As Congress Convenes, Over 100 Women’s Groups Urge Lawmakers to Focus on Gender Equity

Congress is back in session, and feminists are making clear: Gender equity must be a priority. A coalition of top women’s rights- and reproductive rights-focused groups outlined their vision for the future of U.S. gender equality and the steps the 118th Congress can take, in a letter sent to leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate, as well as relevant committee chairs.

Two New Lawsuits Challenge State Restrictions on Abortion Pill Access, Arguing Federal Law Preempts State Laws

On Jan. 25, reproductive health advocates filed two federal lawsuits—one in North Carolina and West Virginia—challenging state laws imposing medically unnecessary restrictions on physicians prescribing the abortion pill mifepristone to their patients. Both cases argue that state laws are preempted by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules allowing telemedicine abortion and mailing of mifepristone.

“States cannot substitute their medical and scientific judgments for judgments FDA has made, and doing so undermines not only access to medication, but the country’s entire drug regulation system.”

Employers, Take Note—Young Women Are Planning Their Lives Around State Abortion Laws

Among employees ages 18 to 34, 47 percent of women and 44 percent of men believe they won’t have the career they’d planned, hoped for and dreamed of because politicians are now in control of their personal reproductive decisions.

“We’re looking to future generations of business leaders and managers and employees and we have nearly half of them saying, ‘I don’t think I will have the career I planned because of the decision by the Supreme Court,’” said Heather Foust-Cummings, Catalyst’s senior vice president for research

RSVP: Reproductive Rights on the 50th Anniversary of Roe

The 19th, a fellow nonprofit newsroom focused on gender news, will mark January’s consequential milestone with high-level conversations on the legal, historical and cultural impact of Roe, and what the future holds without it. The program will feature thought leaders in the reproductive rights and justice space—including our very own Ellie Smeal, Ms. publisher and president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

ICYMI: Everything You Need to Know About Abortion Pills

People in red and blue states are now ordering pills online and using them in the privacy of their own homes without having to take time off work, travel long distances to clinics and pass through anti-abortion protesters to get the care they need.

How do abortion pills work? Are they safe? And how are people getting them? In a Ms. webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 18, reproductive health advocates Lauren Dubey of Choix and Melissa Madera of Plan C joined Ms. editor Carrie Baker, to break down everything you need to know about abortion pills.

The Supreme Court Dobbs Leak Never Really Mattered. They Just Told Us So.

The leak was a distraction meant to shift focus away from where is should have been: the disastrous harm that overturning Roe for the women, trans and nonbinary people who depend on abortion access to obtain the reproductive healthcare they deserve.

The Court cares more about its power than it does this leak—and so should we. Supreme Court reform is essential to protect against the next decision that does such harm to our rights, whether it’s leaked or not.

New York Shield Law Would Protect Clinicians Mailing Abortion Pills to Patients in Red States

New York could become the second state, after Massachusetts, to pass a shield law extending to telemedicine abortion providers serving out-of-state patients. The proposed law would protect clinicians and pharmacists throughout the state from criminal prosecution, extradition, loss of license or malpractice insurance, and from subpoenas of their medical records for prescribing and sending abortion pills to people who need them anywhere in the United States.  

Are Republicans Afraid of Young Voters?

Last year’s midterm election had the second-highest young voter turnout in the last 30 years. In response, Republicans are eyeing raising the minimum voting age—even though young people already face unnecessary obstacles to voting.

“The important message for Democrats to know this cycle is that if you want to win in 2024, you have to listen to young people,” tweeted David Hogg, co-founder of March For Our Lives. “You have to do your job and represent us, or you won’t win.”