Keeping Score: Trump Ordered to Pay $450 Million; OB-GYNs Avoid Abortion Ban States; Young Women Lean to Political Left, While Men Veer Right

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

“Know what I like about 16 [weeks]? It’s even. It’s four months.”

—Donald Trump, according to an anonymous source. According to two sources, Trump supports a national abortion ban at 16 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

“House Republicans will be remembered by history for trampling on the Constitution for political gain rather than working to solve the serious challenges at our border. While Secretary Mayorkas was helping a group of Republican and Democratic senators develop bipartisan solutions to strengthen border security and get needed resources for enforcement, House Republicans have wasted months with this baseless, unconstitutional impeachment.” 

—DHS spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg. After failing their first vote, the House of Representatives has impeached Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Unfortunately, all too often, acts of anti-abortion violence are left without any sense of justice. While the judge did grant restitution, money we desperately need in order to fix the damage to the site, this is a drop in the bucket for us, and we are doubtful the assailant will be able to pay. That’s what anti-abortion terrorism is meant to dorighten everyday people out of exercising this basic right. But we have no plans to back down. No act of hostility or terrorism will deter us from our missionproviding abortion care to those who need it.” 

—LaDonna Prince, owner of Affirmative Care Solutions clinic. Philip Buyno was sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to set fire to the site of Affirmative Care Solutions in Illinois. 


+ Donald Trump was ordered to pay over $450 million after being found liable for conspiring to manipulate his net worth. He was also banned from serving in top roles at any New York company for three years, and his sons were banned for two years.

+ Trump lost another court case when a federal appeals court rejected his claim that he is immune to prosecution around the 2020 election. As a result, his criminal indictment case will go to trial.

+ Texas has sent over 100,000 migrants to blue cities since 2022. As Congress continues to fight over a bipartisan border bill, sanctuary cities are struggling to absorb the high numbers of immigrants arriving from red states.

Migrants camp out in front of the Watson Hotel after being evicted, on Feb. 1, 2023, in New York City. (Leonardo Munoz / VIEWpress)

+ For the first time, the parent of a school shooter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Jennifer Crumbley’s son was sentenced to life in prison after killing four students, and prosecutors argued that she knew her son was struggling with mental health issues and bought him a gun. Her husband faces the same charges and will go on trial in March.

+ Harmful sex education bills have been introduced in Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia and West Virginia. They include a medically inaccurate ultrasound video that adds to abortion stigma and misinformation.

+ A survey of over 90,000 trans people found that almost all of them reported much higher life satisfaction after transitioning. However, they continue to experience medical and workplace discrimination, and almost half have considered moving to other states because of anti-trans state laws.

+ Reps. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) have introduced the Help America Run Act to make it easier for parents to run for office. It would allow campaign funds to be spent on childcare, eldercare and healthcare premiums, lowering common financial barriers.

+ Three anti-abortion studies were retracted for undeclared conflicts of interest and unreliable findings. One of these studies was cited in the Fifth Circuit mifepristone case going to the Supreme Court in March, showing how anti-abortion “experts” continue to rely on false and misleading statistics to sway courts, despite warnings from the ACLU.

+ A Texas man was sentenced to 180 days in jail after attempting to drug his wife seven times to induce an abortion. Despite causing a premature birth and developmental delays, the man likely received a much more lenient sentence than people who willingly receive or provide abortion care in Texas.

+ President Biden authorized Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Palestinians, providing 18 months relief from removal from the U.S. The move comes after more than 100 members of Congress wrote a letter to the administration last fall.

+ Missouri Republicans blocked amendments to add incest and rape exceptions to their abortion ban. Republican state Senator Sandy Crawford argued, “God is perfect. God does not make mistakes. And for some reason he allows that to happen. Bad things happen.” 

+ President Biden recently repeated that he supported Roe v. Wade, but doesn’t want “abortion on demand.” Abortion advocates point out that this is a right-wing talking point designed to demonize abortion patients. But other reproductive rights organizations point out that Biden’s previous support to abortion access has been strong.

+ Four statesArkansas, Idaho, Iowa and Wisconsinare failing to provide a full year of postpartum Medicaid coverage. States are required to provide coverage for only 60 days, but one in three pregnancy-related deaths occur between six weeks and one year after giving birth. 

+ Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer has appealed his rape conviction to the New York Court of Appeals, arguing that the judge was biased against Weinstein. Regardless of the New York case, Weinstein will continue to be incarcerated for a separate California rape conviction.

+ South Dakota’s House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the Department of Health to create a video interpreting the extreme abortion restrictions in the state. These mandatory materials are another attempt to increase stigma and misinformation on abortion.

+ The Justice Department is investigating spending by Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) who used campaign funds to pay for security provided by her husband. The investigation raises larger questions about the equity of campaign funding caps, when women and people of color are more likely to face significant threats and require more security than white male politicians.

+ A couple have sued CooperSurgical after their embryos were destroyed by a defective IVF product. The company failed to test the relevant batches until they received numerous complaints from fertility clinics.

+ The Ohio Senate overrode Governor DeWine’s veto of an anti-trans bill that blocks gender-affirming care and bans trans girls from sports. “It is devastating and downright dangerous to learn that young people in Ohio will be denied their right to full spectrum health care because of their gender identity,” said Dr. Elise Berlan, adolescent medicine physician in Ohio and a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

Students protest on Aug. 30, 2023 in Katy, Texas, against a new Katy ISD policy that requires parents to be told if students identify as transgender or nonbinary. (Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle via Getty Images)

+ States with abortion bans are seeing fewer OB-GYN residency applications, which could lead to severe implications for medical care diversity and workforce numbers in those states.

+ Abortion bans are also affecting current OB-GYNs, with 93 percent reporting that they or a colleague has been unable to follow standards of care because of abortion bans. Doctors have been forced to delay care until a patient was at severe risk of death, or until hospital lawyers answer the phone, and are also wary of giving advice on abortions to patients for fear of being recorded. These chilling effects are seriously impacting the mental health of OBGYNs. One doctor, an Iraq veteran, says it’s worse than practicing medicine in a war zone.

+ Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) discovered that Near Intelligence tracked visits to Planned Parenthood locations across the country and sold their information to a nationwide anti-abortion ad campaign. Wyden is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and prohibit them from selling the data in the future.

+ Maryland Governor Wes Morre announced a $15.6 million investment into abortion care programs, focusing on expanding the number and diversity of trained abortion care providers.

+ The Biden administration dedicated $700,000 to a sexual health program in California aimed at sex education and condom usage for trans boys.

+ The political gender gap is growing, with more young men skewing right and young women leaning left than ever before.

+ Over 150 members of the Democratic Women’s Caucus are calling for the Biden administration to do more to protect people facing criminal charges for miscarriages, like Brittany Watts who faced felony charges after a pregnancy loss.

+ On Feb. 12, the Supreme Court declined a case challenging new admissions criteria at a public high school in Virginia that eliminated standardized tests with hopes to diversify the student body.

+ Just midway through February, there are already over 400 bills targeting transgender people. So far, Florida is the only state to earn a “Do Not Travel” advisory for trans people.

+ Beyoncé made history as the first Black female artist to hit number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with her song “Texas Hold ‘Em.”

+ Nex Benedict, a transgender teenager from Oklahoma, died on Feb. 8 after being attacked by three older girls in a girls bathroom. Their death comes after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill in 2022 requiring public school students to only use bathrooms in alignment with their sex assigned at birth.

How We’re Doing

+ Seventy percent of Americans support expanding the child tax credit, including 80 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of independents, and 59 percent of Republicans. The broad support includes 81 percent of parents and 65 percent of non-parents. And a majority believe the CTC is a high priority for Congress this year.

+ A new study found that telemedicine abortion services are extremely safe and effective, with a success rate of 98 percent and a safety rate of over 99 percent. 

Mifepristone, also known as RU-486, is a medication typically used in combination with misoprostol to bring about a medical abortion during pregnancy and manage early miscarriage. (Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

+ Less than one in six movies in 2024—just 15 out of 104—will be directed solely by women. Another three movies have both a male and female director. 

“Although there has been a shift towards inclusivity for female directors in recent years, these findings evidence that there is still a large disparity in opportunities available to women wanting to direct feature length films,” shares the organization conducting the study.

+ States with abortion restrictions have higher rates of intimate partner violence. Pregnant women are especially at risk, with abortion ban states having a 75 percent increase in peripartum homicide rates. Guns were used in 63 percent of peripartum homicides, compared to 49 percent in homicides of non-pregnant women.

+ Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that women made up 46.9 percent of the workforce in 2023 and almost all skincare specialists, dental hygienists, speech language pathologists, and preschool and kindergarten teachers. 

Women are also overrepresented in childcare, counseling and healthcare (except for surgeons and dentists). Of the top 10 highest-compensated occupations, women make up the minority in all but one: pharmacists. 

+ More than 70 percent of people assigned female at birth aged 15-29 don’t know an abortion clinic they could go to if needed. Of those, over 40 percent don’t know how to find a clinic.

“Even before the overturn of Roe v. Wade, immense barriers to abortion care disproportionately harmed young people, people of color, those in rural areas and people with low incomes. The Dobbs decision that overturned Roe has created an even more dire abortion access landscape. Across the country, many people are unsure where they can go to access abortion care, potentially worsening health outcomes as people navigate various state bans and restrictions,” said Power to Decide CEO Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley.

+ The percent of Americans 40 years or older that have never been married has increased from 6 percent in 1980 to 25 percent today. Black people are even less likely to get married, with nearly 48 percent of Black women in that age bracket never having been married, compared to 20 percent in the 1970s. The effects of slavery and discriminatory welfare policies, colorism, disproportionate incarceration rates and more may be contributing to this gap.

+ A study found that 69 percent of textbooks in 34 English-speaking countries displayed bias against women. The books included twice as many male words as female words, and where women were included they were often linked to domestic roles, family, appearance and passive roles.

+ Viewing abortion plotlines on TV is associated with greater knowledge about abortion and a higher willingness to support a friend seeking an abortion. However, viewing media alone didn’t lead to fewer judgements or stigma about who gets abortions.

+ Women aged 50-70 are more likely than men to use antidepressants after a divorce or death of a partner, a Finnish study found. More men entered a new relationship after a break-up or death, but the re-partner rate after a divorce was equal.

+ Premature births have increased by 12 percent from 2014 to 2022. According to the CDC, “everywhere chemicals” may be a contributing factor, but chronic health conditions, pregnancies at a later age, abortion bans, lack of prenatal care and systemic racism may also lead to preterm deliveries.

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.


Katie Fleischer (she/they) is a Ms. editorial assistant working on the Front and Center series and Keeping Score.