The Pathway to Recognizing the Equal Rights Amendment

At the Radical Optimism Conference on Jan. 26, hosted by former U.S. Rep Carolyn Maloney, political activists from around the state rallied for recognition of the federal ERA, made plans for securing a New York state constitutional amendment, plotted strategies for the 2024 elections and committed themselves to showing strong support by recruiting signers for the national ERA petition, Sign4ERA.org.

“In 2024, women’s rights will be on the ballot,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and longtime leader in the fight for the ERA.

“If equality and the Equal Rights Amendment, in particular, weren’t so important, they wouldn’t be fighting so hard to keep it from us,” said Zakiya Thomas, president and CEO of the ERA Coalition.

The Anti-Abortion Movement Is Coming for Fertility Treatments

The availability of in-vitro fertilization in Alabama may now be in question after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that embryos kept in clinic freezers are considered persons under the law, and protected by the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. It’s a shocking and jarring decision that radically extends the bounds of legal personhood, tosses any claims to originalism aside, and seems primed to make a variety of fertility treatments either extremely costly for patients, or extremely legally risky for clinicians.

IVF is, unfortunately, not safe from the anti-abortion movement. Many of the movement’s leaders have indicated that they would like to outlaw it, and while right now they have bigger fish to fry, abortion opponents have never stopped at simply (“simply”) banning abortion. They want full control over reproduction, and over women specifically. And Alabama just put us all one step closer to their ultimate goal.

‘Astonishing Little Feet’: Maegan Houang Reimagines the Story of the First Known Chinese Woman in the U.S.

Nearly two centuries ago, Afong Moy became the first documented Chinese woman to arrive in the U.S. Brought by American merchants for the purposes of advertising their Chinese import business, she was exhibited across the U.S., for white audiences to marvel at her language, clothes and “little feet.”

Afong Moy is the subject of a new short film from director Maegan Houang. Houang sat down with Ms. to talk about why her story matters, and the role of historical fiction in revealing the dark truths of humanity. 

Abortion Funders in the Southeast Are ‘Helping People Decide What They Want to Do With Their Lives’

Abortion funds are local nonprofits that pay for someone’s abortion, plus extra costs, like transportation or lodging. Their role in the abortion access movement has increased since the fall of Roe. Ms. will feature interviews weeks with fund representatives across the U.S. Each installment will focus on a distinct region—beginning in the Southeast, where every single state in the region has implemented abortion restrictions.

“No human being should ever feel like, ‘Well, I’ve got to figure out what I want to do with this pregnancy by midnight tonight, or else.'” “I enter the work in rage. I am doing abortion access work in sheer rage and spite.”

Painted Windows, Distorted Mirrors: How Banning Books ‘Sterilizes’ Curriculums

To meet the demand of a modern world, we need to be expanding our students’ perspectives and engaging them in rich dialogue, critical thinking and global perspectives. Our children need opportunities to share potent books in community with peers and to learn to discuss challenging topics. If we parents are empowered, we ought to use our power to enable our children, not to narrow their perspectives.

In Ron DeSantis’ Florida we hear echoes of George Orwell’s 1984: ‘Do you know that Florida’s school libraries get smaller every year? Don’t you see that the whole aim is to narrow the range of thought?’

The Anti-Gay, Anti-Trans and Anti-Abortion Groups Behind Those ‘He Gets Us’ Super Bowl Commercials

Before the news cycle moves on, we must discuss the right-wing He Gets Us campaign’s two religious ads during the Super Bowl, which highlighted that “Jesus loved and cared for anyone and everyone” and which the Washington Post voted “the most controversial” of the game.

This claim of love and acceptance is directly undercut by the campaign’s connections to far-right anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion groups.

What Will Be the Cost of the First Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill?

Opill, the first over-the-counter birth control pill, is set to hit drugstores, grocery stores and online shelves in the first quarter of 2024. But the real challenge lies ahead: Will it be affordable and truly accessible to all?

For years, reproductive health advocates have argued that removing the time-consuming requirement for a prescription to access birth control pills would improve accessibility and allow people greater autonomy in their contraceptive choices. 

Opill is a progestin-only oral contraceptive pill, boasting a success rate as high as 98 percent in preventing pregnancies.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hailed the approval of Opill as a breakthrough that could “reduce barriers to access” for those seeking contraception. 

Perrigo Company, the pharmaceutical company behind Opill, has committed to improving access to contraception in alignment with the FDA. “Perrigo is proud to lead the way in making contraception more accessible to women in the U.S.,” said Murray Kessler, president and CEO of Perrigo, in a 2023 press release. “We are motivated by the millions of people who need easy access to safe and effective contraception.”

However, the promise of accessibility hinges on the crucial factor of affordability.

As British Parliament Inquiries Into Gender Apartheid, Afghan Women Know All Too Well That It’s Already Here

A group of British parliamentarians are set to initiate an inquiry into the situation of women and girls in both Afghanistan and Iran. This marks an unprecedented development, as no nation has launched an investigation of this size regarding gender apartheid. 

What this fails to do, however, is acknowledge the actualized claim that gender apartheid is already established within Afghanistan and Iran.