A Comedian in the War on Abortion: The Ms. Q&A with Lizz Winstead and Ruth Leitman

Lizz Winstead, comedian and founder of Abortion Access Front, teamed up with director Ruth Leitman to create the hilarious, heart-filled documentary No One Asked You.

“There’s nothing shameful about needing to have an abortion,” Winstead told Ms.

“It’s a medical procedure that people need to help them achieve their life goals, and to help them have the life that they want to have,” said Leitman.

Merle Hoffman’s Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto: ‘Anger Is Our Sacred Fuel’

In her new book Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto, Hoffman shares her 50-plus year fight for abortion access, including co-founding the first professional organization of abortion providers in the U.S. in 1976, the National Abortion Federation, and in 1985 founding the New York Pro-Choice Coalition. Part memoir, part call to arms, Hoffman’s book offers an engaging and thought-provoking assessment of how we lost the right to abortion and what we need to do today to achieve “legal abortion on demand nationwide.”

As U.S. Faces a Rising Tide of Abortion Bans and Restrictions, France Enshrines Freedom of Access in the Constitution

In 2023, seeking “to avoid a U.S.-like scenario for women in France, as hard-right groups are gaining ground,” President Emmanuel Macron promised a constitutional amendment affirming women’s right to abortion and to control over their own bodies. The amendment subsequently passed by a crushing majority of 780 to 72 votes and was inserted ceremoniously into the French Constitution on March 8, 2024, International Women’s Day.

Meanwhile in 2022, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court decision overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade that held abortion as a protected right under the United States Constitution

How do we explain the radically different trajectories on this critical dimension of women’s rights between two countries with strong feminist and anti-abortion movements that decriminalized abortion within a few years of one another?  

A Blueprint for a Stronger America in Coretta Scott King

Often overlooked when we think about Dr. King is the essential role his wife, Coretta Scott King, played to fortify his work. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it is crucial to recognize the indomitable spirit of women like Coretta Scott King who carved a path for change in a time less forgiving, demonstrating the irreplaceable impact of feminine leadership. She was a warrior for social justice her entire life, whom we should remember and embody this month—and every month—in the ongoing journey to create a more equitable America. 

In Hawai‘i, Where Traditional Midwives Can’t Practice

Two days after Alia Louise Stenback survived the Aug. 8 wildfire in Lāhainā, Maui—the deadliest wildfire the United States has seen in over 100 years—she parked herself at a medical tent. One month later, with no ambulances around to provide transport to a hospital, her grandson was born. With a donated birthing kit and the support of traditional midwives, Stenback “caught [her] grandson.”

Stenback grants herself “outlaw” status because she provided care during labor without a midwifery license in assumed violation of Hawaii’s HRS §457J, otherwise known as the Midwifery Restriction Law. Originally passed in the name of maternal and infant safety, the law is the subject of impassioned protests, new legislative proposals and a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.

Supreme Court Is Considering Nationwide Restrictions on Most Common Abortion Method: Medication Abortion

Not content with overturning Roe v. Wade, the anti-abortion movement now wants to restrict medication abortion—even in states where abortion remains legal.

But a decision to place more restrictions on medication abortion will not stop people from getting abortion pills—it will merely reshape, not extinguish, the landscape of access to abortion pills.

We Just Need to Pee

I’ve had bathroom anxiety since I was a kid. I always felt that using the women’s restroom was always the safest bet—until I began hormone replacement therapy in my late 20s. I remember the moment when a sharp male voice came from behind me, asking, “Excuse me—are you a guy or a girl?” My scariest moment left me unscathed. I survived. Nothing happened. I was lucky. Nex Benedict was not.

Stories of the many vigils held across the country for Nex speak to the care for our community. The story of Nex’s classmates walking out in protest of the school’s bullying policies speaks to the bravery of this next generation joining the ranks marching to the front line. To my trans and gender-nonconforming siblings: You are seen, you are loved, you are worth fighting for. There will come a day when we all can pee in peace. We continue on.

Women Who Dissent: Remembering Lilly Ledbetter, Mary Edwards Walker and Anjali Forber-Pratt

Throughout Women’s History Month, discover untold stories of incredible women. This week: Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, one of the first female doctors in America and the only woman to win the Medal of Honor; and Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, a professional wheelchair racer and Paralympian medalist.

Beyond the Federal Budget: Hunger, Misogyny and the Absurdity of it All

Extreme House Republicans have been dangling the threat of a government shutdown for months, playing politics with the lives of real people. In addition to being disruptive, wasteful and unnecessary, a government shutdown would have a deep and scarring impact on those facing food insecurity and poverty. This is not a game.

Resistance to safety net programs like the expanded child tax credit, SNAP and WIC is rooted in racist, misogynistic, tired and offensive stereotypes that blame and shame people, rather than help them when they need it most.