‘Life and Death Decisions in Post-Roe America’: The Ms. Q&A with Shefali Luthra

Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022. But according to Shefali Luthra, author of Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in Post-Roe America, “it had been on the verge of collapse for decades.” After all, most Medicaid recipients had lost insurance coverage for the procedure in 1977 and a plethora of restrictions—from parental consent and notification requirements for minors, to mandated counseling sessions to dissuade people from ending their pregnancies—had long kept procedural abortion out of reach for large segments of the population.

Undue Burden digs into this lack of preparedness by introducing diverse people who have been directly impacted by the decision—people who have had to travel hundreds of miles to have an abortion, people whose highly-anticipated pregnancies became untenable, a trans man who became pregnant shortly after beginning his transition, and a young couple who lacked the emotional and financial resources to welcome a second child, among them. Their stories are juxtaposed with those of overwrought clinicians as well as staff at abortion funds. The result is a poignant and dramatic look at the stakes of losing Roe and a compassionate assessment of the human toll wrought by Dobbs.

Black Women Caught in the Digital Crosshairs

Black women are often in the crosshairs of abusive discourse driven by social media. That recent targets are often public figures suggests that social media abusers find it profitable to attack high-profile Black women who have become symbolic avatars for the group as a whole.

(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!)

How Rowena Chiu’s Story Helped Expose Harvey Weinstein—From ‘Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers’

Rowena Chiu began working for Harvey Weinstein in 1998, assisting in the London office with his European film productions. Later that year, at the Venice Film Festival, she found herself at a late-night meeting with the producer. There, she recalls, Weinstein told her “he’d never had a Chinese girl” before attempting to rape her.

After signing a nondisclosure agreement, Chiu spent nearly two decades in what she describes as “constant fear”—“fear of Harvey’s abuse, control and power; that the story would come back to haunt me; that I would inadvertently slip up on my promise to never speak of this.” She was finally inspired to speak out by the powerful testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, whose decision to “speak up” about Brett Kavanaugh in September 2018 made a lasting impression.  

“I can briefly glory in the relief that I am no longer sitting on a sickening secret,” she wrote. 

‘My Life as a Feminist Punk’: An Interview With Kathleen Hanna

In her memoir, Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk (Ecco), Hanna shares her journey from a challenging childhood through college and her first shows to love, Lyme disease and Le Tigre. Intimate and candid, Hanna graciously explores it all, including the duplicity of the punk scene with its caring collectivity and underlying exclusivity, racism and misogyny. 

I was lucky enough to chat with Kathleen Hanna about her book, the writing process and how her feminism has changed over time.

Why Do Single Moms Still Get Erased on Mother’s Day?

The misrepresentation and erasure of single/lone mom’s on Mother’s Day happens right before our eyes, surrounds us—and yet can be impossible for some to truly see. 

What’s being ignored here is an opportunity to speak directly to single/lone moms who construct their own days and lives—who buy their own Mother’s Day presents. Moms who, depending on the age and situation and ability of their children, do not wake up to breakfast in bed or presents from others. Mothers who celebrate themselves. Or are learning to.

America Needs Bethenny Frankel’s Divorce Podcast

“Finally.” That’s what Emma thought when she heard Bethenny Frankel spill the beans about her epic split on her new Just B Divorced podcast. Finally, someone was validating what millions of women go through silently behind divorce court doors. The Real Housewives of New York alum has millions of fans and a multi-million dollar business empire. In the show’s first two episodes, Frankel took listeners behind the scenes of the “torture” she endured during a 10-year divorce for a two-year marriage.

But following her mother’s death, Frankel announced that she was putting the new pod on hold and the episodes disappeared.

Taylor Swift, Underdog Voices, and Women’s Historical Right to ‘Bolt’

“The Bolter,” in Taylor Swift’s eyes, is a woman who does not fit traditional society. Swift gives the bolter a voice—one that until now had been silent. She’s a woman not interested in being a trophy wife for the masses to admire. She has her own desires, preferences and demands, but her hopes and dreams are stifled by the rules that others want her to play by. She is unwilling to give of herself to play this role.