, including violence against abortion providers, as well as sex segregation and masculinity. He also researches voting anomalies in the Supreme Court.
Professor Cohen published his second co-authored book in 2020, “Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America.” Published by California University Press and written with UCSF sociologist Carole Joffe, Obstacle Course explores the practical realities of accessing abortion amidst the tangled web of restrictions across the country. His first book, "Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism," was published in 2015 by Oxford University Press and co-authored with Kline Law 2012 grad Krysten Connon. The book examines how abortion providers are individually targeted by anti-abortion extremists and how law can better respond to this type of harassment.
Professor Cohen has also published articles in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online, George Washington Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Boston University Law Review, Seton Hall Law Review, and the South Carolina Law Review. He has a chapter in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Cambridge University Press 2016) that re-writes the 1981 Supreme Court opinion that approved the all-male military draft and a chapter in Feminist Judgments: Reproductive Justice Rewritten (Cambridge University Press 2020) that re-writes the 2016 Supreme Court opinion that struck down two Texas abortion restrictions.
Professor Cohen received his JD from Columbia University School of Law, where he was named a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, received the Public Interest Commitment Award and two Columbia Human Rights Fellowships, and was a research assistant for Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw. He was managing editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and articles editor of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.
After clerking for Justice Alan B. Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court and Judge Warren J. Ferguson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Professor Cohen worked as a fellow and staff attorney for the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia. There, he handled a range of cases involving reproductive rights, sex discrimination under Title IX, health insurance coverage of contraceptives, health care for women prisoners and family rights for gay and lesbian couples. Professor Cohen worked on several U.S. Supreme Court cases, including representing the plaintiffs in Ferguson v. City of Charleston.
Before coming to Drexel, he was a lecturer-in-law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also held adjunct professor positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Long Island University.
Professor Cohen received Drexel University's 2016-17 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and was chosen by graduating students to receive the Dean Jennifer L. Rosato Excellence in the Classroom Award in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2019 and the DiveIn Champion of Diversity Award from the Class of 2020. He also won the 2015 Center for Reproductive Rights Innovation in Scholarship Award and the 2016 Person of the Year award from the Abortion Care Network.
He currently serves on the board of directors for the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia and the national Abortion Care Network. He continues to work on pro bono cases affecting abortion access and LGBT rights, including arguing and winning a 2018 Pennsylvania Supreme Court case on behalf of a pregnant woman seeking drug treatment and now litigating a case in Pennsylvania courts challenging the state’s ban on Medicaid abortion coverage.
He is a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, writing about constitutional and other legal issues.