The Terrifying Global Reach of the American Anti-Abortion Movement

When performed properly, abortion is considered extremely safe. But nearly half—45 percent—of the 73 million abortions performed worldwide each year are unsafe.

One big reason: American anti-abortion policies.

For decades, the U.S. has used the power of the purse to force poorer nations to abide by the anti-abortion values of American conservatives or forgo aid for family planning and other healthcare—giving women around the globe no alternative but to seek backstreet abortions that send some to emergency rooms and others to their graves.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: The Fair Representation Act Can Improve U.S. Elections; Mexico May Get Its First Jewish President

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: the reintroduction of the Fair Representation Act, which would help solve the problems of partisan gerrymandering and uncompetitive elections for U.S. House; rest in power, Dorie Ann Ladner, a prominent figure in the civil rights movement; women’s representation in Florida’s state legislature has crossed 40 percent; as the presidential race in Mexico continues, Claudia Sheinbaum, a physicist of Jewish descent, holds a significant lead over her closest rival, Xóchitl Gálvez; a missed opportunity to increase women’s representation in Philadelphia; and more.

Mexico Is for Mujeres: The Next Mexican President Will Be a Woman

Mexico’s women-led presidential race does not reveal a feminist utopia—but it does signal progress and possibility.

In a country where women—especially Indigenous women—struggle to survive, Xóchitl Gálvez and Claudia Sheinbaum studied science, shaped policy and crafted resumes worthy of presidential bids. One of them will surely shatter Mexico’s glass ceiling.

(This article originally appears in the Winter 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Compassion, Not Rejection, Will Do Something About the Border

For months now, the words “we must do something about the border” have been thrown about in the United States—as though the border were a leaky roof or broken window that could be quickly repaired and made new again. Listen closely, however, and it becomes apparent that many politicians mean something different altogether. To them, “doing something about the border” means preventing people from accessing border crossings and preventing them from obtaining asylum or other legal means of entry.

The impact on those real people easily gets lost in budget talks and political squabbling. Understanding who is coming to the border can help us make better decisions about what actually needs to be done to create a functioning migration system.

Marco Flores Deserves to Stay in the U.S.: A Feminist Argument Against Deportation

Marco Flores and his mother migrated to the U.S. from El Salvador for a better future. When Marco was 9, a neighbor began sexually abusing him, which continued until Marco was 14. Eventually, Marco’s mother told him the neighbor would soon be moving into their home to babysit his 6-year-old nephew. Convinced that this was the only way to protect his nephew from the abuse he had endured, teenage Marco murdered Jaime Galdamez. Marco accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Now in his early 30s, Marco has served his time and is set to be released—and immediately deported back to El Salvador. Two lawyers are fighting for him to remain. A feminist understanding of immigration ethics offers a better understanding of the moral challenge in question—underscoring why Marco Flores deserves to remain in the United States.

The White House Cannot Back Away From Asylum Protection

With only a few days remaining before the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to adjourn for the winter break, the White House has signaled that it is willing to trade asylum protections and other immigration concessions to secure its foreign aid package. The reaction to this news has unleashed a torrent of criticism from human rights and immigration groups, but this is a moment that requires outcry from the broader public. 

Time and again, important policies and decisions are derailed by a small group of Republican legislators who exercise far more control over the future of our country than should be tolerated. In this case, the stakes are so high that the Biden administration appears to be willing to agree to Trump-era policies for managing the border in exchange for aid to Ukraine, Israel, and other sensitive foreign policy objectives. 

Access to Asylum Can’t be Treated as a Bargaining Chip in the Foreign Aid Debate

The Senate is feverishly debating the president’s $106 billion supplemental budget, which includes requests for additional aid to Ukraine and Israel, measures to counter China’s influence, significant humanitarian assistance funds, and border security. 

Republican negotiators have chosen to use the urgency of the foreign aid requests to squeeze concessions from the administration and Democratic senators around the asylum process itself.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Laphonza Butler Fills Sen. Feinstein’s Seat; Will Burlington Get its First Woman Mayor?

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Three women are running to become Burlington’s first woman mayor; the slow progress to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment; how racism has shaped the composition of Brazil’s judicial branch; the pioneering shift taken by the Irish government that will impact gender parity in sports; and more.

Mexican Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion Nationwide, Requires Federal Health Services to Offer Abortion

The Mexican Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, Sept. 6, that national laws prohibiting abortion are unconstitutional and violate women’s rights. The sweeping decision entirely removed abortion from the federal penal code. The ruling also required the federal public health service and all federal health institutions to offer abortion to anyone who requests it. In a statement, Mexico’s Supreme Court said the “criminalization of abortion constitutes an act of gender-based violence and discrimination, as it perpetuates the stereotype that women and people with the capacity to get pregnant can only freely exercise their sexuality to procreate and reinforces the gender role that imposes motherhood as a compulsory destiny.”

The increased access to abortion in Mexico stands in stark contrast to decreasing access in the United States, where 14 states now ban abortion entirely and another eight states ban abortion early in pregnancy.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Women’s World Cup Becomes Battleground for Gender Equality; Ranked-Choice Voting Comes to Boulder, Colo.

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Anti-abortion Republican women lawmakers hope supporting legislation to expand access to birth control will provide them with political cover from abortion bans; feminism and the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia; the modern fight for the ERA; “A womanless history no more”; and more.