The U.S. Faces Unprecedented Threats on Abortion and Contraception Access—But “It’s Not All Doom and Gloom”

In this Power Talk, Ms.’s Roxy Szal spoke with four reproductive health experts— Power to Decide CEO Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley and VP of policy Rachel Fey; PRH’s Jennifer Blasdell; and State Innovation Exchange’s Jennifer Driver—on restrictions to reproductive healthcare and how advocates and lawmakers can protect abortion and contraception access.

Stimulus Payments and the Child Tax Credit Are Transforming U.S. Families—What Happens When They End?

Neither the COVID-era stimulus payments nor the child tax credit were designed to be permanent solutions—but if they were, they would especially help working moms, low-income women and women of color.

The Magnolia Mother’s Trust puts this into action, demonstrating that giving women an economic safety net leads to families escaping poverty and having the ability to set themselves and their families up for success.

Pennsylvania Medicaid Abortion Coverage Ban Challenged Under State ERA: “Sex Discrimination, Pure and Simple”

Pennsylvania-based abortion providers and reproductive rights lawyers filed their brief in a lawsuit—Allegheny Reproductive Health Center v. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services—asking the state’s Supreme Court to strike down the Pennsylvania ban on Medicaid funding for abortion as a violation of the Equal Rights Amendment and equal protection provisions of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The Department of Education is Failing Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault

In March, President Biden issued an executive order asking the Department of Education to re-examine the harmful Title IX regulations put in place under Betsy DeVos. But, after months of empty platitudes about “urgency” and how the Department “takes these matters seriously,” they have failed to take any meaningful action and will delay any changes until May of 2022. 

No survivor should have to wait to have their most basic rights met.

The Danger of Plea Deals in Sexual Assault Cases

An excerpt from Punishment Without Trial: Why Plea Bargaining is a Bad Deal by Carissa Byrne Hessick on the danger plea deals pose in sexual assault cases:

Jeffrey Epstein’s power translated to favorable treatment as he worked his way through the U.S. justice system—but you don’t have to have millions of dollars or be friends with a president and a prince. You just have to convince a prosecutor that it isn’t worth the time or the effort.

Are Women Human Beings?

On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Mississippi’s brief in Dobbs claims Roe v. Wade must be overturned because “scientific advances show that an unborn child has taken on the human form and features months before viability.”

But aren’t women human beings? The answer must be: Yes, and they must be able to control their lives, their reproduction and their bodies.

Femicide: The Need To Name Gender-Based Killing of Women in the United States

The U.S. downplays the growing issue of gender-based killings and violence by failing to call it what it is: femicide.

Recent high-profile murders have received immense media coverage, but the reality is they aren’t rare events. Femicide is a global issue that disproportionately impacts BIPOC women and requires urgent action to prevent. The U.S. needs to adopt a language of femicide that recognizes the gendered nature of ongoing murders of women in the nation, as well as the larger social patterns connecting them.

Paid Leave to Save Your Life

The paid leave proposal in the Build Back Better plan would specifically provide paid leave for people who need to “find safety from assault, stalking and sexual violence.”

The recognition and inclusion of people who experience intimate partner violence in the Build Back Better plan’s proposal for federal paid family and medical leave is a path-breaking step in supporting a population who is often invisible in the workplace.