Enforcing Criminal Abortion Bans Post-Roe: ‘A Massive Escalation of Surveillance’

Anti-abortion governments and private entities are already using cutting-edge digital technologies to surveil women’s search history, location data, messages, online purchases and social media activities by using geofencing, keyword warrants, big data and more.

“Every aspect of pregnant people’s digital lives will be put under the microscope, examined for any hints that they sought (successfully or otherwise) to end their pregnancy.”

Bipartisan Group Urges Reconsideration of Melissa Lucio’s Death Sentence

The state of Texas plans to put Melissa Lucio to death by lethal injection on Wednesday, April 27, which would make her the sixth woman executed in the U.S. in the last decade and the first Hispanic woman in Texas history.

But new evidence of Lucio’s interrogation reveals how unlikely it is that she is guilty—which is why a bipartisan group of Texas state lawmakers is asking authorities to reconsider the scheduled execution. They join hundreds of other Texans—including 225 anti-domestic violence groups, 130 faith leaders and 30 Latino organizations—in urging the Board of Pardons and Paroles and Governor Abbott to grant Lucio a reprieve.

Woman Arrested for Abortion in Texas, Held on Half-Million-Dollar Bond: ‘This Arrest Is Inhumane’

On Thursday, April 7, Texas police arrested a woman and charged her with murder for allegedly self-inducing an abortion using pills. The woman, 26-year old Lizelle Herrera who lives near the Texas-Mexico border, is being held in Starr County jail on a $500,000 bond.

The murder charge is an extreme and unprecedented misuse of Texas law that is in direct conflict with the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Texas does not have a law that makes self-inducing an abortion a crime (three states do—Oklahoma, South Carolina and Nevada). Two recent laws restricting abortion in the state—Senate Bill 8 and Senate Bill 4—explicitly exempt pregnant women.

The Power of Women in Iran, Standing Up to the Morality Police

I was 16, on a trip to visit my family in Iran, when I was stopped and arrested by two morality guards. They plucked me off the street, loaded me into their car, and took me to the local station. My crime? I had my hair uncovered, showing it to their male gaze.

I still remember the searing mix of emotions that is familiar to millions of Iranian women who are arrested every year for this “offense.” But now, through social media, mobile apps, weblogs and websites, a growing movement of Iranian women are actively participating in public discourse and exercising their civil rights on the internet, which the patriarchal and misogynistic government has not yet figured out how to completely censor and control.

The Feminist Peace Initiative Urges Intersectional Feminist Principles in U.S. Foreign Policy

The Feminist Peace Initiative, co-founded by MADRE, Women Cross DMZ and the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, challenges and reimagines a U.S. foreign policy in the interests of all people and the planet.

“The conditions people flee—economic, violence—are push factors often created by U.S. policies, and exacerbated by the climate catastrophe, a result of corporate extraction or militarized pollution.”

Unanswered Calls: When Domestic Violence Is Seen as a “Nuisance”

Nuisance laws fine and evict people when too many 911 calls are made to a specific address. They are often enforced against victims of intimate partner violence who call 911 for protection from their abusers.

This denies women and other victims of domestic abuse one of the most fundamental rights of citizenship—the right to freedom from unwarranted injury at the hands of fellow citizens.

Rest in Power: Penny Harrington, Criminal Justice Reformer and the First Woman to Lead a Police Department in a Major U.S. City

Penny Harrington—the chief of the Portland, Oregon Police Bureau in the mid-’80s and the first woman to lead a major U.S. city’s police department—died at her home in Morro Bay, Calif., on September 15, 2021, at the age of 79.
Harrington became a police officer in 1964 in Portland and headed the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Center for Women and Policing at its founding in 1995. Harrington served in Portland in the Women’s Protective Division and began to challenge discriminatory policies after a few years in the force. She became chief of police in 1985 and was the first woman in America to lead a police department in a major city.

Reforming Law Enforcement Training Could Reduce The High Rate of Sexual Assault Case Attrition

Washington state has started addressing the imperative of sexual assault case attrition in a very unique way. Its first-in-the nation sexual assault case review program should become a national best practice for any jurisdiction that wants to reform the criminal justice system’s response to sexual assault survivors and sexual assault cases. 

Keeping Score: Olympics Ban Swim Caps Made for Black Hair; Abortion Restrictions Reach Record High in 2021; Biden Administration Boasts Narrowest Pay Gap in History

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 in this biweekly round-up.

This week: abortion restrictions skyrocket in 2021; Olympic policies disproportionately target Black women; Supreme Court rules in favor of free speech and gender expression; state legislatures endanger voting rights; and more.

Building a Future Without Youth Incarceration: “These Four Walls Aren’t the Answer”

The #NoKidsinPrison digital experience is one initiative working to reimagine a future without children behind bars. The interactive website—launched by a partnership with No Kids in Prison, Youth First and the Columbia Justice Lab—takes viewers through the history of youth incarceration, the immediate experiences of children who were incarcerated, and current youth activist efforts.