A Nation Without the Hyde Amendment Will Be Safer and More Humane for All of Us

On Sept. 30, 1976, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Hyde Amendment, which barred federal funds from covering abortions with the narrowest exceptions for rape, incest or threats to a patient’s life. As soon as Hyde went into effect, the number of Medicaid-covered abortions in the United States dropped from 300,000 to just a few thousand. 

Abortion, like all healthcare, should be a human right—not merely a benefit of select insurance plans. 

Keeping Score: ‘Justice Has Been a Long Time Coming’

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: Former police detective pleads guilty more than two years after the murder of Breonna Taylor; Kansas voters choose to maintain reproductive freedom; Spain passes “yes means yes” law to protect consent; new COVID-19 boosters available to protect against omicron variants; the FTC sues data broker for revealing sensitive location information; and more.

Vetoing Investments in Care Work, Republicans Again Fail to Pay and Respect Women

Just when women of all ages were feeling kicked in the teeth, Senate Republicans (84 percent of them men) actively lobbied against including investment in caregivers or care recipients in the new congressional spending bill.

The whole point of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was to help families deal with rising costs. Evidently, Republicans forgot that one of the most worrisome financial stressors in nearly every American family is care services: childcare, care for those with disabilities, elder care.

COVID Revealed the U.S.’s Long-Time Misogyny and Lack of Respect for Teachers

Early on in the pandemic, when little was known about the virus and no vaccine yet existed to thwart it, some “essential workers”—those in healthcare—received applause daily for their heroic efforts to staunch the bleeding. But one group, made up primarily of women, was on the receiving end of bitter acrimony and blame for allegedly aggravating the problems caused by the pandemic: teachers.

Those who work in education were blamed for failing to do what other essential workers were doing and stay on the job, no matter the personal cost.

Black and Brown Moms Urge Breastfeeding Support

We begin another National Breastfeeding Month without the basic workplace breastfeeding protections and support everyone deserves.

The U.S. does not guarantee all nursing moms working outside the home with time and private space to pump. Without these protections, moms will continue pumping in bathrooms, coatrooms, cafeterias, cars and closets—or stop breastfeeding altogether.

Safe Haven Laws Were Never Supposed to Be an Alternative to Abortion

The case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has thrust safe haven laws back into the public spotlight. Safe haven laws ignore the very real risks and burdens associated with pregnancy and childbirth, particularly for vulnerable communities, and were never intended to be a literal alternative to abortion.

These laws ignore the very real risks and burdens associated with pregnancy and childbirth, particularly for vulnerable communities. They also represent an abandonment of “troubled young women” by “deciding that their deep-rooted problems can be saved by an after-the-fact, quick-fix solution.”

The Inflation Reduction Act Is a Much-Needed Win for Women

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law on Tuesday by President Biden, will benefit women for years to come.

The new law will limit the amount Medicare recipients have to pay out of pocket for drugs to $2,000 annually—a major benefit for older women, because they’re the majority of older Americans. The bill also empowers the Health and Human Services Secretary to negotiate prices for drugs covered under Medicare, and punish pharmaceutical companies that don’t play by the rules. Younger women below Medicare age will also benefit from other provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, like subsidies that cover medical insurance premiums.