What Would Alito’s Draft Opinion Mean for Women’s Rights?

The Alito opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson fails to mention how lack of access to abortion might disrupt education, employment or other aspects of women’s lives—giving America a glimpse into a dystopian future where the Constitution would offer no protection for women’s rights because they are not “deeply rooted in the country’s history and traditions.”

If Alito has his way, the police and politicians could very likely once again be searching our bedrooms for those telltale signs of illegal sexual behavior.

New Report Reveals Six ‘Sinister’ Tactics of Extremist Anti-Abortion Centers

Anti-abortion centers target young, low-income populations who face difficulties accessing abortion care, further endangering them by delaying their access to necessary healthcare. A new report, “In The Grand Scheme: Six Sinister Tactics Employed by Anti-Abortion Centers,” documents the tactics used to aggressively spread anti-abortion propaganda and interfere with access to reproductive healthcare.

Female Genital Mutilation Isn’t Just a Foreign Issue

Texas Governor Greg Abbott waded into problematic territory when he called gender-affirming care for transgender minors “mutilation” and “child abuse.” His remarks generated lots of coverage and controversy, as he presumably knew they would. The irresponsible and incorrect use of the term “mutilation” takes attention away from the actual, serious problem of mutilation and cutting in the United States today. 

Worldwide, more than 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting. But it’s not just a foreign problem. More than half a million women and girls are either at risk or have undergone FGM/C in the U.S, including 51,000 in Washington, D.C. The U.S. must enact stronger legislation against the practice, while empowering and protecting those who have been subjected to FGM/C.

What the Christian Right Gets Wrong About Birth Control

A section of the religious right claims that the use of contraception equates to abortion, as they believe contraceptive prevent the implantation of a fertilized embryo in the uterus. While scientists agree that this belief is misinformation and does not align with medical definitions of abortion, they also argue that contraceptive devices actually prevent fertilization, thus leading to less embryo abortions then would occur naturally.

This information needs to be made clear to these religious conservatives who are currently gaining ground in the statehouses and courts, working to limit access to abortion and contraception.

The Threat of Crisis Pregnancy Centers Will Escalate in a Post-Roe U.S.

If you Google “abortion services near me,” chances are the top of your search will show an anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy center.”

With the Supreme Court poised to reverse Roe v. Wade and states racing to pass increasingly draconian abortion restrictions, many people are unaware that fake abortion clinics now blanketing the country are an equal and escalating threat to abortion access.

Kelly’s Story: Overcoming S.B. 8 and a ‘Crisis Pregnancy Center’ to Have an Abortion in Texas

Through ingenuity, persistence and a little luck, some Texans are wading through the state’s six-week abortion ban and a sea of anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” to find abortion healthcare in a safe and affordable way. Kelly is one of them.

“My heart goes out to those women who feel like they have no choice and they get swindled into this. I really want to prevent that from happening. … I’m telling my story because I had no idea about these ‘pregnancy health clinics.’ Women should not feel obligated to keep a pregnancy. I don’t think those women at CPCs should be saying, ‘Oh, I’m here to help women.’ They’re not helping if they’re making women feel bad for their decisions, period.”

Against Hate and Self-Hate: VAWA Must Now Be Implemented Without Cultural Biases

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 2022, finally signed into law last month after delays that should never have occurred in the first place, promises to allocate more resources to historically underserved communities in order to address gender-based violence. VAWA 2022’s legal commitment to fund culturally-specific services must not be restricted to community self-flagellation, but rather support self-reflection and quests for self-empowerment.

‘My Win Is Their Win’: Deqa Dhalac Makes History as Maine’s First Black, Muslim Somali-American Mayor

Thirty years ago, Deqa Dhalac fled her homeland of Somalia, right before the start of a devastating civil war which still lingers on. Last December, she made history when she became America’s first Somali American mayor; South Portland’s 11th woman mayor (the city’s first female mayor was in 1985); and the first African, Muslim, Somali American mayor in Maine and South Portland—a city where 90 percent of the population is white.

“It says a lot when six white Americans support and elect a Black Muslim immigrant to be their mayor,” said Dhalac about other South Portland City Council members.

February 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups. The aims of these lists are threefold:

1. I want to do my part in the disruption of what has been the acceptable “norm” in the book world for far too long—white, cis, heterosexual, male;
2. I want to amplify amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, LGBIA+, TGNC, queer, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities—you know, the rest of us; and
3. I want to challenge and encourage you all to buy, borrow and read them!