‘A Virtual Abortion Doula in Your Pocket’: Aya Contigo Helps Latinas Find Abortion Care

U.S. abortion bans impact 6.7 million Latinas in the United States—the largest group of women of color impacted by these bans. Many lack insurance, cannot travel and face language and cultural barriers to reproductive healthcare. 

To address these barriers, two Canadian physicians—Dr. Roopan Gill and Dr. Genevieve Tam—co-created Aya Contigo, an app with an embedded live virtual chat to help people access contraception and abortion. Ms. spoke with Dr. Gill, an OB-GYN with advanced training in complex family planning about her work with Vitala Global and Aya Contigo.

Louisiana’s Criminalization of Abortion Care Demands We Embrace Reproductive Justice

On Tuesday, the Louisiana House passed legislation criminalizing two drugs commonly used for abortion care: mifepristone and misoprostol. The bill received final legislative passage Thursday, and the governor is expected to sign it into law any day now. Instead of working to address the maternal mortality crisis, the infant mortality crisis or the climate crisis (and the list of crises goes on), Louisiana’s lawmakers are looking to lock up our neighbors for up to five years for possessing these life-saving drugs. The move is pigheaded, embarrassing and downright dangerous—but not surprising. 

When they’re using the same tools they used to wreak havoc on Black and brown communities for decades to criminalize anyone for simply possessing abortion care drugs, we know that our collective struggle transcends abortion rights alone.

Keeping Score: Abortion Bans Drive Away Young Workers; Far-Right Groups Mobilize to Suppress Voting Rights; Biden Has Confirmed 200+ Judges

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 this biweekly roundup.

This week: Young workers are avoiding states with abortion bans; 70 percent of likely voters support a ceasefire in Gaza; far-right groups are mobilizing to spread election conspiracies; potential new abortion restrictions in Louisiana; an update on Flint, Michigan; over 80 percent of men of color support abortion; Justice Samuel Alito is under fire for flying a “Stop the Steal” symbol; the Louisiana state legislature rejects a bill that would have allowed rape and incest victims aged 16 and younger to have an abortion and moves to add abortion pills to the list of controlled dangerous substances; and more.

When an Abortion Ban Is Not Enough: Louisiana Seeks to Add Abortion Pills to List of Controlled Dangerous Substances

In February, Texas attorney Mason Herring pleaded guilty to slipping abortion-inducing pills into his wife Catherine Herring’s drink without her knowledge or consent. She subsequently gave birth to a baby 10 weeks premature with significant developmental delays.

Catherine Herring’s brother, Thomas Pressly, a Republican state senator from Louisiana, drafted a bill in collaboration with Louisiana Right to Life which creates the new crime of “coerced abortion by means of fraud.” Although the bill was initially framed narrowly in terms of holding men such as Herring accountable for heinous behavior, Pressly makes clear that “throughout the process, I have been trying to determine what other steps I can take to control the rampant illegal distribution of abortion-inducing drugs that ended up hurting my sister.”

So Goes Reproductive Freedom, So Goes Democracy

When people consider what it means to be a democracy on the decline, plot points of the recent film Civil War come to mind: a U.S. president who disregards the Constitution to nab a third term. Crackdowns on dissent and the media. Leaders using the military to break up public demonstrations.

While that is, of course, representative of growing authoritarianism, recent history suggests that rollbacks on bodily autonomy and reproductive freedoms are also flashing red lights for would-be regimes. 

The Arizona Abortion Ban Case Shows What ‘Let the States Decide’ Really Means

The Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling that reinstated a draconian 1864 near-total abortion ban reveals the disingenuous nature of the “leave-it-to-the-states” positioning of some Republicans.

In response to the state Supreme Court’s decision, Democrats spearheaded legislation to repeal that law, which was recently signed by Gov. Katie Hobbs (D). However, leaving it to the states doesn’t always have such a rosy ending—and, indeed, this is not the end of efforts in Arizona or elsewhere by special interests trying to impose their regressive worldview on us all through law. A closer look into the Arizona abortion case and court that led to the reprise of this antiquated anti-abortion law reveals that some of the same anti-abortion zealots who played a central role in overturning Roe are also playing a role in revoking Arizonians’ access to abortion healthcare.

‘We Will Win’: Texas Abortion Funds Use Reproductive Justice to Guide Their Grassroots Activism

Texas abortion funds have been maneuvering complicated abortion restrictions for several years.

We interviewed representatives from the Frontera Fund, Texas Equal Access Fund (TEA Fund) and Jane’s Due Process (JDP) to learn how they have been navigating the increasingly challenging work of supporting abortion seekers in a state, home to 30 million residents, where abortions are completely inaccessible.

(This piece is the third in
a series of interviews with fund representatives across the U.S.)

Women’s Rights Are Essential to Democracy. Why Do Philanthropists Treat Investments in Women as a Special Interest?

In the last two months, the Supreme Court heard two case to limit nationwide access to abortion care. The chaotic state of play for abortion rights in the United States illustrates the consequences of failing to integrate efforts to strengthen democracy into strategies for advancing gender equity and vice versa.

For philanthropic leaders, the twin goals of strengthening democracy and advancing gender equity presents a compelling case for simultaneous investment. Divorcing gender justice from democracy is inconsistent ideologically, and it’s also irrational and unnecessarily expensive. To separate them is to delay success and pay for it many times over.