Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Colorado Elects Majority-Women Legislature; Karen Bass, LA’s First Woman Mayor

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

This week: 2022 midterms will be a status quo election for women in Congress; federal candidates and political committees are projected to spend $8.9 billion this election cycle; Ruwa Romman, 29, makes history as the first Muslim woman elected to the Georgia House; Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S., has elected Representative Karen Bass to be its first-ever woman mayor; and more.

Keeping Score: Democrats Maintain Senate Control in Midterms; Florida Bans Care for Transgender Youth

This week: state officials condemn election misinformation and voter intimidation; Massachusetts and N.Y. elect women governors; Maxwell Alejandro Frost will be the first Gen Z congress member; abortions permitted to resume in Arizona; Florida bans gender-affirming care for transgender minors; University of California workers go on largest academic strike; and more.

Now Is the Time to Protect and Expand Birth Control Access

Concern about future access to contraceptives has spiked since Roe was overturned. Concerns about access are understandable, given state legislators have strategically perpetuated misinformation as part of efforts targeting access to contraception.

In response, we must call on elected officials to support urgently-needed legislation, such as the Right to Contraception Act, which seeks to protect the right of individuals to use birth control and the right of physicians and other healthcare professionals to provide this basic essential care.

What to Expect When Expecting (and Running)

Running for office while pregnant or parenting can be a major challenge.

I discovered I was pregnant the week the Dobbs decision was announced. I briefly considered suspending my campaign because I knew how hard it was going to be for my family and me. But at the end of the day, the reason I ran for public office hadn’t changed or become less significant to me, and so I decided to stand up for what I believe in.

Abortion Was Front of Mind for Midterm Voters

Across the board, Democratic candidates and progressive ballot measures far outperformed expectations set by the pundits, who had all but declared that abortion no longer was the driving factor in voters’ decisions.

“It was abortion that made a huge difference in race after race,” said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners. “In well over half the races, it was the issue of abortion that increased turnout of Democrats and younger voters.”

I’m a Maternal Health Physician. The U.S.’s Maternal Death Rate Is Shameful.

The estimated U.S. maternal mortality rate in 2018 was 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, putting the United States dead last compared to similarly wealthy countries.

Protecting and expanding access to abortion care and taking steps to support pregnant women and families such as through child tax credits will help reduce the maternal mortality rate and catch the U.S. up to the standards of other countries.