Are Women’s Rights the Canary in the Coal Mine of a Democracy in Decline?

Today, half of the world’s democratic governments are on the decline. Advocates questioned the correlation between regression on women’s rights and degraded democracies. A New York Times article asserted that such a descent is precisely when “curbs on women’s rights tend to accelerate.” However, that proposition should be considered in reverse.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Roe decision and continue to grapple with the new status quo, this much is clear: The tenets of reproductive health, rights and justice—and those of a healthy democracy—are not only inextricably interconnected, but essential to our nation’s promise.

Midterms and ‘Mid-Cycle Spotting’: Getting Real About Women’s Health

We have been left all alone, our bodies overlooked by the law and undermined by the courts. We’re left, quite literally, to save our own lives. But perhaps one silver lining of the overturning of Roe v. Wade has been creating space for women to openly and deliberately trace the arc of their reproductive lives—in public—from menstruation to menopause.

As advocates, scholars and providers now work to reimagine and rebuild what meaningful reproductive care looks like in this country, we have an opportunity to be more holistic in addressing the full continuum of women’s reproductive lives. Private sector interventions and public policy solutions must reflect those intersections. Period. Full stop. 

Why Roe Was Never Enough—and What Comes Next

Late Monday night, a leaked version of the draft of the majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was made public. When the final decision is issued, there will no longer be a federally guaranteed right to abortion in America for the first time in nearly 50 years.

What are the democratic dysfunctions that have led to this pivotal point? How should we consider parallel affronts to participation and representation—the wave of voting restrictions and outsize role of big money in politics—and the anti-abortion agenda? Can we look to state courts to provide new avenues for protecting reproductive rights? And what is the legal and societal impact of criminalizing pregnancy and abortion, especially on communities of color?

Join the Conversation: Why Abortion Is Essential to Democracy—and Democracy Is Essential for Reproductive Justice

Join a special event streaming from NPR’s studio in New York City on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

Panelists will dig deep on key questions:
*How should we consid­er parallel affronts to participation and representation—the wave of voting restrictions and outsize role of big money in polit­ics?
*Can we look to state courts to provide new avenues in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling?
*What are the legal and soci­etal impacts of crim­in­al­iz­ing preg­nancy and abor­tion, espe­cially on communit­ies of color?

With a Powerhouse All-Women Cast, ‘Suffs’ Explores Activists Who Made Women’s Voting Rights Happen

Unlike the limited lessons of women’s suffrage many learn—Seneca Falls and Susan B. Anthony—Suffs digs deep into the gamesmanship wielded by the movement’s early 20th century leaders. Suffs opens April 6 at the venerable Public Theater in New York City. Lin-Manuel Miranda himself tweeted this week that >Suffs is “gobsmackingly incredible” and its writer and star, Shaina Taub as Alice Paul, is “the FUTURE.” I couldn’t agree more.

Women’s Rights and Democracy Are Inextricably Linked

Last fall, America was featured for the first time on a list of backsliding democracies. With inadequate progress in women’s participation in government, reproductive rights, and maternal mortality, this title may reflect recent attacks on gender equality. Amer­ica’s long­stand­ing and abysmal record on myriad gender equity mark­ers has been the true harbinger for our down­graded democracy status.

Our Democracy Has Problems. Women Have Solutions.

The U.S., one of the world’s oldest democracies, is now seeing a rise of antidemocratic views. But never fear. We come bearing good news. There is hope. And that hope, we believe, is the shared power and potential of mobilized women to forge a new movement for a 21st century democracy.

We hope you are inspired and encouraged by what this slate of women experts—working at all levels to reform and revitalize our democracy—have to say. And to hear more about democracy solutions and how you can get involved, join us March 8–10 from 3–5 p.m. ET for RepresentWomen’s democracy Solutions Summit, which brings together experts and leaders in election administration, voting rights and democracy reform who are working on innovative solutions that upgrade and strengthen our democracy.