War on Women Report: Roe v. Wade Overturned; FINA Bans Transgender Women; Sexism and Racism at the Heart of Jan. 6 Attacks


U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

Sunday, June 19

+ FINA, the world governing body for swimming, has voted to ban transgender women from participating in elite women’s swimming competitions. The move came just three months after Lia Thomas became the first transgender woman to win an NCAA Division I swimming championship. Under the new policy, trans women must show “they have not experienced any part of male puberty beyond Tanner Stage 2 or before age 12, whichever is later.” FINA argued using sex and sex-linked traits is necessary to determine eligibility criteria because of the “performance gap” that appears between males and females during puberty. The policy took effect on Monday, June 20. 

Many transgender advocacy groups criticized the decision.

“The eligibility criteria for the women’s category as it is laid out in the policy police the bodies of all women, and will not be enforceable without seriously violating the privacy and human rights of any athlete looking to compete in the women’s category,” said Anne Lieberman, director of policy and programs at Athlete Ally.

“This sudden and discriminatory decision is a blatant attack on transgender athletes who have worked to comply with longstanding policies that have allowed them to participate for years without issue,” said Joni Madison, interim president of the Human Rights Campaign. “This policy is an example of swimming organizations caving to the avalanche of ill-informed, prejudiced attacks targeted at one particular transgender swimmer. … To the young athletes who may be disheartened by this policy, know that we know and believe that every young person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and that transgender kids, like their friends, deserve the same chances to learn sportsmanship, self-discipline, and teamwork, and to build a sense of belonging with their peers.”

Monday, June 20

+ As of 2021, Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19 each year, is a federal holiday. Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the announcement by Union Army General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas.

The ugly legacy of slavery and systemic racism still permeates every aspect of U.S. society, especially healthcare—especially in this new post-Roe reality. In the United States, Black women face higher rates of poverty and are three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related complications compared to white women. The overturning of Roe will cause maternal mortality rates to increase by at least 33 percent for Black women, according to estimates in a 2021 Duke study.

Black advocates are bracing for America’s maternal health disparities to worsen. “Roe has given Black women the bodily autonomy we’ve historically been denied,” said Black Women’s Health Imperative’s Byllye Avery and Linda Goler Blount. “This decision will have life-altering ramifications for all Americans, especially Black women.” 

Tuesday, June 21

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. (Brent Stirton / Getty Images)

+ The House Select Commit­tee to Invest­ig­ate held the fourth of several public hear­ings concerning the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The hearing focused on Trump’s efforts to pressure state officials to overturn the election results in his favor. 

Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a Black former election worker from Georgia, testified about her experience. Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were the targets of a vicious conspiracy theory spread by former President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani during the 2020 election. 

“It’s turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t want to transfer calls. I don’t want anyone knowing my name,” Moss testified. “I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all. I’ve gained about 60 pounds. I just don’t do nothing anymore.”

Moss didn’t know about the threats against her until she checked her Facebook account:  “It was just a lot of horrible things there. A lot of threats, wishing death upon me, telling me that I’ll be in jail with my mother and saying things like ‘Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.’”

All this, to help Trump desperately cling onto power. 

+ U.S. senators working on bipartisan gun legislation reached a compromise bill on the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” blocking dating partners convicted of a misdemeanor from buying guns—but allowing them to regain their gun rights after five years if they were first-time offenders and not found guilty of any other violent misdemeanor or offense. 

Wednesday, June 22

+ The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform released a 29-page memo that detailed the findings of its eight-month investigation into how the Washington Commanders and the NFL handled claims of rampant sexual harassment of the team’s female employees.

The committee found that the Washington Commanders owner, Daniel Snyder, directed a “shadow investigation” to interfere with and undermine the NFL’s investigation of workplace misconduct. His legal team used private investigators to intimidate witnesses and created a 100-slide dossier targeting victims, witnesses and journalists who had shared “credible public accusations of harassment” against the team.

Thursday, June 23

Currently, 18 states ban or severely limit transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ sports at public schools.

As we mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX, President Joe Biden and the Department of Education proposed amendments to the legislation that would reinstate Title IX regulations tossed out by the Trump administration. Proposed changes would boost victim protections and modify language to include sexual orientation and gender identity for LGBTQI+ students. It is still unclear how the rule would apply to athletics.

Friday, June 24

+ The constitutional protections for the right to abortion no longer exists. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturns the longstanding precedents of Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). With the fall of Roe, 26 states are certain or likely to move quickly to ban abortion. Of these, 13 states having “trigger laws” that ban abortion from the moment of fertilization.

For the first time in the history of the Supreme Court and the United States, a fundamental constitutional right has been taken away. Donald Trump’s three Supreme Court nominees—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett—joined Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, who authored the opinion, to demolish Roe.

Protesters demonstrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court in response to the leaked draft opinion indicating the Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, on Mothers Day, May 8, 2022. (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Abortion bans are forcing pregnant women to seek abortion pills online or travel long distances for in-clinic healthcare in states where abortion is still legal.

Criminalizing abortion does not stop abortions; it only makes them more deadly. The political violence toward Roe is not the end. The right to contraception, IVF and same-sex marriage may be under threat. President Biden warned: 

“This fall, we must elect more senators and representatives who will codify a woman’s right to choose into federal law once again. 

“This fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot—the right to privacy, liberty, equality. They’re all on the ballot.

“With your vote, you can act. You can have the final word. This is not over.

+ Abortion is now banned in at least nine states. Laws in eight states took effect immediately after the Dobbs decision. Abortion clinics and pregnant women now face chaos, shut downs and a massive escalation in surveillance.

+ Late Friday, law enforcement fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of abortion rights supporters protesting outside Arizona’s Capitol

Saturday, June 25

+ President Joe Biden signed into law a bipartisan bill on gun safety—the first national legislation on gun control in two decades. The law provides $750 million for state-level crisis intervention programs and closes the “boyfriend loophole,” while still allowing those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes to restore their gun rights after five years if they haven’t committed other crimes.

“I have to say that this bill doesn’t do everything we would like to do,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a floor speech on Friday.

“While this bill doesn’t do everything I want, it does include actions I’ve long called for that are going to save lives,” Biden said. “Today, we say more than ‘enough.’ We say more than enough. This time, when it seems impossible to get anything done in Washington, we are doing something consequential.”

Sign and share Ms.’s relaunched “We Have Had Abortions” petition—whether you yourself have had an abortion, or simply stand in solidarity with those who have—to let the Supreme Court, Congress and the White House know: We will not give up the right to safe, legal, accessible abortion.

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Michelle Moulton (she/they) is a former editorial intern with Ms. and a graduate of Smith College, where she majored in the study of women & gender and sociology. Her beats include reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, domestic violence intervention and pop culture.