Our Abortion Stories: “The Word ‘Freedom’ Is Hypocrisy When Women Lose the Right To Control Their Own Bodies”

On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned the longstanding precedents of Roe v. Wade, representing the largest blow to women’s constitutional rights in history. Ms.’s Our Abortion Stories series chronicles readers’ experiences of abortion pre- and post-Roe.

*Share your abortion story by emailing [email protected], and sign the petition.*

Biden Administration Releases Proposed Changes to Trump’s Anti-Survivor Title IX Rule: ‘An Important Step Towards Restoring Vital Protections for Students’

On June 23, the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the Biden administration proposed new rules on sexual harassment and assault, reversing the Trump administration’s 2020 rollback of survivors’ rights. The new rules restore the Obama administration’s broad definition of sexual harassment and require schools to take prompt and effective actions to end sexual assault and harassment. The proposed rules also extend discrimination protection to LGBTQ students and clarify protections for pregnant and parenting students.

Proposed Federal Law Prohibits Nonconsensual Condom Removal: ‘A Dangerous Form of Sexual Assault’

One in three women and one in five men have experienced stealthing—the removing of a condom during sex without verbal consent from a partner. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY.)., Norma J. Torres (D-Calif.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) have introduced two bills: The Stealthing Act of 2022 would create a federal civil right of action for survivors of nonconsensual condom removal. The Consent is Key Act would encourage states to voluntarily pass laws authorizing civil damages for survivors of nonconsensual condom removal by increasing funding levels for federal domestic violence prevention programs in states that pass these laws.

Pro Sports Can Help to ‘De-Normalize’ Sexual Violence

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson recently signed a huge five-year contract for $230 million, even though he faces 22 civil lawsuits from women alleging sexual assault and abuse.

Children and adolescents often identify strongly with their sports heroes, clinging to their every word on social media, wanting to play like them, dress like them, and act like them. For this reason, it is especially important that the male sports culture—one of the most influential bastions of patriarchal privilege—takes a bold and unflinching approach to star athletes who have perpetrated sexual violence. The powerful message this sends to kids and adults is that men’s sexual violence against women is not “normal,” and will not be tolerated.

What My Ancestors Might Think of This Moment in U.S. History

I read the draft decision by the Supreme Court in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and wondered what my ancestors would think of us—the U.S.—at this moment.

I knew immediately what one might think. Her name is Lillie and her story motivates my work as an obstetrician-gynecologist and as an advocate for sexual and reproductive rights globally. She would say that history is repeating itself after learning little from its past.

The Fight to Secure U.S. Abortion Rights Is Global

Overturning Roe v. Wade will unleash devastating rollbacks on abortion across the United States, while also impacting U.S. foreign policy. Already, the Helms Amendment, Siljander Amendment, global gag rule and other restrictions form a collective—and deadly—U.S. foreign policy package that has had disastrous impacts on global health, including an increase in maternal mortality, unsafe abortions and HIV infections, as well as a decline in the overall quality of healthcare.

While the forthcoming decision, and its catastrophic fallout, is not likely to have an immediate global impact, it will undercut efforts to remove these restrictions and embolden the anti-abortion lobby to further instrumentalize U.S. foreign policy to promote its ideology.

Motherhood as Unexpected: Stories That Defy the Mold of Being a Mother

Part memoir, part sociological study, (M)otherhood: On the Choices of Being a Woman is an intimate exploration of author Pragya Agarwal’s own experiences as a mother, first unexpectedly and then through the use of a surrogate. She brings forth voices, thoughts and realities often kept behind closed doors.

She highlights the ways in which women are discouraged from understanding and knowing our own bodies and the ways language around pregnancy and fertility remain gendered, biased and patriarchal.