Before Roe v. Wade, the “Janes” Gave Desperate Women a Safer Choice (Fall 2018)

There’s a reason most people don’t know about the underground network of nonmedical women in New York City who are volunteering their homes to help women living in states where access to abortion is severely restricted.

It’s the same reason most people living didn’t know about Jane, a group women who in the years before Roe v. Wade used code names and street-corner pickups to arrange as many as 11,000 abortions.

Debut Films “Aloners” and “Violet” Immerse Us in the Lives of Women on the Brink of Change

“Aloners” is an intensely quiet, atmospheric exploration of self-imposed isolation and loneliness requiring both focus and patience from the audience. “Violet,” by contrast, is intrusively loud, allowing neither its protagonist nor its viewers a moment of peace from the insistence of its narrative interruptions.

Examined together, these films present two distinct views on modern life, professional achievement and personal struggle.  

Keeping Score: Breonna Taylor Portrait Unveiled at Smithsonian; Texas’s Unprecedented Abortion Ban; Half the World’s Children at “Extremely High Risk” from Climate Change

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 in this biweekly round-up.

This week: Texas implements unprecedented pre-viability abortion ban; Biden’s Education Department forgives $5.8 billion in student loan debt for disabled borrowers; Supreme Court order maintain’s Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy; North Carolina bans child marriage under age 16; and more.

What Happens Now that Everyone Has Left Afghanistan? Increase Feminist Funding Now

Too often, aid has been delivered on behalf of women and girls. They have been boxes to be checked off and their rights used as tools of trade between men in power. This must end now.

Feminist funders have been supporting local Afghan feminist groups for decades with long-term flexible funds toward urgent community needs and long-term rebuilding. We need to vastly increase this feminist funding that goes directly to local grassroots groups to use how they wish. We know this feminist funding model works, even under repressive regimes, and even in Afghanistan. 

Céline Sciamma’s “Petite Maman”: A Unique Meditation on the Bond Between Mothers and Daughters

In Céline Sciamma’s newest feature, “Petite Maman,” for the first time, mother and daughter speak the same language and play the same games—perhaps discovering that they understood each other all along.

[This is one in a series of reviews from the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), during which I focused on films directed by women.]

Our Abortions Are Our Business—No Explanation Required

Two weeks ago, Texas passed a law banning access to abortion, with the Supreme Court’s failure to block the legislation signaling a dark future for Roe v Wade. One viral Twitter thread gave a number of powerful examples of people who had sought abortions.

But what is often missing in discourse about reproductive rights are the “average” abortion stories—those in which people tell of their choices to exercise reproductive rights simply because right now was not the right time.