American Autocracy: Trump Is Intent on Persecuting His Perceived Enemies

Trump has shown considerable indicators of autocratic tendencies—such as calling for the Department of Justice to prosecute his political enemies, claiming that Article II of the Constitution gave him the authority to do “anything I wanted,” shamelessly violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause to use his government position to enrich himself and his family, and many more. That all culminated in the attempted interruption of the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 election.

In this three-part American Autocracy series, we track Trump’s comments on feminist issues. This installment: his stance on political enemies and those who disagree with him. 

Access to Contraception Should Not Be Up for Debate

I’m a women’s health nurse practitioner (NP) and educator at Emory University, teaching the next generation of NPs to care for individuals across the lifespan including for the sexual and reproductive healthcare needs.

From the first over-the-counter birth control hitting the shelves, to attacks on FDA-approved drugs, it’s felt like whiplash for reproductive freedoms in this country. 

The Arizona Abortion Ban Case Shows What ‘Let the States Decide’ Really Means

The Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling that reinstated a draconian 1864 near-total abortion ban reveals the disingenuous nature of the “leave-it-to-the-states” positioning of some Republicans.

In response to the state Supreme Court’s decision, Democrats spearheaded legislation to repeal that law, which was recently signed by Gov. Katie Hobbs (D). However, leaving it to the states doesn’t always have such a rosy ending—and, indeed, this is not the end of efforts in Arizona or elsewhere by special interests trying to impose their regressive worldview on us all through law. A closer look into the Arizona abortion case and court that led to the reprise of this antiquated anti-abortion law reveals that some of the same anti-abortion zealots who played a central role in overturning Roe are also playing a role in revoking Arizonians’ access to abortion healthcare.

Florida’s Six-Week Abortion Ban Will Force Longer Waits, Further Travels and Higher Costs

May 1 marks the first day that Florida’s law banning abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy takes effect. 

The six-week cutoff effectively functions as a total ban. Pregnancy is determined from the last menstrual cycle; conception usually occurs in the second week, and the first sign of pregnancy—a missed period—typically appears around four weeks. This timeline gives patients as little as two weeks to recognize their pregnancy, schedule their appointment and arrange travel … assuming they realize they’re pregnant at all.

Come Nov. 4, Florida voters will decide whether to amend the Florida Constitution to enshrine the right to abortion.

War on Women Report: Anti-Abortion Activists Desperate to Keep Abortion Off 2024 Ballot; NAIA Bars Trans Women From Competing

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

Since our last report: Missouri anti-abortion activists try to trick voters out of supporting a ballot measure to protect abortion rights; 70 percent of school shooters committed violence against women before or during their attacks; Connecticut may join Maine, Texas, California and New York in adopting coerced debt protections; Fox News spent only 12 minutes covering a ruling from the all-Republican Arizona Supreme Court reviving a 160-year-old state law that bans abortion; and more.

Nine Need-to-Know Changes From the New Title IX Rules

The United States Department of Education released its much-anticipated amendments to the existing Title IX regulations—which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. 

The amendments make substantial changes to the existing Title IX regulations. Experts anticipate these new changes will result in an increase in the number of Title IX complaints, since they broaden the protections of Title IX. The Education Department is requiring all schools implement the new 2024 regulations by Aug. 1. 

Here are nine significant changes to Title IX that interested parties in higher education should know.

Medical Records for Out-of-State Abortions Will Now Be Protected by HIPAA

Healthcare providers aren’t allowed to tell law enforcement about a patient’s abortion if they received the procedure in a state where it is legal, it is protected by federal law, or it is permitted by state law, the Biden administration said Monday. The rule will take effect in 30 days, and it represents a meaningful shift.

But it’s unclear whether it will protect medical data for people who self-manage their abortions by receiving medication in the mail, often from a prescribing physician in a state with laws protecting reproductive rights.

New Title IX Rules Offer ‘Comprehensive Coverage’ for LGBTQ+ Students and Sexual Violence Survivors

Advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and sexual violence survivors are largely applauding the Department of Education’s newly released federal regulations to protect the rights of these groups in schools, though they also expressed reservations about the lack of clear protections for transgender athletes. Unveiled on Friday, the final rule under Title IX includes provisions that strengthen the rights of sexual violence survivors during investigations and of LGBTQ+ individuals to experience school in a way that aligns with their gender identity. Title IX is a historic civil rights law preventing federally funded academic institutions from practicing sex discrimination. 

“We are glad that the Biden administration finally fulfilled its promise to student survivors to return Title IX to its original intent of protecting their civil rights in the aftermath of sexual violence.”

When It Comes to Abortion Bans, ‘Life of the Mother’ Exceptions Are a Lie

This Wednesday, Idaho will attempt to defend its extreme abortion ban at the Supreme Court. Like many other abortion bans in the United States, the Idaho law contains a so-called life exception, which purports to allow an abortion when “necessary to prevent the death” of the pregnant person.

But do these exceptions actually preserve the lives of patients in practice? As Mayron Hollis, Amanda Zurawski, the family of Yeniifer Alvarez-Estrada Glick, and countless other women can attest, the answer is no. And the truth is, they’re not designed to.