California Law Bans “Condom Stealthing”: Removing a Condom Without Consent Is “A Grave Violation of Dignity and Autonomy”

Stealthing, the act of removing a condom during sex without consent, has been prohibited in California.

“I have been working on the issue of ‘stealthing’ since 2017 and I am elated that there is now some accountability for those who perpetrate the act,” said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who authored the law. “This law is the first of its kind in the nation, but I urge other states to follow in California’s direction and make it clear that stealthing is not just immoral but illegal.”

Keeping Score: California Schools to Provide Free Period Products; Title X Gag Rule Reversed; Texas Abortion Ban Reinstated

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: Biden administration reverses Title X gag rule; federal courts halt, then reinstate Texas’s six-week abortion ban; school districts crack down on BLM and pride flags; Playboy features first gay man on its cover; California overrides workplace NDAs *and* requires free menstrual products in schools; and more.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Kentucky Abortion Ban: “The Right to Abortion Is Hanging by a Thread”

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in one of three abortion cases before the Court this term that will determine the future of abortion rights in the U.S. EMW Women’s Surgical Center v. Cameron involves a Kentucky law effectively banning abortion at 15 weeks. The law blocks physicians from providing a medically safe and standard abortion method called dilation and evacuation, or “D&E.”

“Two courts already held that this law violates the rights of Kentuckians. The Supreme Court ought to put an end to the attorney general’s attempts to force people to continue their pregnancies against their will.”

As a Woman Researcher, I Experienced the Harassment and Silencing of the Women Soldiers I Interviewed

Women peacekeepers are being asked to increase the security for women civilians in conflict zones—yet women peacekeepers are being sexually harassed and assaulted by men in their own militaries. How can the U.N. Security Council stand by its call to troop contributing countries to increase the numbers of women peacekeepers they are deploying, when they can’t keep them safe?

Texas Law Prohibiting Mailing Abortion Pills Won’t Stop Texans Seeking Pills Online

On the heels of Texas’s newly-enacted abortion ban—blocked by a federal court on Oct. 6, then reinstated on Oct. 8 by the Fifth Circuit Court—Governor Greg Abbott signed into law S.B. 4 making it a felony for doctors to mail abortion pills to a patient. The law applies only to doctors and explicitly exempts pregnant people from criminal penalties for ordering pills online.

But unless Texas is willing to post abortion police at every woman’s mailbox to check and intercept her mail, Texans will still have access to medication abortion online and through the mail.

To Protect Afghan Girls, the Biden Administration Must Take Real Action: “No More Empty Promises”

Taliban nostalgia threatens 20 years of progress for Afghan girls. The lives, aspirations and rights of girls are not just getting lost in the mix—they are actively being squashed.

How the U.S. responds will be a true test of whether the Biden administration’s stated commitment to gender equality applies in practice and beyond rhetoric. We don’t need another speech or more photo opportunities. We have enough promises. What we need is for President Biden to galvanize real action. Afghan girls deserve nothing less.

“Respect Us, or Expect Us”: Indigenous Women Continue to Fight Against Pipeline 3

On October 1, Pipeline 3 became operational in Minnesota, despite resistance efforts led by Indigenous women and two-spirit individuals, who are seeking to hold President Biden accountable for promises made and broken.

The construction of the pipeline endangers local women and girls and infringes upon the rights of the rice, the land, the water, the nonhuman beings and the people. 

From Sexual Assault to Parental Leave and Childcare, Military Funding Bill Will “Kick the Military into the 21st Century”

Rampant violence against women in the military has gone largely unaddressed, despite repeated promises by military leaders. But now, new legislation in Congress might finally force the military to change.

“After a decade of fighting to remove cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment from the chain of command, and seeing hundreds of thousands of survivors further victimized and failed by the military justice system, we are finally taking this earth-shaking leap forward and making clear to all that sexual violence has no place in our fighting forces,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who co-sponsored over 45 major provisions adopted in the House-passed version of the annual defense policy bill.