RSVP: Reproductive Rights on the 50th Anniversary of Roe

The 19th, a fellow nonprofit newsroom focused on gender news, will mark January’s consequential milestone with high-level conversations on the legal, historical and cultural impact of Roe, and what the future holds without it. The program will feature thought leaders in the reproductive rights and justice space—including our very own Ellie Smeal, Ms. publisher and president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

The Supreme Court Dobbs Leak Never Really Mattered. They Just Told Us So.

The leak was a distraction meant to shift focus away from where is should have been: the disastrous harm that overturning Roe for the women, trans and nonbinary people who depend on abortion access to obtain the reproductive healthcare they deserve.

The Court cares more about its power than it does this leak—and so should we. Supreme Court reform is essential to protect against the next decision that does such harm to our rights, whether it’s leaked or not.

Are Women’s Rights the Canary in the Coal Mine of a Democracy in Decline?

Today, half of the world’s democratic governments are on the decline. Advocates questioned the correlation between regression on women’s rights and degraded democracies. A New York Times article asserted that such a descent is precisely when “curbs on women’s rights tend to accelerate.” However, that proposition should be considered in reverse.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Roe decision and continue to grapple with the new status quo, this much is clear: The tenets of reproductive health, rights and justice—and those of a healthy democracy—are not only inextricably interconnected, but essential to our nation’s promise.

New York Shield Law Would Protect Clinicians Mailing Abortion Pills to Patients in Red States

New York could become the second state, after Massachusetts, to pass a shield law extending to telemedicine abortion providers serving out-of-state patients. The proposed law would protect clinicians and pharmacists throughout the state from criminal prosecution, extradition, loss of license or malpractice insurance, and from subpoenas of their medical records for prescribing and sending abortion pills to people who need them anywhere in the United States.  

Keeping Score: FDA and Justice Dept. Improve Abortion Pill Access; Patty Murray Makes Senate History; Remembering Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Barbara Walters

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: two victories for abortion pills from the Biden administration; Patty Murray makes history as the first female Senate pro tem; Brittney Griner released from Russian prison; feminists mourn the loss of Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Barbara Walters; AAPI reporters are drastically underrepresented in news media; the U.S. House of will have twice as many committee chairs named “Mike” (six) as it will have women chairs (three); and more.

Are Republicans Afraid of Young Voters?

Last year’s midterm election had the second-highest young voter turnout in the last 30 years. In response, Republicans are eyeing raising the minimum voting age—even though young people already face unnecessary obstacles to voting.

“The important message for Democrats to know this cycle is that if you want to win in 2024, you have to listen to young people,” tweeted David Hogg, co-founder of March For Our Lives. “You have to do your job and represent us, or you won’t win.”

How We Avoid the Rise of Another ‘Andrew Tate’

Most of Andrew Tate’s alleged criminal conduct took place in private. But his rise to fame—or infamy—took place in full public view. It is important to understand how and why all of this happened. Here are four “teachable moment” topics raised by the Andrew Tate saga:

1. Tate’s normalization of misogyny harms girls and young women.
2. The ideal of “manhood” Tate promotes harms boys and young men.
3. 3. For many uninformed young men, feminism is a hostile philosophy and feminists are caricatured villains.
4. There is a strong connection between misogyny and right-wing politics.

She Wins: Here’s to Powerful Black Women Leaders on Screens

The 80th Golden Globes is days away. Viola Davis is the only Black female actor nominated in the Motion Pictures-Drama category.

In The Woman King, Davis plays the Agojie general of an all-female warrior unit and embodies the fierceness of this leader, while delivering a performance characterized by maternal softness and emotional vulnerability—traits often reserved on screen for white femininity. While not nominated for any Golden Globes this year, Bridgerton received 15 Emmy Award nominations in 2022 and this spring another powerful Black woman graces the screen, Queen Charlotte. Bridgerton is an opportunity to reevaluate diversity, equity and inclusion on the screen. Casting people of color provides jobs to talented actors who would otherwise be overlooked, but mere “inclusion” in the frame is insufficient.