Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Brittney Griner’s Detention Matters for All Women; Is Serena Williams Retiring on Her Own Terms?

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation in politics, on boards, in sports and entertainment, in judicial offices and in the private sector in the U.S. and around the world—with a little gardening and goodwill mixed in for refreshment!

This week: Is Serena Williams retiring on her own terms?; progress for women in Kenyan politics; India falls behind for parity; Brittney Griner’s detention is a travesty; women of color are well-positioned to take power after the Minnesota primaries; New York Times endorses three white men; and more.

What We Must Learn From Latin America in a Post-Roe World

While we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the kinds of horrors that banning abortion will create in the U.S., our neighbors in Latin America have understood this reality for years. We cannot afford to ignore the wins and the lessons learned from our neighbors and friends around the globe as we embark on the long road ahead to rebuild power and restore our right to abortion in the U.S.

Groundbreaking Massachusetts Law Protects Telemedicine Abortion Providers Serving Patients Located in States Banning Abortion

Massachusetts just passed a sweeping new reproductive rights law. In addition to provider protections, it removes cost barriers to abortion care, expands access to third-trimester abortions in cases of grave fetal diagnosis, increases access to emergency contraception and medication abortion, and guarantees the right to gender-affirming care.

As Climate Change Deadline Approaches, Every Minute Counts to Urge Action

Civilians gathered in a global moment of silence to commemorate the first official Climate Emergency Day on July 22. From California to Nigeria, New Orleans to London, Ghana to Pennsylvania, Rome to Jerusalem—the world watched the Climate Clock tick over from seven years to six. I led the moment of silence under the Union Square Climate Clock in New York City. It was hot, reaching 99 degrees Fahrenheit. As we faced the clock, we felt the crisis in our bodies.

When we imagine the climate crisis together, and all that’s at stake, we are feeding the momentum of a movement with revolutionary potential. Adrienne Maree Brown wrote, “We are in an imagination battle.” The Climate Clock is the drummer of this battle.

Women Will Be Playing Hardball on TV This Season

“There’s no crying in baseball,” says Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own. But the film’s more subtle theme is that there are no lesbians in baseball. The 1992 film made no mention of the fact that many of the athletes in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) were gay.

But last Friday, Amazon Prime Video unveiled an eight-episode series, also called A League of Their Own, that includes openly lesbian AAGPBL players.

Safe Haven Laws Were Never Supposed to Be an Alternative to Abortion

The case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has thrust safe haven laws back into the public spotlight. Safe haven laws ignore the very real risks and burdens associated with pregnancy and childbirth, particularly for vulnerable communities, and were never intended to be a literal alternative to abortion.

These laws ignore the very real risks and burdens associated with pregnancy and childbirth, particularly for vulnerable communities. They also represent an abandonment of “troubled young women” by “deciding that their deep-rooted problems can be saved by an after-the-fact, quick-fix solution.”

Rest in Power: Urvashi Vaid, the Queer Movement’s Legendary Firebrand

There has never been a queer leader like Urvashi Vaid. Until her death of metastatic breast cancer on May 14 at age 63, she spent the better part of five decades fighting injustice. Principle drove Urvashi in almost everything she did. She exploded onto the scene with a dynamism that has never been equaled since.

“The lesbian agenda is the reconstruction of families … the reimagining of power … the reorganization of the economic system … the reinforcement of civil rights and dignity for all people … the end of the oppression of women, the end of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia … the reestablishment of a proper relationship to our environment. … When I list this laundry list of oppression, it does not overwhelm me; it tells me how far I have to go in my struggle; it tells me who my allies are.”

The Inflation Reduction Act Is a Much-Needed Win for Women

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law on Tuesday by President Biden, will benefit women for years to come.

The new law will limit the amount Medicare recipients have to pay out of pocket for drugs to $2,000 annually—a major benefit for older women, because they’re the majority of older Americans. The bill also empowers the Health and Human Services Secretary to negotiate prices for drugs covered under Medicare, and punish pharmaceutical companies that don’t play by the rules. Younger women below Medicare age will also benefit from other provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, like subsidies that cover medical insurance premiums.