Oklahoma Passes Extreme Vigilante Abortion Ban, Nation’s Most Restrictive Yet: ‘A Reversal of History Right In Front of Our Eyes’

On Thursday, May 19, the Oklahoma legislature passed a total ban on abortion, authorizing private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who assists someone obtaining an abortion. The law applies from the moment of fertilization.

“This is not one more ban. This is a first,” said Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “Today’s ban—which encourages bounty hunters to sue their neighbors or strangers for accessing abortion care at any stage of pregnancy—is a reversal of history happening in front of our eyes. Once signed, abortion will be illegal in Oklahoma. Full stop.”

The Political Religions That Brought Down Roe

The Catholic Church has been the principal religious opponent to advances in birth control and abortion rights and access. But to achieve its goals, it needed allies in its long-term campaign of resistance. It took some time, but they found them. 

How conservative Christianity has been systematically waging a half-century war on Roe v. Wade will be the stuff of books and graduate theses. Here are some of the major themes that that they will contain.  

Ms. Relaunches Abortion Petition That ‘Changed Abortion Rights Movement’

In 1972, when abortion was still illegal throughout most of the country, 53 well-known U.S. women courageously declared “We Have Had Abortions” in the pages of the preview issue of Ms. magazine. The Washington Post credited the petition with the “start of a powerful strategy in the U.S. abortion rights movement: ending the secrecy that had kept many women out of the fight.”

The next year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a fundamental right protected by the U.S. Constitution. This year, the Supreme Court appears poised to reverse this position. In this perilous time, Ms. is relaunching the petition—with the encouragement and support of some of the original 1972 signers. This year alone, the petition has garnered almost 7,000 signatories.

Our Favorite Signs From the Nationwide ‘Bans Off’ Marches

Over 1 million protesters gathered for marches across the country on Saturday to attend a national day of action in support of abortion and reproductive rights. Themed ‘Bans Off Our Bodies,’ the mobilization was a direct response to two cataclysmic events in the world of abortion: a leaked draft opinion signaling the Supreme Court’s majority decision to overturn the 50-year precedent of Roe v. Wade; and Senate Republicans’ opposition to a bill that would codify the right to an abortion across the U.S.

When the Supreme Court’s final decision is issued before the end of the term (likely in June), it will represent the biggest blow to women’s constitutional rights in history. The anger, indignation and shock felt in America right now has reached a new peak—and it was on full display this weekend.

Keeping Score: New Mexico’s Plan for Free Childcare; U.S. Median Age for Giving Birth Hits 30; Feminists Reckon With Likely Roe Reversal

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in in this biweekly round-up.
This week: A leaked Supreme Court draft decision would overturn landmark Roe v. Wade ruling; new library program will secure access to “banned books” for teens; Oklahoma Heartbeat Act bans abortion after six weeks; Karine Jean-Pierre appointed first Black White House press secretary; and more.

Our Gilded Progress: ‘Great Gowns,’ Pop Culture and Reproductive Freedoms

This year’s Met Gala invited A-list celebrities in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, racial divides, rising inflation costs, and the widening gap between the top 1 percent and everyone else. 

During this event a leaked draft of the majority opinion from the Supreme Court immediately sent shockwaves, as the public learned that our highest court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, which guarantees the right to abortion. Suddenly, the extreme wealth on display at the Met Gala seemed to represent all the “gilded” hubris of an historical era that seemed more “golden” than it really was—as we are now thrust back to a dystopian and despairing future we must confront and resist at all costs.