Keeping Score: House Passes Women’s Health Protection Act With Roe Under Fire; U.S. Soccer Offers Identical Contracts to Women and Men

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 in this biweekly round-up.


Clockwise from left: “Still Dancing” by Jonathan Labillois (Twitter / Amy Siskind); Michaela Coel dedicates her Emmy to survivors of sexual assault (Twitter); U.S. women’s soccer team is offered a contract identical to the U.S. men’s team (Instagram).

Lest We Forget

“Though we never ask why someone has come to our clinic, they often tell us. They’re finishing school or they already have three children, they’re in an abusive relationship, or it’s just not time. A majority are mothers. Most are between 18 and 30. Many are struggling financially — more than half qualify for some form of financial aid from us. … I have daughters, granddaughters and nieces. I believe abortion is an essential part of health care. I have spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients. I can’t just sit back and watch us return to 1972.”

—ob-gyn and abortion provider Dr. Alan Braid on why he is pushing back on Texas’s six-week abortion ban, despite the threat of lawsuits against him.

“As women athletes and people in sports, we must have the power to make important decisions about our own bodies and exert control over our reproductive lives. I am honored to stand with the hundreds of athletes who have signed onto this Supreme Court brief to help champion not only our constitutional rights, but also those of future generations of athletes. Physically, we push ourselves to the absolute limit, so to have forces within this country trying to deny us control over our own bodies is infuriating and un-American and will be met with fierce resistance.”

—Megan Rapinoe, Olympic gold medalist and two-time soccer World Cup Champion

“The time is now to stand up for reproductive rights. I am proud to make my voice heard on this issue, not just as a competitive athlete, but as a Black woman. It is well-established that women of color experience real disparities in accessing health care services, including contraceptive, abortion and other reproductive care. I hope we can have a real conversation as a country about valuing Black women’s autonomy.”

—Ashleigh Johnson, the first Black woman on the U.S. Olympic water polo team

Milestones

+ The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Tuesday, Sept. 14 that it offered its men’s and women’s teams identical contracts this year, after the teams collectively bargained for equal pay. U.S. Soccer said in a statement that it “firmly believes that the best path forward for all involved, and for the future of the sport in the United States, is a single pay structure for both senior national teams.”

+ A bill signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday, Sept. 27 will extend universal mail-in voting beyond the pandemic. In future elections, all registered voters in California will continue to receive mail-in ballots automatically.

“As states across our country continue to enact undemocratic voter suppression laws, California is increasing voter access, expanding voting options and bolstering elections integrity and transparency,” said Newsom.

+ The same day, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced the Freedom to Vote Act. The legislation was drafted in response to Senate Republicans’ refusal to vote on the For the People Act, and compromises by preserving state control over voter ID laws. It was drafted in part by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who refused to vote through the initial voting rights bill with his Democratic colleagues.

+ Meanwhile, the House voted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would preserve abortion rights and take precedent over state-level bans like Texas’s S.B. 8.

+ In a Major League Baseball game on Wednesday, Sept. 29, Melanie Newman and Jessica Mendoza made history as ESPN’s first all-woman team on an MLB, NBA or NFL broadcast.

+ After becoming the first Black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie, writer and actor Michaela Coel dedicated her award to survivors of sexual assault.

“Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn’t comfortable,” Coel said. “I dare you.”

+ Boston residents have only ever elected white male mayors, a streak slated to end this November. The two top candidates advancing in the general mayoral election—Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George—are both women of color, and one will make history when elected on Tuesday, Nov. 2 as Boston’s first female mayor.

+ A law signed by Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday, Sept. 15 aims for 100 percent clean energy in the state by 2050.

“​​After years of debate and discussion, science has prevailed, and we are charting a new future that works to mitigate the impacts of climate change here in Illinois,” Pritzker said in a statement.

How We’re Doing

+ According to a Boxed In survey of the 2020-21 television season, streaming platforms employed more women behind the camera than did broadcast networks. Women were 30 percent of creators on streaming shows, as compared with only 22 percent on network shows. Directors and editors followed the same trend.

+ 22-year-old Gabby Petito was reported missing on her trip to Wyoming, where 710 Indigenous people have gone missing between 2011 and 2020.

+ A poll of young people in 10 countries found that four in 10 “are hesitant to have children as a result of the climate crisis,” reports Mother Jones, “and fear that governments are doing too little to prevent climate catastrophe.” Six in ten are very or extremely worried about climate change.

+ An unprecedented study found that the average 6-year-old today will experience approximately three times the number of climate disasters than her grandparents did. Wildfires are expected to double, and cyclones, floods and draughts will see similar increases.

+ In the 20 years since 9/11, as a result of increased immigration law enforcement, 5.8 million migrants have been imprisoned by the U.S. government. Since President Biden took office, detainees have increased by 70 percent.

+ The Anti-Defamation League reported that 83 percent of adult gamers 18 to 45 years old have experienced harassment in online gaming. The largest increases is in harassment were towards women, Black and Asian gamers, and 10 percent of young respondents had been exposed to white supremacy.

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About

Sophie Dorf-Kamienny is a freshman at Tufts University. She was a Ms. editorial fellow, research fellow and assistant editor of social media. You can find her on Twitter at @sophie_dk_.