Florida’s Six-Week Abortion Ban Will Force Longer Waits, Further Travels and Higher Costs

May 1 marks the first day that Florida’s law banning abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy takes effect. 

The six-week cutoff effectively functions as a total ban. Pregnancy is determined from the last menstrual cycle; conception usually occurs in the second week, and the first sign of pregnancy—a missed period—typically appears around four weeks. This timeline gives patients as little as two weeks to recognize their pregnancy, schedule their appointment and arrange travel … assuming they realize they’re pregnant at all.

Come Nov. 4, Florida voters will decide whether to amend the Florida Constitution to enshrine the right to abortion.

Arizona Women Gear Up to Challenge Near-Total Abortion Ban in Upcoming Election

Tuesday, April 9, 2024, will go down in history. It is the day that far-right extremists got what they wanted in Arizona: a near-total ban on abortion. It is the day the Arizona Supreme Court turned the clock back 160 years—to a time before women could vote and before Arizona was even a state. It is a day that we will look back on with shame and horror. Like so many Arizona moms, my first thought was of my daughter, who was born last July in a post-Roe America.

While we cannot snap our fingers and change the dynamic at the U.S. or Arizona Supreme Court, we can make our voices heard at the ballot box. Come November, Arizona women are going to come out in full force to vote for our right to control our own bodies.

Can Idaho ‘Force Someone Onto a Helicopter’ as the Standard of Medical Care for Accessing Health-Stabilizing Abortions?

In the wake of Dobbs, while most abortion-restrictive states have maintained an exception to preserve the health of the pregnant woman, a handful of ban states—including Idaho—no longer permit abortions needed to protect a pregnant person’s health. The Biden administration says this is in direct conflict with the federal statute EMTALA.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar encapsulated what Justice Sotomayor referred to as the “big daylight” between the two laws: “In Idaho, doctors have to shut their eyes to everything except death—whereas, under EMTALA, you’re supposed to be thinking about things like: Is she about to lose her fertility? Is her uterus going to become incredibly scarred because of the bleeding? Is she about to undergo the possibility of kidney failure?”

How ‘Dobbs’ Threatens the Future of Feminist Education

Dobbs hasn’t just restricted reproductive rights; it’s impacted the classroom. In some ways, this impact has been very direct. In 2022, the University of Idaho released a memo warning all faculty and staff to avoid counseling or referring anyone to abortion services while on the job to comply with a broad, unclear law preventing any state resources going toward abortion access.

This lack of clarity impedes feminist theorizing in women’s studies classrooms, especially, since women’s studies departments often serve as a locus for discussions of gender-based oppression on campuses.

In ‘Girls State,’ Care and the Growing Gendered Political Divide

A new documentary, Girls State, shows how some of America’s most ambitious and politically minded young women respond to the gender inequalities they face at Girls State, a government leadership camp in Missouri.

The documentary shows us that institutions can no longer stymy these young women’s ambitions for more influence by telling them to first look inward. The girls see through superficial slogans for unity and defensive headlines. They’re ready for real changes. 

The Arizona Abortion Fight Is a Reminder That Progress Is Not Linear

April’s U.S. political news admittedly brought many horrors—from Alabama legislators advancing a bill to define sex based on “reproductive systems,” not gender identity; to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing an Idaho ban on gender-affirming care for minors to take effect; to the Arizona Supreme Court upholding an abortion ban from 1864, which opens the door to criminalizing health providers with up to five years of prison time if they provide abortion services. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero called the ruling “a huge step backwards.”

Legal changes in the present may appear to be reversing earlier advancements, as Romero said. But advocates of equity need a better grasp of history so they are realistic about the intermittent successes of movements for social change. The fight for full gender equality is a long game.

Anti-Abortion Extremists Are Diverting Tax Dollars to Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Anti-abortion politicians are siphoning public dollars meant for low-income mothers and their children to fund anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) that coerce poor women and teens seeking an abortion to give birth, further condemning them to long-term economic hardship. Being denied a wanted abortion is a proven predictor of maternal and child poverty.

As the Biden administration advances a proposal to prohibit CPCs from future access to these federal funds, the anti-abortion movement is pushing back in force, claiming CPCs save taxpayer dollars and provide vital healthcare and safety net services to poor families. A first-time analysis of the CPC industry’s own reporting wholly contradicts these claims.

A Comedian in the War on Abortion: The Ms. Q&A with Lizz Winstead and Ruth Leitman

Lizz Winstead, comedian and founder of Abortion Access Front, teamed up with director Ruth Leitman to create the hilarious, heart-filled documentary No One Asked You.

“There’s nothing shameful about needing to have an abortion,” Winstead told Ms.

“It’s a medical procedure that people need to help them achieve their life goals, and to help them have the life that they want to have,” said Leitman.

Arizona Finally Repeals its Total Abortion Ban: ‘The Eyes of the World Are Watching’

The Arizona Supreme Court revived an 1864 pre-statehood ban on abortion (although the law will not go into effect immediately).

To quote the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the way of thinking embedded in these zombie laws from the 19th century reflects “ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution, ideas that have long since been discredited.” The Arizona Supreme Court does not expressly traffic in these deeply gendered stereotypes that are contemporaneous with the abortion ban it has resurrected from the dead—but they are silently lurking in the margins of the opinion.  

As Attorney General Mayes put it, the decision is “unconscionable and an affront to freedom… and will go down as a stain on our state.”