Celebrating First Lady Betty Ford and Her Work for the Equal Rights Amendment

On Friday, April 5, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will issue a commemorative Forever stamp and hold an event to celebrate the life and legacy of Betty Ford, who served as first lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. 

As first lady and wife of a Republican president, Betty Ford carved out a role for herself that included advocating for issues she cared about—including ratification of the ERA.

How Blocking the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Is Part of Texas’ Anti-Trans Agenda

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act’s gender-inclusive language—in notable contrast to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978—marks a crucial step towards ensuring equitable treatment and access to accommodations. Without adequate protections, Texas employers could resist making accommodations for people such as pregnant trans men by arguing that it does not apply to them on the account that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act refers specifically to “women”.

Texas has already made clear that trans and gender diverse employees will not be protected in the workplace, when a judge ruled that employers need not protect trans workers from discrimination based on dress, pronoun, and bathroom usage. The Texas legislature’s obstruction of the PWFA serves as a stark reminder of the tangled web woven by the state’s pro-business stance and its vehemently anti-trans agenda.

Now, as we navigate the treacherous terrain of a post-Dobbs landscape, the plight of transgender pregnant individuals in Texas grows increasingly dire, underscoring the urgent need for comprehensive protections and support.

Keeping Score: Democrat Wins in Alabama on IVF and Reproductive Rights; State Lawmakers Fight Over Contraception; Gloria Steinem Turns 90

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: the horrifying effects of Louisiana’s abortion ban; state lawmakers fight over access to contraception and IVF; Gloria Steinem turns 90; soccer players advocate for uniforms without white shorts; fighting against deepfake voter suppression efforts; West Texas A&M university bans drag shows; transphobia from healthcare providers; and more.

War on Women Report: Unprovoked Attacks Against Women in New York City; Texas Medical Board Refuses to Clarify State Abortion Ban

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

Since our last report: The Protect Victims of Digital Exploitation and Manipulation Act aims to ban the production and distribution of non-consensual, deepfake pornography; an award created to honor the life and accomplishments of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is being awarded to four right-wing men (and Martha Stewart); the Texas Medical Board refused to further specify the rules around the state’s highly restrictive ban on abortion; police made their first arrest in connection to an onslaught of unprovoked attacks against women in New York City; and more.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: U.S. House Dissolves Office of Diversity and Inclusion; More Black Women in Office Is the Real ‘American Dream’

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

This week: as of March 25, the government’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) office has closed, as part of a $1.2 trillion government spending bill; nearly 30 percent of LGBTQ women candidates were discouraged from running for office due to their gender or gender identity; how the ERA would empower Congress to address gender-based violence; the Fair Representation Act can make Congress work; and more.

Why It’s So Important That an Arizona State Senator Is Speaking Out About Needing an Abortion

Abortion has always been a fact of life. People in all occupations and walks of life need and seek abortion care. Arizona state Senator Eva Burch’s decision to share her need for abortion care while holding elected office in a state whose legislature and courts are grappling with abortion laws emphasizes that the personal is political. It also creates a powerful contrast between the relentless attempts by the anti-abortion movement to impose their worldview on the entire country and the many ways that people across the nation are fighting back—by sharing their stories, helping others get care, voting for abortion rights, and finding ways to overcome enormous obstacles to get an abortion. 

Senator Burch is not alone. New data from the Guttmacher Institute shows an increase in abortions with more people accessing abortion care in 2023 than any other year in the last decade. 

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: The Fair Representation Act Can Improve U.S. Elections; Mexico May Get Its First Jewish President

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

This week: the reintroduction of the Fair Representation Act, which would help solve the problems of partisan gerrymandering and uncompetitive elections for U.S. House; rest in power, Dorie Ann Ladner, a prominent figure in the civil rights movement; women’s representation in Florida’s state legislature has crossed 40 percent; as the presidential race in Mexico continues, Claudia Sheinbaum, a physicist of Jewish descent, holds a significant lead over her closest rival, Xóchitl Gálvez; a missed opportunity to increase women’s representation in Philadelphia; and more.