Protecting Access to Contraception: A Winning Issue for Democrats in November 2024

In the wake of growing Republican restrictions on reproductive rights, Democrats in many states are introducing bills to protect access to contraception. In response, Republicans are blocking these bills, going on record as opposed to contraception. This issue presents an opportunity for Democrats to attract swing voters in the November 2024 elections, because the vast majority of Americans strongly support contraception access and are motivated to vote by the issue.

Merle Hoffman’s Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto: ‘Anger Is Our Sacred Fuel’

In her new book Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto, Hoffman shares her 50-plus year fight for abortion access, including co-founding the first professional organization of abortion providers in the U.S. in 1976, the National Abortion Federation, and in 1985 founding the New York Pro-Choice Coalition. Part memoir, part call to arms, Hoffman’s book offers an engaging and thought-provoking assessment of how we lost the right to abortion and what we need to do today to achieve “legal abortion on demand nationwide.”

Advocates Ask Supreme Court to Overturn Dobbs, Citing ‘Tragic Consequences’

On March 29, the Pennsylvania-based Women’s Law Project filed the first-ever amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that reversed Roe v. Wade. The brief argued that Dobbs is “unworkable” because the decision has “subjected people in need of reproductive healthcare to immense suffering and grave danger” and has “ushered in an era of unprecedented legal and doctrinal chaos.”

“It is vitally important to challenge Dobbs at every turn and send a signal that it is not set in stone,” said David Cohen, a constitutional law professor at Drexel Kline School of Law and co-author of the brief. “We will not rest until this terrible decision is overturned.”

Project 2025: Republicans’ Plan to Ban Abortion Pills Nationwide

On March 26, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, a lawsuit attempting to remove the abortion pill mifepristone from the U.S. market. Mifepristone is now used in approximately two-thirds of abortions in the U.S. While members of the Supreme Court appeared likely to dismiss the case, abortion opponents are working on several other fronts to achieve their goal of banning abortion pills nationwide or restricting access by eliminating telemedicine abortion.

A detailed policy agenda produced by Project 2025, a coalition of 90 right-wing organizations, calls on the next Republican president to direct the FDA to remove the abortion pill mifepristone from the market nationwide. 

The Upcoming SCOTUS Abortion Pill Case Could Be the Next Dobbs

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week, on Tuesday, March 26, in a case against the abortion pill mifepristone, filed against the FDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by the conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of anti-abortion doctors and dentists. The Court will issue its ruling by summer—just months before the fall election, when voters will decide on the next U.S. president and control of Congress.

“This case is not based on any kind of medical or scientific fact around abortion. It’s purely based on politics,” said Elisa Wells of the abortion pill advocacy group Plan C. “The fact that it’s been allowed to progress so far in the court system is outrageous.”

(This article originally appears in the Spring 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Abortion Bans Are Sex Discrimination. Here’s How the ERA Can Challenge Restrictions on Abortion

On Jan. 29, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a law banning Medicaid funding for abortion discriminates against women, in violation of the state’s Equal Rights Amendment. The decision overturned a 1985 case saying the ERA did not apply to abortion.

“The Pennsylvania case is so sweeping and strong in the way that it identifies interference with reproductive decision-making as a form of sex discrimination and as part of the historic pattern of oppression of women. It’s really beautiful,” said Susan J. Frietsche, co-executive director of the Women’s Law Project, which filed the case on behalf of Pennsylvania abortion providers.

(This essay is part of “The ERA Is Essential to Democracy” Women & Democracy collection. It also appears in the Spring 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Abortion Pill Revolution: CVS and Walgreens Now Selling Abortion Pills, While Telehealth Abortion Soars

Two developments are significantly increasing access to abortion pills, which have been available for over two decades but highly restricted until recently:

(1.) On March 1, CVS and Walgreens announced they will begin dispensing abortion pills at brick-and-mortar pharmacies in some states, with a promise to expand to more states soon.

(2.) Meanwhile, the Society of Family Planning released its #WeCount report showing that telehealth abortion—where patients consult remotely with a provider, who then mails abortion pills to them—has increased to 16 percent of all abortions.

Subminimum Wage Is a Legacy of Slavery: Time for One Fair Wage

While some states have eliminated the subminimum wage, or raised it above the paltry federal rate, the vast majority of states still allow employers to pay servers less than minimum wage. Restaurant servers in the U.S. are about 70 percent female and disproportionately women of color. Young people, disabled workers and incarcerated people in many states also receive subminimum wages.

The system of subminimum wages and tipping is a legacy of slavery. After the Civil War, white business owners replaced wages with tipping because they did not want to pay their Black employees. Today, the subminimum wage harms women of color, in particular, who face biases from customers, which shows up in lower tips.

Healthcare Across Borders: Funding Telemedicine Abortion for People in Abortion-Ban States

“You can get on the phone with a doctor, and get abortion pills by mail within a few days,” said Healthcare Across Borders (HCAB) founder Jodi Jacobson—even in states with abortion bans.

HCAB has launched a new Abortion Pill Sustainability Fund to support shield-state clinicians serving patients in states banning abortion. Abortion services are provided to people located in states banning abortion from the six states with telemedicine provider shield laws: Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, Vermont, New York and California.