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.

In Afghanistan, Women Are Dying on the Way to the Hospital or Inside It

In the Taliban’s Afghanistan, it’s not uncommon for three women to share a hospital bed. Nor is it rare for premature babies to share incubators. Families often cannot afford a trip to the doctor to get help for women or children, and more women are dying on their way to the hospital from pregnancy complications because they need to travel hours or even days to get care.

“It’s a perfect storm: less access to healthcare, less access to reproductive choice, and a declining number of healthcare professionals,” Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch said.

It’s Time to Recognize Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Providers as Human Rights Defenders

“You need to stop this work. We know where your children go to school.”

Around the world, frontline reproductive healthcare workers are facing physical and verbal abuse, public shaming and humiliation, both in-person and online, harassment, legal threats, death threats, sexual assault and rapes—simply for doing their jobs. Yet, many of those who commit acts of violence against SRHR workers, or those who publicly incite antagonism, largely escape accountability for the consequences of their actions. Enough is enough.

Do Pregnant Women Have the Same Rights Under the Law as Everyone Else?

Feminists often say that abortion bans make women second-class citizens. And it’s true: Abortion bans strip from pregnant women the basic right to bodily autonomy, which other people enjoy. This is true for any abortion ban. But this concept—that banning abortion puts pregnant women in a different class from “regular” people—is particularly apparent in laws that do not allow for a full range of emergency care to preserve a pregnant woman’s health. These laws put fetal life ahead of maternal life, and render women little more than fetus-sustaining objects.

In the coming months, the same Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade will now be asked to answer the question: Are pregnant women full people under the law?

Punish, Torture, Kill: The Reality of Pregnancy in ‘Pro-Life’ America

In Ohio, a grand jury is deciding whether to charge Brittany Watts—a woman who went to the hospital twice for care when she was miscarrying, was sent home twice, and miscarried in her bathroom. She could face jail time for “abuse of a corpse,” because fetal parts were found clogged in her toilet. Watts’ case is a chilling preview of what could come: Miscarriage criminalized in myriad ways. And now, the Fifth Circuit is holding that emergency rooms do not have to provide life-saving abortions—further ensuring that women with dangerous miscarriages will simply be sent home and left to manage on their own.

At the heart of the ‘pro-life’ movement is the idea that women are put on this earth for subservience. And so this is the plan: Force women to carry pregnancies against their will.

Six Things You May Not Know About Abortion

After reading about Kate Cox’s unsuccessful efforts to obtain an abortion in Texas, I needed an outlet for my ire. I took to social media, where I found reprehensible comments about abortion on Threads. I responded to them. I schooled my interlocutors with facts and links to research. I dazzled them with my correct grammar. I received tens of likes.

You may be shocked to learn that I changed no one’s mind. I was nevertheless surprised by some people’s misconceptions about abortion—many of which appeared to be shared by pro- and anti-abortion individuals. In the spirit of clearing the cobwebs out of our collective discourse, here are a few facts about abortion that have not been widely reported—starting with the fact that most people who obtain abortion care in America report using contraception in the month in which they became pregnant.

Welcome to the New Jane Crow

The Supreme Court of Texas notched itself into a troubling tapestry of U.S. legal history when it overturned a district court ruling that allowed Kate Cox, a 31-year-old Texas woman, to end her nonviable pregnancy. The state is committed to forcing Cox to remain pregnant, against her will and medical recommendations.

Women in Texas are living in a new Jane Crow. 

Weaponizing the Law to Punish People for Miscarriage

A legal system that recognizes fetal personhood punishes people for their pregnancy outcomes and strips them of their rights in the name of protecting the fetus. One striking recent example comes from Texas, where the state Supreme Court recently ruled that Kate Cox could not have an emergency, life-saving abortion. And in October, an Ohio woman was charged with a felony after her miscarriage.

Miscarriage is normal. Subjecting people who have miscarriages to criminal punishment is needlessly cruel, counterproductive, and relies on a legal understanding that pregnant people are a lesser class of person.

The Trauma of Being Denied Abortion

Abortion does not harm women’s mental health: Ninety-five percent of women who had an abortion say it was the right decision for them five years later, according to the Turnaway Study, groundbreaking research that documented the outcomes for women who received and were denied an abortion.

“Our failure as a society to acknowledge the sacrifice that pregnant people make when they have a baby is misogyny, ignorance and misogyny,” said Diana Greene Foster, the study’s lead researcher.