Keeping Score: Capitol Statues Honor RBG and Sandra Day O’Connor; Military Survivors Launch Campaign to Address Sexual Assault

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: Michigan governor appeals to state Supreme Court to enshrine abortion rights in constitution; track star Allyson Felix plans to retire; Florida and Oklahoma move to criminalize abortion; Ukrainian refugees face a lack of sexual and reproductive healthcare; U.N. funds Bilan Project to give a voice to female journalists in Somalia; and more.

‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bills Groom Children for Sexual Abuse, and May Even Violate Title IX

“Don’t Say Gay” bills don’t protect children—they play into the hands of child abusers, while also putting school districts in violation of Title IX. Denying a school district’s right to define a curriculum based on evidence-based research plays directly into the hands of predators who want, very much, naïve and disempowered children to prey upon.

For 50 Years, Title IX Has Transformed Girls’ and Women’s Education. The Job Is Not Yet Done.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in educational programs or activities. Because almost all schools receive federal funds, the law applies in nearly every educational context. Most people associate Title IX with athletics, where it has indeed had a profound effect on girls and women. Before Title IX, women and girls were virtually excluded from most athletic opportunities in schools.

The Pew Research Center did a national survey to gauge awareness and attitudes about Title IX 50 years after its passage. Among those who know about Title IX, there are both gender and political gaps in how they think about it.

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Kentucky’s Complete Abortion Ban

On April 13, the Kentucky legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear to pass a law banning abortion after 15 weeks and placing restrictions on earlier abortions that are currently impossible to meet. As a result, the two remaining abortion clinics in the state—Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville—ceased offering abortion services on Thursday.

Planned Parenthood and EMW are currently working with clinics beyond Kentucky to direct patients out of state for care. In addition, the organization Plan C offers detailed information on their website about how people in Kentucky are finding abortion pills outside of the formal medical system. 

17-Year-Old in Iran Murdered by Husband and Cousin for Fleeing Domestic Violence

Mona Heydari was forced to marry her cousin as a 12-year-old and birthed his child at 14. At 17, after fleeing the country and attempting to escape the abusive marriage, her life was ended by her husband.

Honor killings involving young women in Iran have become an all too common occurrence over the last two years, with a long list of victims. The lasting oppressive patriarchal and misogynistic ideologies prominent in law enforcement, government and Iranian society has allowed the killing of young women to become a crime without punishment.

How Texas’s S.B. 8 Restricts Sexual Abuse Survivor Advocacy

Texas’s S.B. 8 empowers private citizens, giving them the right to sue anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion”—including attorneys like myself who represent survivors of sexual assault.

This attempt to tie the hands of attorneys and organizations that serve survivors is a gross overreach of the law that opens the door for attorneys to face civil action for giving advice to our clients and constitutes a breach of the attorney-client privilege that is critical to a healthy justice system. That is why, since S.B. 8 was enacted, I have continued to advise my clients and other women who call our office to help them find resources, even though it means I may face civil liability.