On June 23, the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the Biden administration proposed new rules on sexual harassment and assault, reversing the Trump administration’s 2020 rollback of survivors’ rights. The new rules restore the Obama administration’s broad definition of sexual harassment and require schools to take prompt and effective actions to end sexual assault and harassment. The proposed rules also extend discrimination protection to LGBTQ students and clarify protections for pregnant and parenting students.
On June 23, members of Congress introduced the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation (SAD) Act to crack down on false advertising related to abortion services by “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs). CPCs are anti-abortion organizations that masquerade as abortion clinics in order to interfere with access to reproductive healthcare by disseminating inaccurate, misleading and stigmatizing information about abortion and contraception. Despite appearances, most CPCs do not employ licensed medical personnel or provide referrals for birth control or abortion care.
In the House, the lead sponsors of the SAD Act are Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), In the Senate, the bill is led by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “No one should have to question that the person they are seeking medical advice from is actually a doctor or that information is accurate, objective and complete,” said Maloney.
Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion overturning constitutional abortion rights in Roe v. Wade, U.S. President Joseph Biden delivered scathing remarks condemning the decision and announced actions he will take to ensure abortion healthcare access for all Americans. In its sweeping decision, the Supreme Court eliminated 50 years of Supreme Court precedents.
“It’s a sad day for the Court and for the country,” said Biden. “The health and life of women of this nation are now at risk.”
On Friday, June 24, the United States Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for the right to abortion.
The sweeping decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and leaves legal protections at risk for contraception, same-sex marriage and IVF. The decision has allowed abortion bans to go into effect in 18 states.
The digital surveillance threats to women’s reproductive health information are likely to escalate dramatically if the Supreme Court repeals abortion rights. U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Representative Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) introduced the My Body, My Data Act—a federal law protecting personal reproductive health data by minimizing the information that companies can collect and retain.
“Extreme Republicans across the country aren’t only trying to take away women’s constitutional rights, they want to actually put people in jail for providing or seeking reproductive care,” said Hirono. “This legislation will take steps to protect women’s privacy.”
The most powerful argument for abortion rights is to highlight the sex-based nature of these restrictions and argue that they violate equal rights. To succeed in arguing that sex equality requires the right to abortion, we need to be able to talk about how sex shapes access to abortion and how anti-abortion legislators target women with devastating consequences. The elimination of sex-based language in abortion politics makes this argument impossible, and reinforces the long-term right-wing strategy of suppressing information about sex-based disparities.
As the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the push to pass the ERA takes on new urgency as an avenue for shoring up women’s rights, especially our reproductive rights.
Polls show massive public support for the ERA. The vast majority of respondents—men and women; Republicans, Democrats and Independents—want the ERA, and most think the ERA is already a part of the Constitution.
Faced with the likely end of Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights advocates are seeking to create a nationwide sanctuary network for abortion services by passing interlocking legislation in blue states to ensure every American can safely access legal abortion services.
Celebrities and high-profile activists rally behind the Geraldine Santoro Act—named after Geraldine Santoro, who died from an unsafe abortion in 1964.
On Tuesday night, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators working on landmark bipartisan gun legislation reached a compromise on the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” blocking dating partners convicted of a misdemeanor from buying guns, but allowing them to regain the right to buy a gun after five years provided that they were first-time offenders and not found guilty of any other violent misdemeanor or offense.
The number of abortions in the U.S. increased by 8 percent during the Trump-Pence administration. Overall, fewer people became pregnant, but among those who did, a larger proportion chose to have an abortion. About one in five pregnancies in 2020 ended in abortion.
This research reveals a dramatic reversal of a 30-year trend of declining numbers of abortion, “underscoring that the need for abortion care in the United States is growing just as the U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to overturn or gut Roe v. Wade.”