The Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban Survives Yet Another Attack

The Feminist Majority—the advocacy arm of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which publishes Ms.—together with the National Network to End Domestic Violence and its then director, Donna Edwards, played a pivotal role in passing the original Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban at the heart of the Rahimi case, often referred to as “the Lautenberg Amendment,” after its sponsor, the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), in 1996. After passage, feminists stood firmly against all attempts to gut the law, like the 1997 and 1999 attempts to exempt police officers and military service personnel from its coverage (which both failed). 

“The law prevented countless tragedies,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “It has saved the lives and harm of countless domestic violence survivors, most of whom are women.” Here’s to the feminist allies and advocates ensuring those days stay behind us.

Texas Ruling and Louisiana Abortion Pill Restrictions Are Bad Omens for Pending SCOTUS Decisions

Even as we wait for U.S. Supreme Court decisions in two cases set to come down this month that could have massive impacts on abortion access, I fear that a court decision out of Texas and a new law passed in Louisiana foreshadow how the Court might rule.

The cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court involve whether federal law requiring hospitals to provide emergency abortions in cases when a woman’s health—not only her life—is threatened supersedes state abortion bans, and whether the FDA acted properly in its decision to ease regulations making it easier to dispense abortion pills without in-person visits. 

The Ms. Q&A with Nasrin Sotoudeh: The Iranian Activist on Global Solidarity, Her Time in Prison and Being an Optimist  

Nasrin Sotoudeh is an Iranian human rights lawyer and activist who has consistently fought for the rights of women, children, religious minorities and others under persecution in Iran. Over the years, Sotoudeh has spent much of her time in prison, having been arrested for protesting Iran’s mandatory hijab law and resisting authoritarian rule. While in custody in 2022, Sotoudeh wrote to Ms. editors detailing the plight of women in Iran and called for global solidarity around women’s rights.  Ms. executive editor Kathy Spillar spoke with Nasrin and her husband Reza Khandan last month.

“The world has gone through darker days. … We’ve made our way forward through those horrific and dark events and times, and so, why not again? As long as I’m alive, I’m just naturally an optimist.”

All Eyes on Texas: Republicans and Business Leaders Decry Court Ruling Denying Kate Cox’s Abortion

A Texas Supreme Court ruling that forced Kate Cox to leave the state to terminate a nonviable pregnancy attracted the ire of even some Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. And this week, 51 businesses signed onto an amicus brief in support of the 22 women suing Texas over its abortion bans, expressing difficulty in attracting employees and doing business in the state.

Abortion and women’s rights will be determining factors in the 2024 elections. Candidates who don’t take that into account will face severe headwinds—because unfortunately, stories like Cox’s are just going to keep happening. And voters aren’t turning a blind eye.

No Off Years: What’s at Stake in This Week’s Elections

Tuesday, Nov. 7, is the last day for voters in several states to head to the polls to vote in a number of off-year elections. While they may be lower-profile, some of these races are still deeply consequential.

We’ll be watching: Ohio’s pro-abortion ballot measure; Virginia’s state legislature; the Pennsylvania supreme court race; and the Kentucky and Mississippi governors’ races.

The ‘Barbie’ Movie: “More Swipes at ‘The Patriarchy’ Than a Year’s Worth of Ms. Magazine”

With opening weekend now in the rearview mirror (of her pink convertible), Barbie has raked in more than $200 million at the box office—smashing prior records for women-directed and summer blockbusters. Reviews have run the gamut. But it is the Wall Street Journal’s take, in particular, that caught our eye—and reviewer Kyle Smith’s quip that Barbie “contains more swipes at ‘the patriarchy’ than a year’s worth of Ms. magazine.”

To this, we at Ms. say: Hear, hear! We’ve been tackling feminist issues for five decades—including in our forthcoming book, 50 YEARS OF Ms.: THE BEST OF THE PATHFINDING MAGAZINE THAT IGNITED A REVOLUTION. So we know firsthand the force behind this magazine and its vast community of readers.  

Pride Month Begins, as Attacks on LGBTQ+ Rights and Women’s Rights Escalate

The anti-abortion playbook that uses violence and threats as a crucial tool has been co-opted by other movements—including anti-trans extremists, who are employing many of the same tactics as anti-abortion extremists.

From targeting specific doctors, to bombarding clinics with phone calls and protests, these groups incite violence against clinicians who are providing care that is widely regarded as best practice by all major medical associations.

The Month of April Brings Highs and Lows in Authoritarianism—From Dueling Abortion Rulings, to State-Level Crackdowns

We are only 10 days into April, and it’s already been a head-spinning month for U.S. authoritarianism.

Two federal district court decisions were issued that could dramatically impact access to medication abortion nationwide—even in states where abortion is legal. Voters in the notoriously purple state of Wisconsin turned out in record-breaking numbers to elect progressive Judge Janet Protasiewicz. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed three bills that repeal the state’s 92-year-old abortion ban. Tens of thousands of students across the country walked out of their classrooms to protest gun violence.