It’s Time to End Discrimination in Crash Testing

Men’s bodies and women’s bodies behave differently in collisions due to differences in size, muscle structure and bone density. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which issues five-star safety ratings, does not crash test cars with dummies that accurately represent women. The tests strictly prioritize men’s safety and offer only hope that women may stand a chance. Too often, we don’t. 

Crash test dummies that accurately represent women are available today, and other countries are already planning to require them in crash tests. The U.S. should do the same.

Keeping Score: Rep. Ernst Blocks Birth Control Access Bill; Democrats Urge Biden to Extend Student Loan Pause; Amelia Earhart Statue Unveiled in U.S. Capitol

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: Massachusetts bill will strengthen reproductive rights for college students; Justice Alito defends his ruling in the name of “religious liberty”; Rep. Cori Bush introduces legislation for reproductive health services; WNBA star Brittney Griner sentenced to nine years in prison; Hong Kong guarantees space for women on company boards; and more.

Opposition to Climate Action and Reproductive Rights Is a Public Health Failure

Climate change continues to cause fatal flooding and heatwaves that are devastating the U.S. while the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022—legislation that would put $369 billion towards climate action and clean energy—is still on a tenuous path to passage. This bill would reduce carbon emissions roughly 40 percent by 2030 and mitigate the most devastating impacts of the climate crisis, such as life-threatening illnesses and housing and job instability—all of which affect the health of pregnant people.

We Heart: P!nk’s New Protest Anthem, ‘Irrelevant’

On July 18, the music video for P!nk’s new song, “Irrelevant,” dropped and has since been deemed a ‘protest anthem.’ She explained, “As a woman with an opinion and the fearlessness to voice that opinion, it gets very tiring when the only retort is to tell me how irrelevant I am. I am relevant because I exist and because I am a human being. No one is irrelevant. And no one can take away my voice.”

The proceeds from the new track will be donated to Michelle Obama’s national, nonpartisan voting initiative When We All Vote.

Abortion Denials Cause Mental Health Problems for Mothers and Children: ‘It’s a Burden They Both Carry Forever’

Nada Stotland, a psychiatrist and past president of the American Psychiatric Association, has written extensively about the mental health effects of abortion denial. “The reasons women decide to abort are all mental health factors,” she wrote in a journal article. “These include poverty, lack of social supports, domestic violence, rape, incest, heavy ongoing responsibilities, lack of education, and preexisting mental illness.”

SCOTUS Claims Abortion Proponents Are Motivated by Eugenics and Eliminating the ‘Unfit’—But History Says Otherwise

Tucked away in a footnote of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court proclaims that some “proponents of liberal access to abortion…have been motivated by a desire to suppress the size of the African American population.” It thus implies that overturning Roe v. Wade will turn the tide away from this genocidal impulse.

But history tells a different story.

The U.S. Just Got One Step Closer to Over-the-Counter Birth Control

Reproductive justice advocates recently achieved a major milestone: the U.S. FDA received its first-ever application for an over-the-counter birth control pill.

The FDA approved the birth control pill for distribution in the United States by prescription in 1960, but it is only available by prescription from a doctor or pharmacist. If the OTC application is granted, Opill would be available on the grocery shelf next to tampons and condoms.

Pregnancy as Punishment: The Impact of Abortion Bans on Incarcerated Women and Girls

The Dobbs decision is falling hard on young and low-income women, who don’t have the resources to travel out of state to obtain abortion healthcare. But an often-overlooked population especially hard hit is incarcerated women and girls, and those on probation and parole.

Close to 900,000 women and girls are under the control of federal, state and local carceral systems in the U.S. Prisons in states banning abortion can entirely block incarcerated pregnant women and girls from seeking abortion healthcare out of state and can even block those on probation and parole from traveling out of state to obtain abortions.

Our Abortion Stories: ‘If He Had Found Out I Was Pregnant, He Would Have Kidnapped Me and the Baby’

On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned the longstanding precedents of Roe v. Wade, representing the largest blow to women’s constitutional rights in history. We’re chronicling readers’ experiences of abortion pre- and post-Roe. “There is no room for inaction. If not for yourself, speak out for others.”

“Eliminating women’s reproductive healthcare rights doesn’t eliminate unplanned fetuses. It gives birth to unwanted children. Forcing women to give birth to unwanted children creates dependence on others. Both mother and child have little chance of climbing out of poverty on their own.”