Alopecia Isn’t a ‘Cosmetic Issue’—It’s a Serious Autoimmune Disease

It took bravery for Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Jada Pinkett Smith to reveal their alopecia and rock a shaved head. The two revived the national conversation around alopecia—an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its healthy hair follicles.

“To be bald as a woman really does disrupt conventional and societal norms of what is appropriate, what is professional, what is attractive, what is feminine,” said Pressley.

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. 

In Swing State of Arizona, a Near-Total Abortion Ban From 1864 Takes Effect

On Saturday in Arizona, a 15-week abortion ban—signed into law on July 6 by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey—was set to take effect. But before it could, a late Friday ruling from Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson green-lighted an anti-abortion law from 1864 that supersedes all other bans, outlawing almost all abortions in the state and penalizing abortion providers who provide the service with two to five years in prison. Abortion is now effectively illegal in the state, making it the 15th U.S. state currently enforcing extreme or total bans on abortion.

There’s a little over a month until the midterm elections, and Arizona is a battleground for federal and state elections. Democrats see the extreme law as an opportunity to mobilize voters.

Keeping Score: Religious Employers Can Exclude PrEP From Health Insurance Coverage; 650 U.S. Locations Replace Anti-Indigenous Names

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: President Biden orders that abortion care be provided when necessary in the Veterans Health Administration; federal judge rules that religious employers don’t need to include HIV prevention drug PrEP in health insurance coverage; New Mexico to built $10 million abortion clinic near its Texas border; 650 U.S. locations change names with anti-Indigenous roots; South Carolina House passes abortion ban; Minnesota sees the U.S.’s largest-ever strike of private-sector nurses; and more.

Black Women and Their Labor Are Still Underpaid and Undervalued

For every dollar a white man makes, a Black woman earns 63 cents.

Along with severe wage inequality, Black women continue to be disproportionately overrepresented in low-paying, service-oriented jobs. More than one-third of the essential workers—many of them the people who have powered our country throughout the pandemic—are Black women. COVID-19, inflation and stagnant wages have laid bare how necessary it is for our elected representatives to act by voting to increase the minimum wage and creating a robust paid family and medical leave package accessible to all.

Ms. Global: Scotland Eliminates Period Product Fees; Poland’s Pride March; Nonbinary Joan of Arc Debuts at Globe Theatre

Ms. has always understood: Feminist movements around the world hold answers to some of the U.S.’s most intractable problems. Ms.. Global is taking note of feminists worldwide.

This week: Scotland paves way for period poverty movement; volunteers provide menstrual products in Pakistan, amid floods; Pride marches in Poland; Spain passes “yes means yes” consent law; and more.

New California Law Protects Digital Privacy of Abortion Seekers Nationwide

Last week the California legislature passed a bill providing groundbreaking digital privacy protections for abortion-related communications sent through California tech companies. Assembly Bill 1242, introduced by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), bars telecommunications companies in California from providing records of digital communications related to abortion to law enforcement officials.

“California continues to provide a blueprint for what is possible when policy centers people, equity, science and medicine; and trusts each person to make the best decisions for themselves and their family about their healthcare options.”

Michigan Judge Rules Abortion Ban Violates Women’s Equal Rights, Bodily Integrity and Dignity

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher ruled last week that the state’s 1931 abortion ban violates the Michigan Constitution.

In a forceful, 39-page order permanently blocking the law, Gleicher ruled that the abortion ban violated both the due process and equal protection clauses of the state Constitution. She rejected Republicans’ argument that pregnancy is not an intrusion on women’s bodies: “Bodily autonomy is inherent to human dignity” and “eliminating abortion access will force pregnant women to forgo control of the integrity of their own bodies.”

Dark Money Anti-Abortion Groups Peddle the Absurd Idea That a Post-Roe World Empowers Women

Right-wing dark money groups are peddling the notion that abortion access “harms” women and, even more outlandish, that the Dobbs decision overturning Roe “empowers” them. This position essentializes women by suggesting their value is centered around motherhood. It also uses pseudo-feminist claims to detract from the very real dangers a post-Roe landscape presents for people and the myriad ways abortion access has helped advance gender equality in the U.S. in the last five decades. 

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.