The Weekly Pulse: Birth Control Users Question J&J Vaccine Pause; Biden Reverses Domestic Gag Rule

For The Weekly Pulse, we’ve scoured the most trusted journalistic sources—and, of course, our Twitter feeds—to bring you this week’s most important news stories related to health and wellness.

This week: updates on the pandemic as cases rise worldwide; birth control users question the FDA pause on distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine; the Biden administration bolsters reproductive health by lifting medication abortion restrictions and undoing the domestic gag rule; and more.

States Launch Attacks on Voting Rights: How Can We Protect Our Democracy?

In states like Georgia, Arizona and Michigan, Republican-controlled legislatures are launching attacks on voting rights, establishing barriers to access under the guise of “election security.” But just one bill in the U.S. Congress could protect citizens in all 50 states: H.R. 1/S. 1, known as the For the People Act.

“The Republicans have a very slim majority. … And yet here we find ourselves, where they are still governing from the most extremist policies. They’re working very hard to make sure that turnout never happens again.”

Lil Nas X, Gender Nonconformity and the Fight Against Transphobic Legislation

The fact that Lil Nas X’s recent queer, campy music video and song became an instant hit at the same time that anti-trans legislation swept the country demonstrates a serious contradiction—if the American public is increasingly supportive of trans rights and increasingly celebratory of gender nonconformity, why are Republican legislators hooking their talons into revoking trans rights?

Tina Tchen Makes the Economic Case for Investing in Care Infrastructure and Talks Violence Against Asian Women

Ms. spoke to CEO of Time’s Up Tina Tchen about why investing in care infrastructure, which would create millions of jobs for the disproportionate number of women hit by the pandemic, is just as important as building roads and bridges; why the work women do has historically been undervalued; and the increased sexual harassment and violence against Asian American women.

Front and Center: For Tia, Guaranteed Income Provided “A Little Push”

Front and Center is a groundbreaking series which aims to put front and center the voices of Black women who are affected most by the often-abstract policies currently debated at the national level. The series highlights the success of Springboard to Opportunities’ Magnolia Mother’s Trust program, which this year will give $1,000 per month for 12 months to 100 families headed by Black women living in federally subsidized housing.

“I was part of the very first Magnolia Mother’s Trust program, back when it was just 20 moms almost three years ago. Then, talking about giving out money wasn’t this thing it is now, but I had a feeling it would be something bigger even back then. Because helping single moms, helping single women —it’s a great cause and people want to get involved with that.”

Putting Poor Black Mothers Front and Center

Almost 50 years after its founding, Ms. is continuing its commitment to inclusive feminism with a new series called Front and Center—featuring pieces written by the women of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust. The program provides more than 100 Black mothers living in extreme poverty in Jackson, Miss., a guaranteed income of $1,000 a month for a year.

Beginning Thursday, you’ll hear first-hand about their struggles, their children, their work, their relationships and their dreams for the future.