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. 

Will SCOTUS Allow Pregnant Women to Die? Survivors Share ‘Dobbs’-Related Near-Death Experiences with the Court

On April 24, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases, Idaho v. United States  and Moyle v. United States, about whether states can prohibit doctors from treating women with life-threatening pregnancies until a patient’s condition deteriorates to the point where they are about to die.

Reproductive rights and legal advocates are collecting stories from over 100 women who almost died—and at least one who did—after being denied emergency abortion care.

Final ‘Pregnant Workers Fairness Act’ Regulations Were Released—And It’s Great News for Women

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its final regulations implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The landmark statute mandating “reasonable accommodation” of workers’ pregnancy-related needs went into effect last summer, but the regulations explain the PWFA’s protections in more detail, providing additional guidance to workers, employers, and the courts so that the full force of the law is given effect. 

Would the O.J. Simpson Trial Be Different Today?

At the time of the original O.J. Simpson trial, many feminists were horrified that a woman who was stalked, beaten and raped by one man, and who asked for help many times, was then brutally murdered—and that in the trial, she should have gotten her justice, but it was instead turned into a carnival in which Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman were mere sideshows.

Many of the dynamics at play in the Simpson trial have not changed as much as one would hope—including deep racism in policing and criminal justice, a resulting deep skepticism that the system is fair, and a related impulse to filter facts and information through the lens of identity first and reality second.

The Florida Supreme Court Didn’t Just Uphold a Six-Week Ban—It Denied Women Their Constitutional Privacy

Adopted by Florida voters in 1980, Article 23 of Florida’s Constitution states: “Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life except as otherwise provided herein.” 

By compelling a woman to continue her pregnancy, Florida denies women exactly the kind of privacy it says its Constitution protects. 

Meet the Republican Attorneys General Wreaking Havoc on Abortion Access 

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is a veritable legal army of far-right attorneys general. RAGA-member AGs have been especially active in pushing for and enforcing oppressive abortion bans, and are working to fulfill anti-abortion power broker Leonard Leo’s extreme agenda.

Several attorneys general have been especially active in attempting to impose their personal beliefs about abortion on all Americans: Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch.

Why the ERA Is Needed—Even With the 14th Amendment

For years, critics have claimed that women don’t need the Equal Rights Amendment because the Supreme Court has secured women’s rights under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. 

At the time it was ratified in the 19th century, no one thought that the 14th Amendment protected women; its purpose was to end slavery. Thanks to pioneering lawsuits by Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 1970s, women did gain a measure of equal rights under the 14th Amendment, but lawyers know that those victories were limited.

(This essay is part of “The ERA Is Essential to Democracy” Women & Democracy collection.)

So Who Gets the Kids? Divorce in the Age of Equal Parenting

The Alice Hector–Robert Young divorce case epitomizes the impact of gendered parenting stereotypes held in custody cases. Is there a side feminists should take?

(For more ground-breaking stories like this, order 50 YEARS OF Ms.: THE BEST OF THE PATHFINDING MAGAZINE THAT IGNITED A REVOLUTION, Alfred A. Knopf—a collection of the most audacious, norm-breaking coverage Ms. has published.)

Supreme Court to Hear Two Key Cases on Abortion Access

Rather than being done with the issue of abortion, the Supreme Court has taken up two cases this term that could have further disastrous effects on abortion access. One case could lead to limits on access to one of the two drugs used for medication abortion, and the other could allow states to ban emergency abortion care to save a patient’s life.

Decisions in both cases would have effects nationwide—illustrating the chaos and confusion that the Dobbs decision has created for providers and patients.