Keeping Score: Abortion Bans Drive Away Young Workers; Far-Right Groups Mobilize to Suppress Voting Rights; Biden Has Confirmed 200+ Judges

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

“What do you think [Trump] would have done on January 6 if Black Americans had stormed the Capitol?”

President Biden, at a dinner hosted by the NAACP in Detroit.

“We have to know that sometimes people will open the door for you and leave it open. Sometimes they won’t, and then you need to kick that fucking door down.” 

–Vice President Kamala Harris speaking at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) Legislative Leadership Summit.

“You can say anything, you just have to be a good joke writer. You have to be smart. You can’t just be a bigot and be racist and homophobic and transphobic. Or actually you can, and you’ll have a wonderful career, because you’re playing to a market of people who want you to say fucked up shit. They can say anything. And there are people across this world whose freedom of speech is actually limited.”

–Comedian and writer Hannah Einbinder, star of “Hacks,” discussing comedians who claim to be “canceled” but are still selling out tours.

“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.”

–Kansas City Chiefs player Harrison Butker, using his commencement address at Benedictine College as an opportunity to spread misogynistic, homophobic and anti-abortion views.

“Early on in my career at Microsoft, I almost quit. I loved the work I was doing, but the culture was competitive and argumentative. It felt like my success hinged on replicating that leadership style, which—let’s be honest—is prevalent in male-dominated workplaces.

“Luckily, I got to work with some incredible women who modeled a different way to lead. They showed me that I didn’t have to compromise my values to be successful at work. Because of the examples they set, I learned how to embrace my own style and be myself, which made me more effective at my job. Unfortunately, ‘being yourself’ isn’t always enough to overcome the structural barriers that women face inside and outside of the workplace. But it’s a reminder that the unique skills and perspectives we bring to a job make us powerful.”

–Philanthropist and former Microsoft developer and manager Melinda French Gates.

“I am the woman who took my rapist to court and won. I am the woman who took action against my rapist’s lawyer for traumatising me in court and won. I am the woman who is now going to receive compensation from said lawyer for what he did. The lesson: Don’t underestimate women.”

Ellie Wilson, who sued her rapist’s defense attorney after he asked inappropriate questions while cross-examining her, said his client simply “fell in love with the wrong person” and refused to apologize.


+ Justice Samuel Alito is under fire for flying a “Stop the Steal” symbol, an upside-down American flag, at his home after the Jan. 6 insurrection. Along with Clarence Thomas, whose wife Ginni is an active election denier, Alito has already ruled on several cases related to Jan. 6, and is currently deciding if Trump is immune to prosecution.

Rakim H.D. Brooks, president of Alliance for Justice, explained the conflict of interest: “Supreme Court justices are supposed to be the ultimate guardians of our Constitution, yet now we know of two who are sympathetic to violent attempts to overturn our democracy. Even before this latest revelation, Justice Alito had done immeasurable damage to our rights and freedoms through decisions that reinvent history to cater to his preferred outcome. Now we know that Alito’s willingness to rewrite history includes overturning the results of the 2020 election.”

+ A Louisiana state legislature committee rejected a bill that would have allowed rape and incest victims aged 16 and younger to have an abortion. The seven legislators who killed the bill are all Republicans.

A Baton Rouge OB-GYN, Dr. Neelima Sukhavasi, testified in support of the bill. Since Louisiana’s abortion ban went into effect, she’s seen children as young as 13 forced to give birth. “One of these teenagers delivered a baby while clutching a teddy bear,” she told the committee.

+ The Louisiana House of Representatives also passed a bill adding mifepristone and misoprostol—medications commonly used for abortion care—to the list of controlled dangerous substances. If the bill becomes law (which is expected), possessing the medications without a prescription will be punished by up to five years in prison. There is an exemption for currently pregnant people obtaining the medication for themselves, but under the state’s abortion ban, it’s already illegal for doctors to prescribe the medications in almost all circumstances.

Director of the New Orleans Health Department Dr. Jennifer Avegno spoke out against the bill: “They are safe and effective and they are not dangerous drugs of abuse to be on a schedule of a controlled dangerous substance list. From a medical standpoint, healthcare providers think this is bad science, and not well informed.” 

An abortion rights rally outside the Supreme Court as the justices of the court hear oral arguments in the case of the FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine on March 26, 2024, a case challenging the 20-plus-year legal authorization by the FDA of mifepristone, a commonly used abortion medication. (Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

+ The WNBA is investigating a $100,000 per player sponsorship from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. For six of the Las Vegas Aces players receiving the sponsorship, it’s more than their yearly salary. The Authority argued that the deal doesn’t violate the WNBA’s collective bargaining agreement because they arranged the deal with individual players, not the team.

+ A 7-2 Supreme Court ruling upheld the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), after a suit challenged their funding model. The agency was created after the 2008 financial crisis, and is designed to help protect consumers from abuse from banks and finance corporations.

+ Staff at The Athletic are preparing to unionize, as the site merges into The New York Times. This is a high-profile addition to a growing trend: 16 percent of American journalists are already part of a union, and another 41 percent would join if one were available to them.

+ Six women journalists won individual Pulitzer prizes, and several other teams that include women and nonbinary journalists won prizes for audio reporting and national reporting.

+ A new report details the toxic workplace environment and rampant misogyny and sexual harassment at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Over 100 employees reported pressure to visit strip clubs, unsolicited pictures, and women getting fewer opportunities than male coworkers.

+ Far-right groups are mobilizing to attack the next election through misinformation and voter suppression. True the Vote and Michael Flynn’s America Project have held trainings on intimidating voters and election officials. EagleAI NETwork is another group working with states to delete voters from databases—and potentially making errors that lead to eligible names being removed. As these groups grow, their election denial conspiracies continue to spread.

+ A decade after Flint, Michigan’s water crisis began, the city has still not replaced all their lead pipes. In 2017, city officials agreed to replace the pipes within three years. In 2020, a $600 million settlement went to children exposed to contaminated water. But families are still dealing with the lingering effects, and many don’t know if their pipes have been replaced. Now, a judge is holding the city in contempt for failing to comply with the settlement.

Pastor Alfred Harris, Concerned Pastors for Social Action member, said, “Flint was a poor community and majority people of color. If it had been in another community—a majority white or more affluent community—I think actions would have been taken much sooner.”

+ Two hundred judges have been confirmed during the Biden administration, recently celebrated by U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and civil rights leaders. The milestone highlights the Judiciary Committee’s commitment to filling judicial vacancies with highly qualified, independent and diverse judges to the federal bench.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson shakes hands with President Joe Biden after being nominated for associate judge to the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 25, 2022. (Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images)

How We’re Doing

+ Support for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza is growing, with 70 percent of likely voters, including 83 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of Republicans, signaling their approval. This is a 9-point increase in support from November. In addition, a majority of Democrats believe Israel is committing genocide, and more than a third of voters think military aid to Israel should be decreased. A majority of voters support Congress passing $9 billion for humanitarian assistance for Gaza and Ukraine.

+ Almost 6 million women of reproductive age live in a high-risk pregnancy specialist desert, with no providers within an hour of them. Communities that face greater risks of pregnancy complications, like Black and Indigenous women and rural communities, are less likely to have a specialist nearby. This has severe impacts on these patients’ health. When pregnant people don’t have access to the provider they need, labor complications are twice as high as patients who were able to see a specialist. 

+ More than 80 percent of men of color support legal abortion and say abortion access is an important issue when deciding who to vote for. However, only half believe abortion impacts them directly, and fewer still believe it’s important for men to take action in support of abortion rights. 

“Black communities experience some of the most significant disparities in our healthcare and political systems. That’s why it’s crucial for us to stand against political interference in health care decisions. Building political power for abortion access requires all of us, including Black men. Together, we have the power through our votes to champion people’s freedom over their lives and make it clear that this issue impacts all of us,” said Darryl Banks, co-founder and principal at Project 68.

+ The patients of female doctors have lower rates of mortality and readmission than male doctors. Research on Medicare patients aged 65 and older found that the benefits were especially significant for female patients, potentially due to the all too common tendency of male doctors to underestimate the severity of illnesses in female patients.

+ Over 60 percent of people between ages 18 and 34 would “probably not” or “definitely not” live in a state with an abortion ban. Almost half would reject a job offer if it was in an abortion ban state. CEO of The Generation Lab Cyrus Beschloss sees this as a warning of the broad implications of anti-abortion laws: “Companies must know they’ll be freezing out or at least scaring a large part of the young talent they’re trying to hire when they’re based in one of these states.”

+ Young workers also have a negative view of the economy, despite low unemployment rates. High inflation, especially on groceries and rent, is impacting young people severely. A majority (55 percent) of survey respondents said the job market is “pretty bad” or “extremely bad”. One possible solution? Eighty-one percent of young people said a four-day work week would make their workplace more productive. 

+ Women make up a third of S&P 500 board seats, but only 65 percent (compared to 81 percent of men) feel that they can influence their boards. Similarly, 76 percent of white board members but 70 percent of nonwhite members have shaped board decisions. 

“Having the representation on the board is a very important first step, but it does not ensure that the board is making optimal use of all of the voices around the table,” says Jane Stevenson at Korn Ferry.

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.