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.”

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. 

States Must Act Now to Protect Teenagers’ Reproductive Healthcare

Laws requiring parental consent for minors requiring abortion care do not help teenagers—they only delay much needed healthcare for vulnerable youth.

States overwhelmingly allow a teenager to independently consent to pregnancy care and medical treatment for her child, and even to give up her child for adoption, without notice to her parents, yet require parental notice or consent for abortion

Will My Period Tracking App Betray Me? Menstrual Surveillance in a Post-Roe World

Menstrual data and period tracking has already become a lucrative industry for apps. Selling private and personal reproductive health data to companies has created income many fertility apps.

The availability of this data already poses a unique threat to the lives of all people with uteruses, but in a world without Roe the risk of this data becoming a weapon for the anti-abortion movement. They have been known to use such data to influence decision making and reproductive choices. In order to keep this vital data out of their hands action needs to be taken to provide protection and safe alternatives for menstruators.

The Anti-Abortion Movement Has a Long History of Terrorism. A Roe Repeal Will Make It Worse.

For nearly 50 years, as anti-abortion legislators in states around the country have chipped away at the constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion, they have done so with the steady drumbeat of violence at their back. In the face of the recent leak of a draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito that confirmed that the Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion advocates and providers are bracing for a surge in clinic violence.

What Would Alito’s Draft Opinion Mean for Women’s Rights?

The Alito opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson fails to mention how lack of access to abortion might disrupt education, employment or other aspects of women’s lives—giving America a glimpse into a dystopian future where the Constitution would offer no protection for women’s rights because they are not “deeply rooted in the country’s history and traditions.”

If Alito has his way, the police and politicians could very likely once again be searching our bedrooms for those telltale signs of illegal sexual behavior.