Anti-Abortion Extremists Are Diverting Tax Dollars to ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’

Anti-abortion politicians are siphoning public dollars meant for low-income mothers and their children to fund anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) that coerce poor women and teens seeking an abortion to give birth, further condemning them to long-term economic hardship. Being denied a wanted abortion is a proven predictor of maternal and child poverty.

As the Biden administration advances a proposal to prohibit CPCs from future access to these federal funds, the anti-abortion movement is pushing back in force, claiming CPCs save taxpayer dollars and provide vital healthcare and safety net services to poor families. A first-time analysis of the CPC industry’s own reporting wholly contradicts these claims.

‘Invisible, Disappeared, Erased’: The Systematic Oppression of Afghan Women and Girls Since the Taliban Takeover

The U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, leaving the Taliban as the de facto authorities. Since then, the Taliban has issued hundreds of repressive decrees designed to systematically oppress and marginalize Afghan women and girls, from denying them education, to restricting their movement.

Ms. sat down with Dr. Lauryn Oates, executive director of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, a nonprofit organization that supports Afghan women and girls by investing in basic education, literacy and technology for education; providing grants and scholarships and other financial support; and engaging in policy advocacy to restore Afghan women and girls’ fundamental human rights and dignity.

“The Taliban’s treatment of women is a threat to women everywhere. Other groups are taking note that the Taliban is getting away with these restrictions, that it can literally strip women and girls of all rights and there’s no consequences.”

Keeping Score: Women’s Basketball Reaches New Heights; France Protects Abortion, While Florida Tightens Its Ban

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

This week: Women’s college basketball smashed viewership records; France passed a constitutional amendment protecting abortion; Florida will soon have a six-week abortion ban; Beyoncé makes history on the country album charts; IWMF honors Palestinian journalist Samar Abu Elouf; Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) managed to include $1 billion for childcare in the fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills; federal employees will soon have access to insurance plans that cover fertility services; President Biden announced a new plan to cancel student debt; the Supreme Court allowed Idaho to maintain its ban on gender-affirming care for minors; and more.

Final ‘Pregnant Workers Fairness Act’ Regulations Were Released—And It’s Great News for Women

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its final regulations implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The landmark statute mandating “reasonable accommodation” of workers’ pregnancy-related needs went into effect last summer, but the regulations explain the PWFA’s protections in more detail, providing additional guidance to workers, employers, and the courts so that the full force of the law is given effect. 

Virginia Becomes the First State in the South to End Child Marriage

Virginia became the 12th U.S. state and first in the South to end child marriage last week, after Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) signed HB 994 into law. The law completely ends child marriage in the state by establishing a minimum marriage age of 18 without exceptions and removes a legal loophole that previously allowed emancipated minors to marry in Virginia. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2024.

Child marriage has been shown to result in increased risk of future poverty, particularly for teen moms, as well as greater vulnerability to sexual and domestic violence, human trafficking, coercive control, financial abuse, homelessness and mental illness.

Out of Touch on Menopause: Experts Respond to The Lancet’s ‘Over-Medicalization’ Claims

Menopause is gaining attention in the media and highest levels of government, including the White House—but we still have a long way to go to ensure women get the support they need. A recent series issued by a respected journal, The Lancet, proves this point. 

The series claims to promote an “empowerment model for managing menopause.” To us—more than 250 obstetrician-gynecologists, family medicine physicians, cardiologists, internists, urologists, medical oncologists, psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, nurse practitioners and licensed therapists—this was an unexpected and welcome opportunity.

the series was awash with misstatements that do not reflect the lived experience of women in this stage of life or our clinical experience in treating them.

Would the O.J. Simpson Trial Be Different Today?

At the time of the original O.J. Simpson trial, many feminists were horrified that a woman who was stalked, beaten and raped by one man, and who asked for help many times, was then brutally murdered—and that in the trial, she should have gotten her justice, but it was instead turned into a carnival in which Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman were mere sideshows.

Many of the dynamics at play in the Simpson trial have not changed as much as one would hope—including deep racism in policing and criminal justice, a resulting deep skepticism that the system is fair, and a related impulse to filter facts and information through the lens of identity first and reality second.

The Florida Supreme Court Didn’t Just Uphold a Six-Week Ban—It Denied Women Their Constitutional Privacy

Adopted by Florida voters in 1980, Article 23 of Florida’s Constitution states: “Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life except as otherwise provided herein.” 

By compelling a woman to continue her pregnancy, Florida denies women exactly the kind of privacy it says its Constitution protects.