Oklahoma Passes Extreme Vigilante Abortion Ban, Nation’s Most Restrictive Yet: ‘A Reversal of History Right In Front of Our Eyes’

On Thursday, May 19, the Oklahoma legislature passed a total ban on abortion, authorizing private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who assists someone obtaining an abortion. The law applies from the moment of fertilization.

“This is not one more ban. This is a first,” said Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “Today’s ban—which encourages bounty hunters to sue their neighbors or strangers for accessing abortion care at any stage of pregnancy—is a reversal of history happening in front of our eyes. Once signed, abortion will be illegal in Oklahoma. Full stop.”

The Political Religions That Brought Down Roe

The Catholic Church has been the principal religious opponent to advances in birth control and abortion rights and access. But to achieve its goals, it needed allies in its long-term campaign of resistance. It took some time, but they found them. 

How conservative Christianity has been systematically waging a half-century war on Roe v. Wade will be the stuff of books and graduate theses. Here are some of the major themes that that they will contain.  

Ms. Relaunches Abortion Petition That ‘Changed Abortion Rights Movement’

In 1972, when abortion was still illegal throughout most of the country, 53 well-known U.S. women courageously declared “We Have Had Abortions” in the pages of the preview issue of Ms. magazine. The Washington Post credited the petition with the “start of a powerful strategy in the U.S. abortion rights movement: ending the secrecy that had kept many women out of the fight.”

The next year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a fundamental right protected by the U.S. Constitution. This year, the Supreme Court appears poised to reverse this position. In this perilous time, Ms. is relaunching the petition—with the encouragement and support of some of the original 1972 signers. This year alone, the petition has garnered almost 7,000 signatories.

Amidst a Nationwide Formula Shortage, a Reminder: The Decision To Breastfeed Is Personal

As the nationwide formula shortage gained more news coverage, social media outlets like Twitter started buzzing—not with compassion for these scared parents, but rather judgment that these mothers hadn’t breastfed and were therefore at fault for their current predicament.

(Of course, the irony of the formula shortage happening at the same time that the Supreme Court is poised to force American women to carry unwanted pregnancies is also not lost on many.)

Keeping Score: New Mexico’s Plan for Free Childcare; U.S. Median Age for Giving Birth Hits 30; Feminists Reckon With Likely Roe Reversal

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: A leaked Supreme Court draft decision would overturn landmark Roe v. Wade ruling; new library program will secure access to “banned books” for teens; Oklahoma Heartbeat Act bans abortion after six weeks; Karine Jean-Pierre appointed first Black White House press secretary; and more.