Joanna S. Suder, J.D. serves as Senior Staff Attorney, Reproductive Health. Prior to joining the Network, Joanna was a Deputy Attorney General with the State of Delaware for almost ten years, representing the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services through the COVID-19 Pandemic. During her time as a Deputy Attorney General, Joanna also represented facilities as well as regulators, drafted legislation and regulations, practiced affirmative and defensive litigation, and negotiated contracts on behalf of her clients.

After she earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Joanna worked as a health care assistant in a family planning clinic. Joanna has a law degree from the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, where she was a health law concentrator. She co-oped at the Pennsylvania Health Law Project and spent at summer at the Nemours Office of Child Health Policy and Advocacy in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the Delaware bar.

Articles & Resources

Six Policies That Advance Mental Health

Policy BriefMental Health and Well-BeingMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

June 3, 2024
by Amy Lieberman, April Shaw, Ashleigh Dennis, Darlene Huang Briggs, Emma Kaeser, Jill Krueger, Joanna S. Suder and Susan Fleurant

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Network attorneys and staff have identified six key policies with the potential to significantly improve mental health outcomes across the United States. This policy brief covers a wide range of areas focused on communities and those who work to support communities. It is designed as a practical resource for public health professionals, leaders, and partners, offering strategies to enhance mental health and well-being while reducing disparities in mental health care.

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Final HIPAA Rule on Reproductive Health Care Privacy: Impacts for Public Health

WebinarsReproductive Health and Equity HIPAA Facts & FictionHealth Information and Data Sharing

May 1, 2024
by Charles Curran, Joanna S. Suder, Stephen Murphy and Susan Fleurant

The newly issued Biden Administration HIPAA Final Rule seeks to strengthen privacy protections under HIPAA for protected health information potentially related to reproductive health care. Join Network attorneys as they discuss key provisions, potential implementation challenges and what this means for public health, including how the rule may affect data transfers for public health purposes.

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­Four Federal Reproductive Health Care Cases You Should Care About­

Fact SheetReproductive Health and Equity Maternal and Child HealthHealth and Health Care

April 24, 2024
by Joanna S. Suder

As the country, and the world, wait to see how the Supreme Court decides the case of Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA seeking to prevent the distribution of abortion medication, there are four important reproductive health care cases working their way through the federal court system that may also affect a large number of individuals, especially adolescents and people who have low incomes. Although Title X has been law for 54 years, courts have played and continue to play a role in construing the permissible use of Title X funds, with the four pending cases outlined in this fact sheet as examples.

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Balancing Program Integrity and Access to Reproductive Health Services: The Battle Over Title X In Tennessee and Oklahoma

Law & Policy InsightsReproductive Health and Equity Maternal and Child Health

April 24, 2024
by Joanna S. Suder

Title X is a federal grant program that funds family planning and reproductive health care services in the U.S. Two states with abortion bans recently loss Title X grant funding because of the grant's requirement that pregnant patients receive counseling options that include abortion. While the federal government had the right to terminate funding, clients (who are mostly young and have low incomes) lost access to important care as a result of their states' decision to ban abortion.

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Reproductive Health Care, Litigation, Privacy and Public Health

WebinarsReproductive Health and Equity Maternal and Child Health

November 30, 2023
by Joanna S. Suder, Kathleen Hoke and Stephen Murphy

The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization eviscerated 50 years of precedent and constitutional rights to abortion. States have since adopted widely divergent reproductive health care access policies, illustrating serious legal questions remaining post-Roe. Attend this webinar for the latest information on litigation in state courts regarding reproductive health care access through state constitutions and statutes; an update on how states are protecting reproductive health records through data privacy laws; and how local health departments are serving their communities in the post-Roe landscape.

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­Attempts to Restrict Ballot Initiatives That Protect Abortion Access

Fact SheetReproductive Health and Equity 

October 5, 2023
by Joanna S. Suder

As a result of the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs, advocates on both sides of the abortion issue turned to state constitutions to determine the contours of a right to abortion or to make clear no such right exists under state law. When abortion was on the ballot in 2022, voters in several states rallied to enshrine the right to abortion in state constitutions and rejected attempts to further restrict abortions in their states. In the wake of these successful ballot measures, state legislators throughout the country have sought to amend ballot initiative processes ahead of the 2024 elections. This fact sheet outlines recent proposed amendments by several states that are intended to thwart pro-abortion ballot initiatives.

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Medication Abortion: A Primer

Fact SheetReproductive Health and Equity Maternal and Child HealthLegislation and Legal ChallengesHealth and Health Care

April 5, 2023
by Joanna S. Suder

The majority of abortions in the U.S. are medical abortions, a safe and effective method for early pregnancy, initiated by patients using a medication regimen. Medical abortions, also called chemical abortions or abortion pills, are one of the new battlegrounds on which political and legal wars are being fought. This fact sheet provides information on the drug regimen for medication abortion and current legal challenges to their use.

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