Will My Period Tracking App Betray Me? Menstrual Surveillance in a Post-Roe World

Menstrual data and period tracking has already become a lucrative industry for apps. Selling private and personal reproductive health data to companies has created income many fertility apps.

The availability of this data already poses a unique threat to the lives of all people with uteruses, but in a world without Roe the risk of this data becoming a weapon for the anti-abortion movement. They have been known to use such data to influence decision making and reproductive choices. In order to keep this vital data out of their hands action needs to be taken to provide protection and safe alternatives for menstruators.

Women’s Rights and Democracy Are Inextricably Linked

Last fall, America was featured for the first time on a list of backsliding democracies. With inadequate progress in women’s participation in government, reproductive rights, and maternal mortality, this title may reflect recent attacks on gender equality. Amer­ica’s long­stand­ing and abysmal record on myriad gender equity mark­ers has been the true harbinger for our down­graded democracy status.

The Period Project: Menstrual Equity in Schools

In the last of our three-part series on menstrual equity, highlighting our Period Project research study and forthcoming Period Project Report Cards, we report on schooling and access to menstrual products.

Within the last five years, over a dozen states passed laws to require that menstrual products be made available free of charge in at least some schools—up from zero. State laws requiring access to menstrual products free of charge represent a crucial component of ending period poverty and achieving menstrual equity.  

The Period Project: The Fight for Menstrual Equity in Prisons

Although only 5 percent of the world’s female population lived in the United States, it accounts for nearly 30 percent of the world’s incarcerated women. Inadequate and inaccessible menstrual products remain a pervasive issue in the U.S. carceral system. Our research shows few states have taken action to address the issue and enforcement lags behind laws that mandate access to menstrual supplies.

(This is the second article in a three-part series on the Period Project, which examines the scope and consequences of period poverty and assesses state progress toward achieving menstrual equity through legislation.)

The Period Project: Period Poverty and the Fight for Menstrual Equity

Access to affordable menstrual products remains a persistent issue. That’s why we’re launching the Period Project—which uses original research to develop “Period Project Report Cards,” assigning each state and the District of Columbia a grade on an A–F scale to evaluate their progress toward menstrual equity.

(This article is the first in a three-part series introducing the Period Project, which examines the scope and consequences of period poverty and assesses state progress toward achieving menstrual equity through legislation.)

Online Abortion Provider Christie Pitney of Forward Midwifery: “Fast, Convenient Care”

As we await the fate of Roe v. Wade, Ms.’s “Online Abortion Provider” series will spotlight the wide range of new telemedicine abortion providers springing up across the country in response to the recent removal of longstanding FDA restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone.

“Abortion and all sexual and reproductive healthcare is just healthcare,” said Christie Pitney, an advanced practice midwife with Forward Midwifery serving patients in California, Colorado, Oregon and Massachusetts. “It should be accessible without having to jump through all of these hoops.”

U.S. Backslide on Abortion Rights Is a Grave Danger to Democracy, Say Both Reproductive Rights Experts and Legal Analysts

Saturday, Jan. 22, marked Roe v. Wade’s 49th anniversary—and it very well may be its last. 

On Friday, Jan. 21, experts on democracy and elections from the Brennan Center and Ms. discussed the implications of the Texas abortion law S.B. 8 and the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that directly challenges the precedent of Roe.

Sponsored by Ms. and the Gender and Policy Center at George Mason University’s Schar School, the rousing discussion set the stage for how the U.S. got to this point, and outlined where we go from here.

Keeping Score: NYC’s First Women-Majority Council Takes Office; Only 55% of Non-Parents Want Kids Someday; D.C. Students Get Free Period Products

This week: Nebraskans face one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation; New York City’s first women-majority city council takes office; Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers sentenced to life in prison; D.C. Council approved free menstrual products in all schools; the gender gap in higher education widens; and more.

Michigan Lawmakers End the Tampon Tax: The Case for Bipartisan Period Legislation

Michigan has officially made menstrual products exempt from tax, joining several other states who have voided the tampon tax that disproportionately affects menstruators in many ways. What is unique to Michigan’s recent legislation is the bipartisan efforts made to have successful period legislation.

Michigan’s case is important and the bipartisan work can be seen as guidance for the future of the menstrual movement as challenges lay ahead.