Supreme Court’s Blow to Federal Agencies’ Power Will Likely Weaken Abortion Rights. Here Are Three Issues to Watch.

One of the Court’s most significant decisions of 2024 was Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo. In a reversal of 40 years of precedent, courts—not agencies—will have the last word on interpreting federal law.

In her Loper dissent, Justice Elena Kagan wrote: “In every sphere of current or future federal regulation, expect courts from now on to play a commanding role.” Kagan’s dissent raises the specter of judges across the country—not doctors or scientists or educators, nor even politicians, who at least must answer to the public—playing a “commanding role” in reproductive rights policy.

How Does Your State Rank on Women’s Health and Reproductive Care?

A new state-by-state women’s health scorecard released this week by the Commonwealth Fund reveals mounting disparities in women’s health and reproductive care across the U.S.

Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island top the rankings for the scorecard, which is based on 32 measures of healthcare access, quality and health outcomes. The lowest performers were Mississippi, Texas, Nevada and Oklahoma.

The findings raise concerns over the state of women’s healthcare and the ripple effects of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has significantly altered access to critical reproductive health care services.

The Complexities of Choice: An OB-GYN’s Perspective on Abortion and Autonomy

A personal narrative by Dr. Katherine Brown, an OB-GYN physician who provides comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion services. She reflects on the evolution of her understanding of her role as a physician, emphasizing the importance of humility and recognizing the expertise of her patients in making decisions about their own reproductive health. Dr. Brown criticizes political interference in abortion care, arguing that such decisions should be left to the individuals directly affected.

“Abortion can be relief but at the same time despair. Abortion can be the right decision, and at the same time feels like the only decision among a set of horrible decisions. What always remains true is the patient is the one who is the expert of their lives. No one can know what is right for them.”

Nursing Parents Still Have No Place to Pump at Work. Now They’re Suing.

A wave of lawsuits—including against major companies—is coming after the PUMP Act gave employees the right to sue over a lack of workplace accommodations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first year of a child’s life, a standard that is difficult to meet in the United States because postpartum workplace protections are very limited.

The Supreme Court Left the Door Open for Attacks on Emergency Medical Care

The Supreme Court handed down its decision on EMTALA last week and vacated the case. This conclusion—at least temporarily—protected a small sliver of the safety net that pregnant patients can count on for care. For the time being, this means that patients in need of emergency abortion care will no longer need to be airlifted out of Idaho, which has been happening since the start of 2024. You would think this decision would be comforting.

It is not.

Instead of doing what it should have done, which was affirm that pregnant people have the same protections as anyone else, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower courts and left the door open for other extremists to bring this argument again.

‘We Are Motivated, Yet No One Is Investing in Our Community’: AAPI Women and the 2024 Election

Asian American and Pacific Islander women have become a formidable force in influencing electoral outcomes in recent years. Although historically underrepresented in politics, the AAPI community is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, actively shaping the electoral landscape through increased voter turnout and civic engagement. These trends highlight the importance of the AAPI vote in November’s election, which can significantly sway political races in battleground states and uplift diverse voices and concerns.

Ms. spoke with Christine Chen, executive director and founder of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, and Sung Yeon Choimorrow, the executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, to discuss the issues that matter most to AAPI women—like the rising cost of living, access to reproductive healthcare and threats to democracy.

Stories From Appalachia: ‘I Was Born in Mexico, but I’m From McDowell. We Grew Up Here, and We’ll Stay Here.’

An oral history project five years in the making, Beginning Again: Stories of Movement and Migration in Appalachia brings together narratives of refugees, migrants and generations-long residents that explore complex journeys of resettlement.

Meet Cindy Sierra Morales: When she was 6 years old, Sierra Morales’ family migrated from Durango, Mexico, to Los Angeles, fleeing gang violence. After a short stay with family friends, Cindy’s family drove to Marion, N.C., where her aunt, uncle, cousins and older siblings already lived. Her parents held a variety of factory jobs, and Cindy started second grade just a few weeks after arriving. After living in the United States for 15 years, Cindy and her siblings were able to secure legal documentation through DACA.

Pregnant People Who Use Drugs Deserve Supportive Policies and Treatment, Not Punishment

It is an unarguable fact: Pregnant people use opioids and other drugs. The stigma and discrimination they face, including when seeking prenatal care, can lead to worse outcomes for them and their babies. 

Addiction is a medical issue, not a moral one, and persistent stigma is a continued barrier to care. We must roll back punitive policies and create non-stigmatizing medical environments that can support pregnant people who use drugs. I