Professor of Law
Harvard University, MS 2003
University of California, Berkeley, JD 2007
Professor Ahmed is an internationally renowned expert in health law, criminal law and human rights. Her scholarship examines the legal, regulatory and political environments regarding health in US domestic law, US foreign policy and international law. She teaches Property Law, Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, and International Health Law: Governance, Development and Rights. Professor Ahmed was selected as a fellow with the Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University for 2017-2018. She combined a sabbatical and her fellowship, spending the academic year developing her work on law, feminism and science into a book with particular emphasis on how women’s health advocates shaped the AIDS response. She has also written extensively about abortion and reproductive health.
Professor Ahmed’s scholarship has appeared in the University of Miami Law Review, American Journal of Law and Medicine, University of Denver Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Boston University Law Review (online) and the American Journal of International Law (online), among other journals.
Prior to joining the School of Law, Professor Ahmed was a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health Program on International Health and Human Rights. She came to that position after a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship with the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW). Professor Ahmed has also consulted with various United Nations agencies and international and domestic non-governmental organizations.
Professor Ahmed was a member of the Technical Advisory Group on HIV and the Law convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and has been an expert for many institutions, including the American Bar Association and UNDP. In 2016, she was appointed to serve a three-year term on the advisory board of the Northeastern University Humanities Center.
In addition to her BA and JD, Professor Ahmed holds an MS in population and international health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Fields of Expertise
- Civil Rights
- Comparative Law
- Development and the Law
- Domestic Violence
- Gender and the Law
- Health Law and Policy
- Human Rights
- International Law
- Public Health Law
- Reproductive Rights
- Feminisim's Medicine: Law, Science, Race, and Gender in an Epidemic (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).
- Handbook on Race, Racism, and the Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming) (co-editor).
- Gender Violence (forthcoming) (with Donna Coker, Leigh Goodmark, and Deborah Weisman).
- Mary Jo Frug's Women and the Law (Foundation Press, 5th ed., forthcoming) (co-editor).
- “Can Lawyers Change Science? Law, Social Movements, and the Definition of AIDS” (work-in-progress).
- “Fact-Making: The Politics of Public Health in Abortion Law,” University of Colorado Law Review (forthcoming).
- “How the COVID-19 Response is Altering the Legal and Regulatory Landscape on Abortion,” Journal of Law and Biosciences (2020).
- “Floating Lungs: Forensic Science in Self-Induced Abortion Prosecutions,” 100 Boston University Law Review 1111 (2020).
- “Health and Human Rights: Harm-Reduction and the Fight to Decriminalize Public Health Services,” American Society of International Law Proceedings (forthcoming 2019).
- “Race and Assisted Reproduction: Implications for Public Health,” 86 Fordham Law Review 2811 (2018).
- “Abortion in a Post-Truth Moment: A Response to Erwin Chemerinsky and Michele Goodwin,” 95 Texas law Review's See Also 198 (2017).
- "Abortion and US Foreign Policy: The Mexico City Policy," ACSblog (July 11, 2017).
- "Reproductive Health Under Assault,"HealthAffairs Blog (March 3, 2017).
- “Adjudicating Risk: Aids, Crime, and Culpability,” 3 Wisconsin Law Review 627 (2016).
- “Criminal Laws on Sex Work and HIV: A Mapping,” 93 Denver University Law Review 355 (2016).
- “We Are Punishing Women For Their Abortions,”WGBH News (May 23, 2016) (co-author).
- “Trafficked? AIDS, Criminal Law and the Politics of Measurement,” 70 University of Miami Law Review 96 (2015).
- “'Exploitation Creep’ and Development: A Response to Janie Chuang,” American Journal of International Law Unbound (June 11, 2015).
- “Informed Decision Making and Abortion: Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Informed Consent, and the First Amendment,” 43 The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 51 (2015).
- “HIV, Violence Against Women, and the Criminal Law Interventions,”CUNY Law Review Footnotes Forum (December 7, 2014).
- “Medical Evidence and Expertise in Abortion Jurisprudence,” 41 American Journal of Law and Medicine 85 (2015).
- “Think Again: Prostitution,”Foreign Policy Magazine (January 19, 2014).
- “Rugged Vaginas and Vulnerable Rectums: The Sexual Identity, Epidemiology, and Law of the Global HIV Epidemic,” 26 Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 1 (2013).
- “USAID v. AOSI: A Victory for Sex Workers and Feminist Allies,”The Huffington Post (June 25, 2013).
- “‘We Have the Right Not to Be Rescued ...’: When Anti-Trafficking Programmes Undermine the Health and Well-Being of Sex Workers,” 1 Anti-Trafficking Review 149 (2012) (co-author).
- “Criminalising Consensual Sexual Behaviour in the Context of HIV: Consequences, Evidence and Leadership,” 6 Global Public Health 357 (2011) (co-author).
- “Feminism, Power and Sex Work in the Context of HIV/AIDS: Consequences for Women’s Health,” 34 Harvard Journal of Law and Gender 226 (2011).
- “HIV and Women: Incongruent Policies, Criminal Consequences,” 6 Yale Journal of International Affairs 32 (2011).
- “Protecting HIV Positive Women’s Human’s Rights: Recommendations for the Obama Administration,” 17 Reproductive Health Matters 127 (2009) (co-author).
- “Answering the Millennium Call for the Right to Maternal Health: The Need to Eliminate User Fees,” 12 Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal 62 (2009) (co-author).
- “Dual Subordination: Muslim Sexuality in Secular and Religious Legal Discourse in India,” 7 Muslim World Journal of Human Rights 4 (2007).
- “Transnational Law and Global Health: Abortion and AIDS, ”in The Oxford Handbook on Transnational Law, ed. P. Zumbansen (forthcoming 2020).
- “Commentary on Reynolds v. McNichols,” in U.S. Feminist Judgements: Health Law Decisions Rewritten, eds. L. Wiley et al (forthcoming 2020).
- “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights,” in Global Health and Human Rights, eds. L. Gostin et al (forthcoming 2019) (co-author).
- “Commentary on State v. Oakley,” in The US Feminist Judgements: Reproductive Justice Decisions Rewritten, ed. K. Mutcherson. (forthcoming 2019).
- “Feminism, Law, and Epidemiology in the AIDS Response,” in Governance Feminism: a Handbook, ed. J.Halley et al (University of Minnesota Press, 2019).
- “Theories of State and Family,” in Routledge Handbook of International Family Law (Routledge, 2018).
- “Criminalization: A Conversation with Janet Halley,” in Beyond Virtue and Vice: International Human Rights and the Criminalization of Gender, Sexuality and Reproduction, eds. M. Roseman et al (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).
- “Addressing HIV/AIDS at the Intersection of Anti-Trafficking and Health Law and Policy,”in Revisiting the Law and Governance of Trafficking, Forced Labor and Modern Slavery, ed. P. Kotiswaran (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
- “Women's Rights Post-Bandung,” in Bandung, Global History and International Law: Critical Pasts and Pending Futures, eds. V. Nessiah et al (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
- “Global Health Governance, Harm-Reduction, and Trafficking,” in Shaping the Definition of Trafficking in the Palermo Protocol, ed. P. Kotiswaran (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
- “No Way Out: The Dual Subordination of Muslim Women in Indian Legal Culture,” in Self-Determination and Women’s Rights in Muslim Societies, eds. C. Raghavan et al (Brandeis University Press, 2012).
- “The Politics of CDC Public Health Guidance During COVID-19,” Bill of Health (December 7, 2020).
- “Symposium: Ginsburg’s Abortion Jurisprudence Prioritized Women’s Health,” SCOTUS Blog (October 13, 2020).
- “June Medical: Reason or Politics?,” Human Rights at Home (June 30, 2020).
- Podcast: “Ask a Feminist: Deborah Anker Discusses Gender and US Asylum Law with Aziza Ahmed,” Signs (July 12, 2019).
- “New York City Allocates $250,000 for Abortions, Challenging Conservative States,”The New York Times (June 14, 2019).
- Letter: “Act Doesn't Allow Abortion Throughout Pregnancy,” The Providence Journal (February 2, 2019).
- “Ethical Concerns of DNA Databases used for Crime Control,” Bill of Health (January 19, 2019).
- “Bulwark Against an Abortion Ban? Medical Advances,” The New York Times (July 1, 2018).
- “3Qs: Supreme Court Strikes down Part of Texas Abortion Law,” news@Northeastern (June 29, 2016).
- “Anti-Choice ‘Science’: The Big Tobacco of Our Time,” RH Reality Check (November 13, 2014).
- “Preventing HIV: The Decriminalisation of Sex Work,” openDemocracy (August 11, 2014).
- “Green Light for Prostitution?” The Stream, Al-Jazeera (January 27, 2014).
- “HIV Law and Stigma,” IAS Daily Bulletin (July 1, 2013).
- “Fighting the Urge to Profile in the Wake of the Boston Marathon Blasts,” All In With Chris Hayes, MSNBC (April 16, 2013).