Deena Kalai


As Interviewed by M.W., March 18, 2014
"For me, the important part of what I do is the word ‘choice’: that people can make their own decisions."
Deena Kalai

Introductory Profile: About Deena Kalai

To explore women’s reproductive rights as a social justice issue, I interviewed Deena Kalai. Deena is a pro-choice activist and volunteer attorney for many non-profit organizations and has testified before state lawmakers and represented pregnant minors in court on judicial bypass issues and cases.

I met Deena through my mother, a family law attorney. A professor at their law school introduced them because they were both studying women’s rights and family law topics and because they have similar personalities. They became friends. Occasionally, as my mom visits Deena, I will tag along.

Deena is a tall, slender woman with light-colored skin and tight black curls that fall at her shoulders. She is an energetic person that would be willing to talk to anyone about anything. In addition to her background and volunteerism in reproductive rights issues, Deena is an entertainment and media lawyer. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her puppy, as well as eating chocolate and tacos for breakfast (my future career).

The topics that we covered in the interview were her pro-choice beliefs, her pro-choice activism and volunteer work, her concerns and reactions to Texan abortion beliefs and standards, how choice is social justice, and the different abortion standards in different parts of the world. The overall tone/feeling of the interview is that it was a serious, yet very comfortable conversation. The interview was really fun to conduct, as Deena is full of interesting and deep information.