Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Angela Alsobrooks’ Win Is a Win for Black Women Everywhere; Gender Imbalance in Local Elections

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Delve into the persistent gender imbalance in local elections, explore the impact of cumulative voting in elections in Illinois spanning over a century, discover why ranked-choice voting is a logical solution to Maryland’s recent primary with large candidate fields and plurality winners, inclusion of plurality candidates in elections and why ranked-choice voting is a viable solution, and celebrate Angela Alsobrooks for her historic victory—a triumph for all Black women in politics.

Keeping Score: Abortion Bans Drive Away Young Workers; Far-Right Groups Mobilize to Suppress Voting Rights; Biden Has Confirmed 200+ Judges

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 this biweekly roundup.

This week: Young workers are avoiding states with abortion bans; 70 percent of likely voters support a ceasefire in Gaza; far-right groups are mobilizing to spread election conspiracies; potential new abortion restrictions in Louisiana; an update on Flint, Michigan; over 80 percent of men of color support abortion; Justice Samuel Alito is under fire for flying a “Stop the Steal” symbol; the Louisiana state legislature rejects a bill that would have allowed rape and incest victims aged 16 and younger to have an abortion and moves to add abortion pills to the list of controlled dangerous substances; and more.

‘For the First Time in a Long Time, They Have Hope in Alabama’: What Rep. Marilyn Lands’ Win Means to Voters

When Rep. Marilyn Lands won her race for the 10th District seat in Alabama in March with 63 percent of the vote, she did not expect to beat her Republican opponent by such a large margin.

After having an abortion herself, Lands made reproductive freedom the heart of her winning campaign this year. She has found that sharing her story has had a profound impact on her relationship with voters.

What Angela Alsobrooks’ Primary Win Means for Black Women in Politics

We currently have zero Black women governors and only one Black woman in the Senate. But that could soon change.

This week, exciting news came out of Maryland’s Democratic primary race: U.S. Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks won big despite being outspent 10 to 1 by her opponent, Rep. David Trone, a wealthy businessman who threw more than $60 million of his own money into his campaign. Alsobrooks is the county executive for Maryland’s second-largest county, and this win means she, along with Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, could become the United States’ fourth and fifth Black women to ever serve in the U.S. Senate.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Challenges and Progress for Mothers in Political Office; North Macedonia Elects First Woman President

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: why expanding women’s power isn’t a single-issue effort but is a prerequisite to progress across the board; the number of women running for the U.S. House is down, with Republican women seeing the greatest decline; Prince George’s county executive Angela Alsobrooks won an impressive victory in the U.S. Senate primary; Suzanne LaFrance on track to be Anchorage’s first woman mayor; in North Macedonia, where Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova became the first woman president; and more.

‘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.

Meet the Anti-Feminist Women’s Group Leveraging Their ‘Independence’ to Convince Americans to Vote Republican

The anti-feminist Independent Women’s Voice/Forum (IWF/V), backed by billionaires and anti-abortion zealots, is poised to use its leaders’ identities as women to convince voters that the GOP will protect Americans’ rights and freedoms, like access to birth control and the ability to choose if and when to have children. IWF/V’s past positions, the known agendas of their funders and their membership to Project 2025 belie their true intentions. 

To Defend Democracy, We Must Protect Bodily Autonomy

It is no coincidence that at the same moment U.S. democracy is facing existential threats, we are also witnessing profound assaults not only on the body politic but on our bodily autonomy. 

One of the biggest threats to the consolidation of power is an empowered and engaged populace—particularly women, the LGBTQ community and people of color. Which is why anti-democratic leaders are doing all they can to limit and curtail the power of these communities. This moment requires progressive and pro-democracy funders to understand the attacks to reproductive freedom, LGBTQ liberation, and racial justice not as distinct or disparate—but as central to the attacks to our democracy itself, and to fund accordingly.