Keeping Score: Brittney Griner Is Freed; Iranian Women Actors Arrested for Supporting Protests; Oregon Pardons Thousands for Marijuana Charges

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.

Lest We Forget

“Make no mistake: Donald Trump’s racist, conspiracy-theory driven, and extreme rhetoric was and still is the biggest threat to U.S. democracy. His legacy of hate took this country backward. He continues to be a grave threat to all of our rights, including the right to a safe and legal abortion.

In 2020, voters overwhelmingly rejected his divisive and dangerous agenda, and they will reject it again—no matter whether the agenda comes from Trump himself or one of his imitators.”

—Planned Parenthood Votes executive director Jenny Lawson on the announcement of Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential bid.

“The women who wrote to you represent the backbone of our economy. They are retail, hospitality, healthcare, transportation, sanitation, manufacturing, education, and public service workers. Women are tired of being told that their health and economic security are not worth the time. Investing in women is an investment in our economy.

Enough is enough. The responsibility is yours to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act this year. Time is running out. Treat pregnant workers and those who have recently given birth with the respect and equality they deserve.”

An open letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the urgency of passing the PWFA by the end of 2022.

Parents, pregnant people and kids rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 28, 2022, to deliver boxes of petitions urging Congress to bring the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to a vote. (Paul Morigi / Getty Images for ParentsTogether)

“We are horrified and heartbroken by the targeted gun violence that occurred in Colorado Springs. … Clubs hold a significant place in LGBTQ+ history. They were often the only safe gathering place for LGBTQ+ people and this horrific act strikes directly at the community’s sense of safety.

It cannot be ignored that this cruel act came as a result of hateful rhetoric against the LGBTQ+ community that is coming from all angles—from our schools, within our healthcare system, and from the mouths of state and federal policy makers. Queer, trans and gender-diverse people deserve to be able to live authentic and joyful lives, free from discrimination and the threat of violence. PRH is in solidarity with the queer community in Colorado Springs and all LGBTQ+ people as we work to create a world where all queer people can thrive.”

—A statement by Physicians for Reproductive Rights board chair Dr. Kristyn Brandi on the shooting at an LGBTQ+ night club, Club Q, in Colorado Springs on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Just between 2020 and 2024, there’s going to be over 600,000 more Latino youth eligible to vote in Texas. That is the margin Beto lost by.

Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino
Voto Latino president and CEO María Teresa Kumar speaks during the Women’s March ‘Power to the Polls’ voter registration tour on Jan. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. Voto Latino is a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)


+ The Associated Press announced an update to their style guide, advising writers not to use the harmful and medically inaccurate phrase “late-term abortion.” Instead, the AP recommends writers use “abortion later in pregnancy” or “abortion at xx weeks”—medically accurate language endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 

+ State judges are playing with Georgians’ health: On Tuesday, Nov. 15, a Georgia judge blocked the state’s six-week abortion ban, making abortions up to 22 weeks legal for the first time since July. However, only a week later, on Nov. 23, the state Supreme Court decided to allow the six-week abortion ban to take effect once again while the state’s appeal continues.

+ The Alliance Defending Freedom—a conservative, anti-abortion organization—sued the FDA on Friday, Nov. 18 to reverse its approval of abortion drug mifepristone.

“For decades, women in this country have had access to FDA-approved medication abortion as a safe and effective option,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services. “As [HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra] said, denying women access to any essential care they need is downright dangerous and extreme.”

+ Iranian security forces arrested women actors Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi for their outspoken support of national demonstrations. Both had protested the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was in government custody for not wearing a hijab as required.

“This might be my last post. From this moment on, if anything happens to me, know that I will always be with the people of Iran until my last breath,” Ghaziani said in the caption of an Instagram post where her hair was visible.

+ Oregon Governor Kate Brown officially pardoned 45,000 residents convicted on marijuana charges on Nov. 21. The pardon applies to anyone convicted before 2016 for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana so long as they were 21 or older at the time of the offense.

“Oregonians should never face housing insecurity, employment barriers, and educational obstacles as a result of doing something that is now completely legal, and has been for years,” Brown said in a statement. “And while Oregonians use marijuana at similar rates, Black and Latina/o/x people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.”

+ The Department of Education released a statement on Nov. 22 extending the national pause on student loan payments, and launching a review of lower-court orders that are prevent debt relief for millions of Americans.

+ Los Angeles mayor-elect Karen Bass will be sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday, Dec. 11, becoming the city’s first Black woman mayor.

How We’re Doing

+ WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from Russian detention. “This is a day we’ve worked toward for a long time,” said President Biden.

Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony in August for having two vape cartridges containing hashish oil. Here, she is seen on a screen via a video link from a remand prison during a court hearing to consider an appeal against her sentence, at the Moscow regional court on Oct. 25, 2022. (Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP via Getty Images)

+ The U.S. marked Latina Equal Pay Day on Dec. 8, a day to acknowledge the pay gap that Latina women face. In the past decade, the Latina pay gap has widened to 49 cents to the dollar, compared to what’s paid to white non-Hispanic men.

“This Latina Equal Pay Day, there will be folks who will say that we need to ask for more,” wrote Mónica Ramírez in Ms. “They are wrong. Employers need to do better, and so do our political leaders.”

+ Latina women are some of the most at-risk in the aftermath of Dobbs, with 6.5 million living in states that have or likely will ban abortion. The number constitutes 42 percent of all Latinas of reproductive age, and half of the Latinas in these states already have children.

+ Sixty-one percent of adults think legalization of gay marriage would be a somewhat or very good thing for U.S. society.

+ At least 34 transgender and gender non-conforming people were killed in the U.S. thus far in 2022, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Even still, report authors stress that anti-trans violent crimes are substantially undercounted.

“Until we as a country address and dismantle the barriers faced by transgender and gender non-conforming people, they will continue to face higher rates of discrimination, poverty, homelessness and violence,” the report stated. “Yet, at the same time, even in the face of physical danger, hatred and discrimination — sometimes ruthlessly endorsed and enforced by those at the highest level of our government — many transgender and gender non-conforming people live courageously and overcome unjust barriers in all corners of our country.”

+ The mere scale of donations by America’s wealthiest citizens grants them undeniable influence over election outcomes and policy decisions. Throughout the 2022 midterm election cycle, “the 100 largest donors collectively spent 60 percent more than every small donor in the United States combined. … Billionaires alone—the United States has fewer than 700 of them—provided 15 percent of the funding for the most recent federal elections,” an analysis by the Brennan Center found.

+ Young voters in the 2022 midterms were significantly more likely to vote for left-leaning candidates, contributing to Democrats’ unexpected wins in the Senate.

Democratic House candidates won voters under age 45 by 13 percentage points, whereas the lost voters over 45 by 10 points. Even more strikingly, they won voters under 30 by 28 points.

Up next:

U.S. democracy is at a dangerous inflection point—from the demise of abortion rights, to a lack of pay equity and parental leave, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and attacks on trans health. Left unchecked, these crises will lead to wider gaps in political participation and representation. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Amendment, and centering the stories of those most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we are redoubling our commitment for the next 50 years. In turn, we need your help, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll receive the print magazine along with our e-newsletters, action alerts, and invitations to Ms. Studios events and podcasts. We are grateful for your loyalty and ferocity.


Sophie Dorf-Kamienny is a junior at Tufts University studying sociology and community health. She is a Ms. contributing writer, and was formerly an editorial fellow, research fellow and assistant editor of social media. You can find her on Twitter at @sophie_dk_.