How Does Your State Rank on Women’s Health and Reproductive Care?

A new state-by-state women’s health scorecard released this week by the Commonwealth Fund reveals mounting disparities in women’s health and reproductive care across the U.S.

Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island top the rankings for the scorecard, which is based on 32 measures of healthcare access, quality and health outcomes. The lowest performers were Mississippi, Texas, Nevada and Oklahoma.

The findings raise concerns over the state of women’s healthcare and the ripple effects of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has significantly altered access to critical reproductive health care services.

Busting Five Myths About Birth Control

Debunking myths about birth control is not just a matter of correcting misinformation; it is crucial for empowering individuals to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. 

Let’s explore some myths about contraception that the young people in your life may have seen online—including that it may make you infertile (not true!) and can cause cancer (quite the opposite!).

Keeping Score: Right-Wing Activists Spread Disinformation on Birth Control; Larry Nassar’s Survivors Reach $138.7 Million Settlement; Breast Cancer Screenings Should Start at Age 40

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 this biweekly roundup.

This week: the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on emergency abortion care and criminalizing homelessness; new EEOC and Title IX regulations protect sexual violence survivors, pregnant people and the LGBTQ community; Arizona repealed their 1864 abortion ban, while Florida now has a six-week ban; birth control misinformation goes viral on TikTok; the United Methodist Church repealed their ban on LGBTQ clergy; the chilling effects of the global gag rule; three in five Americans support a national law protecting access to medication abortion; and more.

From Rachel Carson to Wangari Maathai—Meet the Women Who Ignited Environmental Movements

The environmental and feminist movements have grown like stems and branches of a twisting vine or tree. Sometimes merging, sometimes growing apart. At times they have strengthened each other, yet at other times they have grown distant. Ultimately, they both address similar forces of oppression and exploitation. They share a common goal of dismantling the “status quo.” Their shared vision is the thriving of both women and nature. Climate change is not just an environmental crisis—it is a feminist crisis as well. 

Women Deserve Our ‘Menopause Moonshot.’ U.S. Policy Can Help.

Menopause is having its moment, so say daily news headlines. A new essay series in the medical journal The Lancet, published to coincide with International Women’s Day, argues all that hype—combined with “over-medicalization” and reliance on menopausal hormone therapy—harms women by framing menopause as a disease. But, in fact, the real disservice to women is the lack of consideration of menopause in the halls of government.

If we truly want to rise to the so-called moment for menopause, here is a policy agenda that can best serve us.

An Open Letter to Women’s Magazine Editors: It’s Time to Save Reproductive Rights

Right-wing politicians like Ron DeSantis are ranting about the “woke” media, yet most women’s sites today stick to “traditional” female topics: beauty, shopping, fashion, shopping, relationship issues and more shopping.

Perusing the happy headlines featured on women’s media sites, their readers would have no idea that abortion bans have demolished the rights of women in 21 states, nor that the maternal mortality rate has spiked in those states. Are women’s digital media site editors living in a Barbieland bubble?

Remembering My Mother: Susan Catania, Champion of the ERA

Late last year, my mother Susan Catania—former Illinois state legislator, a relentless advocate for the ERA and a fearless champion of critical but politically unpopular causes—died.

Beholden to no one and with nothing to lose, she was known for her willingness to take unpopular stances. She introduced gay rights legislation, championed gun control and was the first Illinois legislator to sponsor the Freedom of Information Act. She passed income tax reform, a compensation plan for crime victims and legislation that led Illinois to become the first state to designate a state holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 50 of her bills became law. But the fight that defined her career was the Equal Rights Amendment; she even became the ERA’s primary sponsor in Illinois.

Rest in Power: Sandra Day O’Connor, the First Woman on the Supreme Court

One hundred and ninety-one years after the first Supreme Court was convened, Sandra Day O’Connor smashed the glass ceiling and was sworn in as the first woman to become an associate justice and one of the most influential members in the history of the Court.

For 12 years, she was the only women on the bench and the most powerful woman in the United States. At the time, the entire institution was designed for and by men—from the signs on the walls harking to “Mr. Justice,” to the lack of bathrooms and other facilities closed off to women (though she later inaugurated and regularly attended an aerobics class for women law clerks).

Rest in Power: Dr. Susan Love, Surgeon and Fearless Advocate for Breast Cancer Patients

Dr. Susan Love died on July 2, 2023, after a long struggle with leukemia. Love was a founder of National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) and a true advocate for patients.

Knowing that ending breast cancer requires advocate voices and action, Susan Love was part of a small group of women who came together in 1991 to form NBCC. Through the strength of her charisma, brilliance and firm belief in women’s power, she helped unite activists, survivors, researchers, policymakers and grassroots and national organizations to work together toward ending the disease for everyone.