Would the O.J. Simpson Trial Be Different Today?

At the time of the original O.J. Simpson trial, many feminists were horrified that a woman who was stalked, beaten and raped by one man, and who asked for help many times, was then brutally murdered—and that in the trial, she should have gotten her justice, but it was instead turned into a carnival in which Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman were mere sideshows.

Many of the dynamics at play in the Simpson trial have not changed as much as one would hope—including deep racism in policing and criminal justice, a resulting deep skepticism that the system is fair, and a related impulse to filter facts and information through the lens of identity first and reality second.

The Anti-Abortion Movement Is Coming for Fertility Treatments

The availability of in-vitro fertilization in Alabama may now be in question after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that embryos kept in clinic freezers are considered persons under the law, and protected by the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. It’s a shocking and jarring decision that radically extends the bounds of legal personhood, tosses any claims to originalism aside, and seems primed to make a variety of fertility treatments either extremely costly for patients, or extremely legally risky for clinicians.

IVF is, unfortunately, not safe from the anti-abortion movement. Many of the movement’s leaders have indicated that they would like to outlaw it, and while right now they have bigger fish to fry, abortion opponents have never stopped at simply (“simply”) banning abortion. They want full control over reproduction, and over women specifically. And Alabama just put us all one step closer to their ultimate goal.

What I’m Reading on Gaza and Israel

I wanted to share what I’ve been reading and listening to about the ongoing Israel-Hamas war that has cost the lives of more than 25,000 Palestinians and some 1,400 Israelis, displaced the overwhelming majority of people in Gaza, and badly divided countries, communities and even families around the world.

On this particular issue, I am doing a lot more reading and listening than writing and sharing.

Do Pregnant Women Have the Same Rights Under the Law as Everyone Else?

Feminists often say that abortion bans make women second-class citizens. And it’s true: Abortion bans strip from pregnant women the basic right to bodily autonomy, which other people enjoy. This is true for any abortion ban. But this concept—that banning abortion puts pregnant women in a different class from “regular” people—is particularly apparent in laws that do not allow for a full range of emergency care to preserve a pregnant woman’s health. These laws put fetal life ahead of maternal life, and render women little more than fetus-sustaining objects.

In the coming months, the same Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade will now be asked to answer the question: Are pregnant women full people under the law?

Punish, Torture, Kill: The Reality of Pregnancy in ‘Pro-Life’ America

In Ohio, a grand jury is deciding whether to charge Brittany Watts—a woman who went to the hospital twice for care when she was miscarrying, was sent home twice, and miscarried in her bathroom. She could face jail time for “abuse of a corpse,” because fetal parts were found clogged in her toilet. Watts’ case is a chilling preview of what could come: Miscarriage criminalized in myriad ways. And now, the Fifth Circuit is holding that emergency rooms do not have to provide life-saving abortions—further ensuring that women with dangerous miscarriages will simply be sent home and left to manage on their own.

At the heart of the ‘pro-life’ movement is the idea that women are put on this earth for subservience. And so this is the plan: Force women to carry pregnancies against their will.

When It Comes to Sexual Violence, the Truth Matters

Much of the denialism of the sexual violence perpetrated against Israeli women on Oct. 7 is rooted in a fear that recognizing one group’s suffering may somehow take away from, or even justify, another’s. It doesn’t.

There is no perfect recipe for breaking these awful, untenable cycles of violence and retribution. But a few ingredients seem necessary, and one is a willingness to acknowledge suffering, instead of avoiding the instances of it that are inconvenient or that complicate a good-guys-versus-bad-guys narrative. One is facing difficult truths, especially those that complicate your politics or your worldview. One is refusing demands for silence, and rejecting with-us-or-against-us ultimatums.

Welcome to the ‘Pro-Life’ Dystopia

The Texas Supreme Court, including one judge who was arrested for protesting abortion clinics, just denied a potentially life-saving abortion for a woman whose fetus had a fatal diagnosis.

This is all grotesque and radically out of line with what we would expect of a reasonable advanced and humane society, but it’s not surprising: It’s exactly what happens when the theocratic, fundamentalist “pro-life” movement seizes power.