Why Civic Engagement for Abortion Advocacy Matters

Last year, Americans lost their federal right to abortion. While polls suggest that favorable public opinion for abortion access is as high as 85 percent, 24 states have passed abortion bans so far.

After four years of no recourse during the Trump administration, people are tired and discouraged. But we still have a voice. And upholding strong civic spaces is vital for fostering genuine democracy and ensuring reproductive justice. Every silenced voice due to lack of support hinders social progress and undermines gender equality.

Southern Baptists Consider Women’s Leadership a ‘Threat’

Southern Baptists are at it again, targeting women pastors in the next round of an ongoing battle over ordination and leadership in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

Never mind that more and more people are leaving churches and identifying as religious “nones.” Never mind that there is a clergy sex abuse scandal among Southern Baptists. The possibility of women’s leadership is such a threat, it has to be eradicated. So rather than dealing decisively with its clergy abuse scandal, the SBC’s annual meeting this June chose to spend its time pummeling women pastors and once again delaying necessary abuse reforms.

Pretty soon, they may just be sitting alone in their empty sanctuaries on Sunday mornings—because no one else is right enough to belong with them.

Supreme Court Review: The Term That Ended Affirmative Action, Allowed LGBTQ Discrimination, and More

Friday, June 30, marked the end of a roller coaster of a Supreme Court term. The same day, legal experts and commentators gathered for the 13th Annual Supreme Court Review at the University of California, Irvine.

The panel discussed the high Court’s bombshell rulings from the last several months, which put an end to affirmative action, protected businesses’ “constitutional” rights to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of free speech, halted President Joe Biden’s authority to forgive federal student loans, and more. These monumental decisions will have ripple effects in the years and decades to come.

Watch the hour-long program, or read some of our favorite takes.

Queer African Activists Call for Action—But the African Continent Is Not the Only Site in the Global War on Gay Rights

While some countries move towards the decriminalization of homosexuality and try to eliminate LGBTQ+ discrimination, some countries have passed harsher legislation harming LGBTQ+ communities, especially targeting the queer youth in those countries. Ms. is highlighting some cases and reflecting on what this means for queer rights in America and globally.

Betrayal of the States: A Look at the 12 Months Since the Dobbs Decision

Rabbi Dan Fink and Rabbi Dena Feingold detail the repercussions of the Dobbs decision in their home states of Wisconsin and Idaho, as well as the desperate need for state legislatures to reflect the views of their constituencies.

“They’re using Christianity to enforce restrictions on all Americans. And just as we suspected, the reign of terror did not end with abortion rights. … Some have responded, ‘If you don’t like it here, then why don’t you just move?’ The answer is simple: That’s not love. … And love—exemplified by fighting for policies that protect all of our neighbors and their fundamental rights—is how we will ultimately prevail.”

‘Between Two Moons’: A Love Letter to Arab and Muslim Communities, by Aisha Abdel Gawad

Aisha Abdel Gawad calls her first novel, Between Two Moons, “a love letter to Arab and Muslim communities.” The story centers around the Brooklyn, New York-based Emam family, American-born twins Amira and Lina, their older brother Sami, and their parents, Mariam and Kareem. 

It’s an emotionally rich and revelatory portrait, set in a post 9-11 world that is still feeling the aftershocks of that unprecedented attack. But despite this grim overlay, humor and joy exist in the struggles Gawad documents.

Judge Kacsmaryk Embraces the ‘Pro-Woman, Pro-Life’ Anti-Abortion Fabrication

On April 7, in a decision replete with “junk science,” Texas federal district court judge Mathew Kacsmaryk issued an unprecedented ruling revoking the FDA’s 2000 approval of mifepristone. The Supreme Court has since blocked his order while the appeal is pending—a somewhat hopeful sign, beyond the immediate benefit of mifepristone remaining available on the market for now—until there’s a final ruling on the merits of the case. But there is no way of knowing with certainty what the outcome of the case will be, and whether any elements of Kacsmaryk’s decision will remain standing as good law. 

We’re still far from the final word on what could ultimately be a legal advance of the religiously inspired ‘abortion regret’ narrative.

The Same Groups That Helped Overturn Roe and Attack Abortion Pills Are Also Lobbying Against the ERA

From supporting the Supreme Court’s right-wing faction responsible for overturning Roe, to spreading misinformation around medication abortion, anti-abortion groups are fighting to eliminate abortion access on multiple fronts.

Their anti-reproductive justice efforts also include lobbying against the Equal Rights Amendment. Lobbying disclosures reveal that far-right, anti-abortion groups like Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America (SBA, formerly Susan B. Anthony List), National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), Concerned Women for America (CWA) and Students For Life America (SFLA) have spent unknown sums lobbying against the ERA in 2021 and 2022.