The War on Women Report: Republicans Blame Unmarried Women for Midterm Results; 80% of Pregnancy-Related Deaths Can Be Prevented


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.

Since Our Last Report …. 

+ WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from Russian detention. “She’s safe, she’s on a plane, she’s on her way home,” Biden said at the White House Thursday morning alongside Griner’s wife, Cherelle. “After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under untolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along.”

For months, Griner lived in the “land of prisons.” At the IK-2 penal colony in Mordovia—about 250 miles southeast of Moscow—there are roughly two dozen massive jails; her “penal colony” could be any one of them. These prisons are notoriously racist and homophobic.

Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony 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)

+ As the U.S. grieves three high-profile shootings in two weeks, memorials have served as reminders of the nation’s unrelenting gun violence.

A Walmart employee armed with a handgun and multiple magazines shot and killed six people—including a 16-year-old—and wounded three others after opening fire in a break room.

Three students were killed and two were injured on a college bus.

Five people were killed and 17 suffered gunshot wounds after a shooter armed with a long gun opened fire in the LGBTQ nightclub. The tribute to victims of the Club Q shooting has taken on a deeper meaning, becoming a space for LGBTQ teenagers and young adults to grieve, honor their community and ask, “What now?” 

Let’s not forget what else was thrown our way over the last month.

Tuesday, Nov. 1

+ Latinas are the largest group of women of color living under current or likely abortion bans, according to recent research by National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF) and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice (NLIRJ). Nearly 6.5 million Latinas—42 percent of them between 15 and 49 years old—live in the 26 states that have banned or are likely to ban abortion. About half are already mothers and close to 3 million of them are economically insecure.

“We know that by every measure, Latinas face immense barriers to healthcare, from lack of access to care to discrimination and bias in the health system when we can access care,” said Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, vice president for health justice at NPWF. “Abortion bans are piling harm on top of a legacy of forced sterilization and other abuses Latinas have suffered.”

Wednesday, Nov. 2

+ Since the beginning of this year, 12 women journalists have been murdered. “In each case, the perpetrators went unpunished, tweeted #WomenInJournalism. “The culture of impunity must end across the board in order for all journalists to report freely.”

Thursday, Nov. 3

+ More than 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable in the U.S., according to a report released by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other lawmakers with the help from providers and advocates at Physician for Reproductive Health. And abortion bans will make this maternal mortality crisis even worse. Such bans are estimated to lead to a 39 percent increase in maternal mortality for Black women and birthing people.

Friday, Nov. 4

+ The Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine banned gender-affirming care for young people. The board voted 6-3 to adopt a new standard of care that forbids doctors to prescribe puberty blockers and hormones, or perform surgeries until transgender patients are 18. Exceptions will be allowed for children who are already receiving the treatments.

Dr. Kelly Thibert, family medicine physician in Florida and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, issued the following statement emphasizing the importance of the gender-affirming care she provides to her patients: 

“To me, this decision suggests that the care I provide to transgender and non-binary youth is harmful and abusive, when in fact it is medically necessary care that can be life-saving. Implementation of these rules will have a drastically negative impact on transgender and non-binary youth and their families; adding inability to access basic medical care to the already overwhelming prejudice, discrimination, violence and stigma faced on a daily basis. These patients deserve to have access to their human right of affirming and evidence-based healthcare, in the communities in which they live.”

A rally for trans rights on Feb. 25, 2017 in Philadelphia. There has been more restrictive legislation of trans people so far in 2022 than at any other point in U.S. history. Trans youth are the most frequent target of lawmakers. (Mark Makela / Getty Images)

Monday, Nov. 7

+ French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard admitted to abusing a 14-year-old girl in the 1980s—making him the first Catholic clergy member of his rank to admit to abusing a minor. A report last year found that French church personnel had abused 330,000 minors since 1950.

The cardinal will take leave and put himself “at the disposal of justice,” according to Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort of Reims, who read the cardinal’s statement.

Tuesday, Nov. 8

+ This year’s election season saw six ballot measures on abortion in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Vermont and Kansas. All of the pro-abortion rights positions passed

“This election shows us that voters do not see abortion as a political issue but as a fundamental liberty,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “In every state where abortion was on the ballot, voters made it clear that they don’t want politicians controlling their bodies or lives.” 

Leah Martin, a volunteer with Protect Kentucky Access, carries brochures with information on Amendment 2 in Lexington, Ky., on Oct. 1, 2022. A lifelong Kentucky resident, Martin ended up in the emergency room because she wasn’t allowed to have an abortion. Because of this “horrible” experience, she went door-to-door against a state ballot initiative that would cement Kentucky’s near total ban on abortions. (Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images)

Wednesday, Nov. 9

+ The Supreme Court heard arguments in the most significant challenge to federal Native American protection laws since their enactment. This case centers on the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which requires states to notify tribes and seek placement with a child’s extended family, members of the child’s tribe, or other Native American families in the foster care system.

The case, Brackeen v. Haaland, came to the Supreme Court after three white families and a small group of conservative states claimed the law is based on race and therefore unconstitutional under the equal protection clause. Native activists argue that ICWA is not about race but about tribal sovereignty based on the political relationship between tribes and the U.S. government. 

Overturning ICWA would impact tribal self-governance, making tribes more vulnerable to exploitation for land, oil and money. 

+ Given the midterm election results, right-wing media figures have zeroed in on two demographics to blame for the Republican’s nonexistent “Red Wave”: voters under 30 and unmarried women. Both demographics overwhelmingly voted for Democrats. 

“What if you could only vote if you were married,” tweeted Article III Project’s Will Chamberlain.

Monday, Nov. 14

+ Ohio state Rep. Gary Click (R) introduced a “personhood act” that would define personhood as starting at conception. In an interview, Click admitted he knew it wouldn’t pass, but he’s trying to “recalibrate the conversation.” 

When considering the impact on IVF, Click argued that IVF wouldn’t be banned, “but it might say, okay, you know, these things like selective reduction where we implant multiple and then we kill the ones we don’t like, that might have to change.”

+ On the first day state lawmakers could file bills, more than 900 were filed across the U.S. In Texas, Republicans have introduced bills to make the state’s extreme abortion ban even stricter—lawmakers want to prohibit companies and municipalities from helping people cover travel costs for an out-of-state abortion.

Tuesday, Nov. 15

+ Goldman Sachs allegedly paid more than $12 million to a female partner who complained about the firm’s toxic work environment, reported Bloomberg. The anonymous woman, who has since left the bank, detailed vulgar and dismissive comments about women from bank executives, including CEO David Solomon.

Thursday, Nov. 17

+ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to step down next year. She has led a remarkable feminist legacy—but one not immune to threats and harassment.

(Recall that on Oct. 28, a man with rope, zip ties and a hammer broke into her home and fractured the skull of Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, 82. The man’s mission was to take hostage and break the kneecaps of Nancy Pelosi, “the leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party.” “I was very scared,” Pelosi told CNN in an interview. “I’m thinking my children, my grandchildren. I never thought it would be Paul.”)

Friday, Nov. 18

+ Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative and anti-abortion group, filed a lawsuit against the FDA for the agency’s approval of medication abortion care. Medication abortion is backed by years of data as being a safe and effective option to end an early pregnancy. 

Kirsten Moore, director of Expanding Medication Abortion Access Project (EMAA Project), issued the following statement:

“This is yet another attempt by anti-abortion extremists to force their beliefs on all of us. As we just saw in the election, they are out of step with the majority in this country. More than two-thirds of voters favor a federal law that ensures people can get access to an FDA-approved drug, like the abortion pill, and a majority agree that states should not be able to ban this medication. Nineteen states have medically unnecessary requirements for medication abortion care that are so onerous they effectively ban its use. No one should be denied access to a safe, effective, FDA-approved medication because of where they live.”

Medication abortion uses two types of pills: mifepristone, which interrupts the flow of the hormone progesterone that sustains the pregnancy; and misoprostol, which causes contractions to expel the contents of the uterus. (VAlaSiurua / Wikimedia Commons)

Sunday, Nov. 20

+ The LGBTQ community marked Transgender Day of Remembrance by honoring transgender and gender-nonconforming people killed by violence—at least 32 this year, according to a report from the Human Rights Campaign. In this report, 85 percent of transgender and gender-nonconforming victims of fatal violence since 2013 have been people of color. Black transgender women represented 63 percent of all victims.

Most victims—77 percent—were younger than 35 and more than four in five were transgender women.

The HRC honored each of the 32 lives lost this year:

  • Amariey Lei from Wilkinsburg, Pa.
  • Duval Princess from Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Cypress Ramos from Lubbock, Texas.
  • Naomie Skinner from Highland Park, Mich.
  • Matthew Angelo Spampinato from New Castle, Del.
  • Paloma Vazquez from Houston.
  • Tatiana Labelle from Chicago.
  • Kathryn “Katie” Newhouse from Canton, Ga.
  • Kenyatta “Kesha” Webster from Jackson, Miss.
  • Miia Love Parker from Chester, Pa.
  • Ariyanna Mitchell from Hampton, Va.
  • Fern Feather from Morristown, Vt. 
  • Ray Muscat from Independence Township, Mich. 
  • Nedra Sequence Morris from Opa-locka, Fla.
  • Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway from Guilderland, N.Y. 
  • Sasha Mason from Zebulon, N.C.
  • Brazil Johnson from Milwaukee, Wis. 
  • Shawmaynè Giselle Marie from Gulfport, Miss.
  • Kitty Monroe from Cordova, Tenn.
  • Martasia Richmond from Chicago. 
  • Keshia Chanel Geter from Augusta, Ga.
  • Cherry Bush from Los Angeles.
  • Marisela Castro from Houston. 
  • Hayden Davis from Detroit. 
  • Kandii Reed from Kansas City, Mo.
  • Aaron Lynch from McLean, Va.
  • Maddie Hofmann from Malvern, Pa.
  • Dede Ricks from Detroit, Mich.
  • Mya Allen from Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Acey Morrison from Rapid City, S.D.
  • Semaj Billingslea from Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Tiffany Banks from Miami. 

Tuesday, Nov. 22

+ Google introduced a policy in 2019 requiring that advertisements appearing alongside abortion-related search results be certified based on if they provide the procedure. Now two senators are asking the tech giant to ensure this policy is more consistently applied to address misleading ads from anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers or “fake health clinics.”

Wednesday, Nov. 23

+ Just one week after the law was overturned by a Fulton County judge, the Georgia Supreme Court has reinstated the state’s six-week abortion ban. This ruling is not the final word on the state’s abortion law. Still, issuing this order put the six-week ban—when many don’t know they are pregnant yet—back into immediate effect. 

Women are being turned away and forced to seek essential healthcare elsewhere. 

“It is outrageous that this extreme law is back in effect, just days after being rightfully blocked,” said Alice Wang, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights in a statement. “This legal ping pong is causing chaos for medical providers trying to do their jobs and for patients who are now left frantically searching for the abortion services they need. Georgians are again being denied control over their own lives and futures, but we will do everything in our power to strike down this ban for good.”

Wednesday, Nov. 30

+ November is the busiest travel month of the year, even for domestic violence victims whose abusers control them by limiting access to the outside world.

After receiving recognition for ‘The Last I’m Sorry’ campaign, Safe in Harm’s Way Foundation Inc., and Neon are collaborating again to stop domestic violence with another powerful PSA. 

The PSA imagery uses the body language of a husband and wife sitting across the dinner table to spotlight the underlying scars of emotional abuse. The man looms over the woman, physically encroaching in her space, while the woman is simultaneously shrinking in fear, discomfort and shame. The message: “No one should make you feel small.”

“The essence of this campaign is the feeling one gets when they feel less than or diminished in an intimate relationship. The nuance exists in this unspoken, and painful, relationality between partners. We focused on this simple truth so that people can draw a connection to their own lived experience, even on an intuitive level,” said Sam Lauro, art supervisor at Neon.

This domestic violence awareness campaign has been featured on more than 340 national screens, including Times Square’s entrance, Union Station in D.C., offices, gas stations, billboards, digital bulletins and mall kiosks across the country.

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Michelle Moulton earned her bachelor's degree in the study of women & gender and sociology from Smith College. Her beats include reproductive justice, domestic worker history and sexual violence intervention.