Is Violence the Last Gasp of the Patriarchy?

A year ago, we watched in horror as a howling mob that was 86 percent male and 93 percent white launched a vicious attack on the Capitol. This year, I wondered why no one was connecting the dots between this insurrection, the probable demise of Roe v. Wade, and lack of action to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment—all of which fuel the pervasive gender gap in power, pay and leadership roles.

While I would like to think that the violence we witnessed on January 6 signaled (again) the last gasps of the patriarchy, my time fighting for reproductive rights has shown me otherwise.

“We Have Had Abortions” Petition Relaunches 50 Years Later—With Support From Original Signatories

With Trump’s three recent appointments, the Supreme Court has once again lurched to the right, and women’s rights are in danger. Given the dire circumstances, Ms. is once again relaunching its “We Have Had Abortions” petition, with the encouragement and support of some of the original 1972 signers—including Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, the author of the original “We Have Had Abortions” article that appeared in Ms.

“While the Supreme Court may, because of the machinations of the one party, eviscerate Roe v. Wade, now is not the time to give up,” said Diamonstein-Spielvogel.

From the Vault: Between a Woman and Her Doctor (Summer 2004)

On November 6, 2003, President Bush signed what he called a “partial birth abortion ban,” prohibiting doctors from committing an “overt act” designed to kill a partially delivered fetus. One of the unintended consequences of this new law is that it put people in my position, with a fetus already dead, in a technical limbo. 

We told our doctor we had chosen a dilation and evacuation. But I didn’t realize that pressures extending all the way to the boardrooms of hospitals, administrative sessions at medical schools and committee hearing in Congress, were going to deepen and expand my sorrow and pain. 

Online Abortion Provider and “Activist Physician” Michele Gomez Is Expanding Early Abortion Options Into Primary Care

As we await the fate of Roe v. Wade, Ms. will spotlight the wide range of new telemedicine abortion providers springing up across the country in response to the recent removal of longstanding FDA restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone.

“It’s easy to target Planned Parenthood, but much harder to target every primary care office in the country,” said Dr. Michele Gomez, a self-proclaimed “activist physician” supporting fellow doctors who want to offer abortions as part of primary care.

After the Worst Year for Abortion Rights in a Half Century, Ms. Relaunches Iconic “We Have Had Abortions” Campaign

In its 1972 preview issue, Ms. magazine ran a bold petition in which 53 well-known U.S. women declared that they had undergone abortions—despite laws in most states rendering the procedure illegal. We know it is time again.

Today in Texas, abortion has been outlawed for the vast majority of women and girls. And in a few short months, the Supreme Court is likely to rule in a case that is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and will impact abortion access nationwide.

Add your name to the petition.

The One Good Thing About School Dress Codes

School dress codes are agents of slut-shaming, driven by the belief that girls who don’t cover up are deviant and distracting. But the one exciting upside is that students are so disgusted and outraged by these sexist, racist regulations that they are galvanized to become feminist activists.

“The administration had been looking at my photo, and what they saw was my chest. It was concerning to me that they were basically viewing us just as bodies that were distracting. They were sexualizing us even though we’re still children.”

Black Women in Martin Luther King Jr.’s Neighborhood Will Soon Receive Monthly Cash Payments

A new guaranteed income program will send $850 monthly payments to Black women over two years, beginning in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, where King popularized the idea of direct cash payments half a century ago.

“Oftentimes our communities are viewed as lacking knowledge, lacking resources, lacking assets. We want to flip that narrative. Communities closest to the problem are rich with resources and insight on how to solve our deepest social issues, our deepest economic issues,” said Hope Wollensack, executive director of the Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund. “We want to put agency over one’s future in [women’s] hands.” 

Defamation Lawsuits: Another Tactic to Silence Survivors

Due to a culture of stigmatization and shame, fueled by deficient laws and a criminal justice system that rarely takes victims of sexual abuse seriously, survivors are often reluctant to come forward with their experiences. Recently, a worrying trend has further raised the stakes for survivors who choose to speak out: the weaponization of defamation lawsuits. This happens when the person accused of sexual violence attempts to use the courts to punish the survivor for having spoken out about the abuse she allegedly experienced—even, in some cases, after an official confirmation of the abuse has been made.

Online Abortion Providers Cindy Adam and Lauren Dubey of Choix: “We’re Really Excited About the Future of Abortion Care”

A range of telemedicine abortion providers are springing up in the U.S. in response to the removal of FDA restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone—like Cindy Adam and Lauren Dubey, nurse practitioners and owners of Choix, a virtual clinic offering asynchronous telemedicine abortion services to people in California, Colorado and Illinois.

“It feels really cool that I can do this on a day-to-day basis,” Dubey said. “Cindy and I are at the forefront of telemedicine abortion, teaching other people how to do it, helping more people to do it and exposing the world to this new type of care. It is incredibly fulfilling, not just being an abortion provider and not just doing it via telehealth, but being at the forefront of abortion care in a new way.”

Why Is the Senate Failing To Build Back Better? Blame Sexism

Build Back Better is not just about what’s right. It’s about what’s necessary to keep our country from falling apart at the seams. If we don’t mitigate climate change now, climate disasters will become more frequent, and more deadly and destructive. If we don’t build a strong childcare system, parents won’t be able to go to work, and we will lose skills and experience, as well as huge chunks of the labor force.

Without BBB, we’re losing not just a move toward equity, health and well-being—but also the chance at lasting prosperity.