‘A Virtual Abortion Doula in Your Pocket’: Aya Contigo Helps Latinas Find Abortion Care

U.S. abortion bans impact 6.7 million Latinas in the United States—the largest group of women of color impacted by these bans. Many lack insurance, cannot travel and face language and cultural barriers to reproductive healthcare. 

To address these barriers, two Canadian physicians—Dr. Roopan Gill and Dr. Genevieve Tam—co-created Aya Contigo, an app with an embedded live virtual chat to help people access contraception and abortion. Ms. spoke with Dr. Gill, an OB-GYN with advanced training in complex family planning about her work with Vitala Global and Aya Contigo.

‘This Doesn’t Mean He’s Not Guilty’: An Interview With Rowena Chiu, a Survivor of Harvey Weinstein

When Harvey Weinstein’s conviction was overturned by the New York Court of Appeals, the decision reverberated far and wide. For many survivors, the unraveling of the conviction proved, once again, the failed promise of criminal justice. This failure was felt most deeply by the more than 100 women who have accused Weinstein of assault and harassment. Among these women is Rowena Chiu, whose account helped expose Weinstein’s predations. 

In this moment of setback, I wondered whether Chiu would feel—understandably—defeated. Just the opposite is true. As Chiu told me, beautifully and powerfully, “There’s work to be done and we roll up our sleeves and we do it.”

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.

A Violent Denial: Combating Silence Around Hamas’ Sexual Violence and Preventing Future War Crimes

Feminist lessons of war are traumatically and often fatally difficult to come by. In her 2023 book, Twelve Feminist Lessons of War, Cynthia Enloe offers a list that includes: “Women’s wars are not men’s wars,” “wounds are gendered” and “feminists organize while war is raging.” She declares that “feminist lessons are for everyone.”

Cochav Elkayam-Levy is still figuring out the feminist lessons to be learned from the Oct. 7 attack. As she has come to accept, this will be her life’s work.

(This article originally appears in the Summer 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Louisiana’s Criminalization of Abortion Care Demands We Embrace Reproductive Justice

On Tuesday, the Louisiana House passed legislation criminalizing two drugs commonly used for abortion care: mifepristone and misoprostol. The bill received final legislative passage Thursday, and the governor is expected to sign it into law any day now. Instead of working to address the maternal mortality crisis, the infant mortality crisis or the climate crisis (and the list of crises goes on), Louisiana’s lawmakers are looking to lock up our neighbors for up to five years for possessing these life-saving drugs. The move is pigheaded, embarrassing and downright dangerous—but not surprising. 

When they’re using the same tools they used to wreak havoc on Black and brown communities for decades to criminalize anyone for simply possessing abortion care drugs, we know that our collective struggle transcends abortion rights alone.

What Happens When Sex Dolls Can Talk?

During her testimony in Donald Trump’s criminal trial, adult film star Stormy Daniels didn’t mince words: At one point, she acknowledged she had once called him an “orange turd.” 

Daniels’ language was a far cry from the kind of words uttered by today’s talking sex dolls, like the ones produced by California’s RealDoll, a subsidiary of Abyss Creations. These are sexy, custom-made AI-enabled dolls that are programmed to never say anything mean or insulting. They are designed to flatter the user and always be compliant. They never say, “No, don’t do that,” or “Get lost!” Daniels herself gave RealDoll the license to produce Stormy Daniels sex dolls, but these dolls were silent and couldn’t talk. 

The difference between a real-life adult film star and a simulated one tells us much about the kind of sex dolls many users apparently prefer—the ones that have tightly controlled conversations. And the difference tells us much about users social attitudes towards women themselves.

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.

Front and Center: With Guaranteed Income, ‘Life Feels Brighter and the Future Feels Brighter’

Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“Once I have my degree, I’m planning to take out a business loan to open up a daycare center for the community. … I’m moved to do this because I have my own children and because I know what it’s like to be without a parent and to be without the things a family needs. Sometimes parents have a difficult time supporting their kids because of work or other life events. I want to help be a support system for families.”