Pearl Ricks: Race and Privilege are Major Gatekeepers to Abortion Care

The recent June Medical Services vs. Russo decision safeguarded the right to abortion access for vulnerable communities in Louisiana—but it was a small victory in the larger battle for abortion rights and access. Ms. talked to Pearl Ricks, Executive Director of the Reproductive Justice Action Collective, about the June Medical decision and the gatekeeping of abortion in the U.S.—and who it affects most.

“People in the South want to be able to access abortions—whether they ever get one in their lives or not. But who are the louder voices? Who are the ones most adamantly going out and voting?”

White Lens of Medicine: Lack of Diversity in Dermatology Hurts People of Color

By 2050, nearly half of Americans will belong to a minority group. Yet, diagnosis and treatment for skin conditions has been primarily based on knowledge of presenting symptoms on white skin. This problem impacts all non-white patients—but especially those with darker skin, as signs of skin disease and internal infection may be harder to distinguish.

“The narrative within textbooks needs to change.”

The Weekly Pulse, July 19-24: Repealing the Hyde Amendment, School Openings Up in the Air

For The Weekly Pulse (a revisit of an old Ms. column!), we’ve scoured the most trusted journalistic sources—and, of course, our Twitter feeds—to bring you this week’s most important news stories related to health and wellness.

In this edition of The Weekly Pulse, we start by running-down the most recent findings, wins and attacks to reproductive health—then bring you the good news and (unfortunately) the bad, concerning the pandemic.

How Trump’s “Makeshift” COVID-19 Response Worsened the Border Crisis

At the U.S.-Mexico border, COVID-19 has amplified and magnified fractured health care systems on both sides.

Considering the border region’s unique vulnerabilities and the need for close binational cooperation in meeting the border’s public health challenges, you’d think the U.S. government would support an agency it designed just for this purpose. But no. The Department of Health and Human Services dumped the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission (BHC) in 2017.

Progress Towards Contraceptive Access in the Philippines

Although reproductive rights are under attack around the world, there remain some bright spots for women’s reproductive rights and contraceptive access.

In the Philippines, since 2012, when reproductive rights and education were finally enshrined in law in this fiercely Catholic country, the government has committed to providing free family planning services to those living in poverty.

It’s Time to Require Masks

The coronavirus is raging across America like a wildfire, and we need a more consistent approach to mask-wearing to stand a chance at putting the fire out. Since some will not wear a mask on their own, we owe it to our essential workers—and everyone else—to require it.

It’s past time for CDC Director Robert Redfield to work up the nerve to deliver on his mission by requiring everyone to, in the words of Senator Marco Rubio, “Just wear a damn mask.”