Anti-Abortion Extremists Are Diverting Tax Dollars to Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Anti-abortion politicians are siphoning public dollars meant for low-income mothers and their children to fund anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) that coerce poor women and teens seeking an abortion to give birth, further condemning them to long-term economic hardship. Being denied a wanted abortion is a proven predictor of maternal and child poverty.

As the Biden administration advances a proposal to prohibit CPCs from future access to these federal funds, the anti-abortion movement is pushing back in force, claiming CPCs save taxpayer dollars and provide vital healthcare and safety net services to poor families. A first-time analysis of the CPC industry’s own reporting wholly contradicts these claims.

Virginia Becomes the First State in the South to End Child Marriage

Virginia became the 12th U.S. state and first in the South to end child marriage last week, after Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) signed HB 994 into law. The law completely ends child marriage in the state by establishing a minimum marriage age of 18 without exceptions and removes a legal loophole that previously allowed emancipated minors to marry in Virginia. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2024.

Child marriage has been shown to result in increased risk of future poverty, particularly for teen moms, as well as greater vulnerability to sexual and domestic violence, human trafficking, coercive control, financial abuse, homelessness and mental illness.

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.

Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors Means Protecting Their Options

We can and must aspire to a future in which domestic violence survivors have options beyond the civil and criminal legal systems. But in the meantime, our government leaders must protect the options that do exist.

Those existing options are largely funded by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) which, since its inception in 1984, has supported survivors all over the country by funding services that assist with shelter and housing access, legal representation, counseling and more via the Crime Victims Fund. But with those funds declining over time, so has available VOCA funding. And while the U.S. Department of Justice is working on a solution to this problem, any action they take won’t restart that crucial funding flow to individual states for years.

A Thousand Little Moments: The Insidious Loss of Women’s Freedom to Christian Nationalism

Leaving a toxic marriage also meant temporarily abandoning my dream of motherhood. I grieve the loss of the future I imagined. Perhaps one day, I will have my own baby who will know how much she was wanted and loved. That dream is deferred. But the dream is altogether shattered for many women, in the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are considered children. Republicans cannot ignore their role in this devastating turn.

Women are losing both the right to end unwanted or dangerous pregnancies and the right to become pregnant. The common factor is the loss of women’s choice. If our country’s concept of family stability relies on depriving women of their choices, we do not have stable families; we have prisoners.

Keeping Score: Trump Ordered to Pay $450 Million; OB-GYNs Avoid Abortion Ban States; Young Women Lean to Political Left, While Men Veer Right

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: Trump must pay $450 million; OB-GYNs are avoiding states with abortion bans and 93 percent say they or a colleague have been unable to follow standards of care because of bans; new data on women in the workforce; harmful sex ed and anti-trans state bills introduced; postpartum Medicaid coverage; the political gender gap is growing; Missouri Republicans block amendments to add incest and rape exceptions to their abortion ban, claiming, “God does not make mistakes”; Beyoncé becomes the first Black female artist to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart; and more.

Who Runs the World? Women Mayors.

As St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones told Ms., “Men run for office to be somebody; women run to do something.”

More and more, women serving as mayors are part of the feminist frontline for advancing equal rights and are leaders on issues of concern to women voters. 

As seen throughout history, women mayors focus on feminist issues that many tend to overlook. Let’s bring intersectional issues to the forefront, and elect more women mayors to push forward our agenda.

Legislators Should Protect Domestic Violence Survivors Like Me

These words are being written from inside Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, Oklahoma. We are nearly one month into 2024 and I’m nearing the end of my 26th year of incarceration. Why are so many domestic violence survivors like me locked up in America? After all, I’m far from alone. 

For years, my ex-fiancé raped, choked, beat and stalked me. On numerous occasions, he even threatened to kill me and my son. People have asked me over the years, “Why didn’t you just leave?” How I wish it were that easy.

Murder-Suicides Are an Urgent Domestic Violence and Gun Control Issue

Theresa Cachuela, known as “Bunny Bontiti” to her more than 20,000 Instagram followers, was fatally shot on Dec. 22 in a murder-suicide committed by her husband, as her young daughter looked on, just days after a judge granted Cachuela a restraining order against him. Cachuela is one of hundreds of murder-suicide victims each year.

Highlighting the connection between guns and domestic violence is crucial, with the Supreme Court currently considering the case of United States v. Rahimi, a Second Amendment challenge to the government’s right to ban gun permits for those subject to domestic violence restraining orders.

The Next Battlefront in the War Against Women: Fighting for Congress to Fully Fund WIC

Leaders in Congress agreed on a topline figure to fund the government for the next fiscal year. But it is certainly no cause for celebration. The long-overdue agreement will continue most of last year’s levels, while providing enormous boosts for the Pentagon. With rising costs, last year’s funding levels are not enough for federal safety net programs to meet the needs of struggling Americans. Simply put, more people need more help and they will not get it. This is particularly true among single mothers—40 percent of whom needlessly struggle with food insecurity.

It’s all part of Republicans’ plan to both restrict abortion access and cut nutrition assistance from low-income mothers, infants and young children—creating a new wave of the feminization of poverty.