Alyson Nordstrom, 17, knew that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would result in the girls and women of her community losing their rights to obtain an abortion entirely. Despite the challenges of fighting for a blue issue in a red state, Nordstrom helped form Teens for Reproductive Rights, a coalition of teens who organize fundraisers for abortion care, post infographics about current abortion restrictions in Tennessee and encourage teenagers to vote.
U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back.
The last month has been a real whiplash for women. Let’s remember what was hurled our way. Plus—as we approach the midterm elections, Republican lawmakers have continued the ruthless attack on abortion access nationwide. But will it cost them?
Will historical trends in midterm elections be uprooted? Will the party in the White House not face devastating losses in Congress? Is it possible that Republican promises to pass legislation that would ban abortion in every U.S. state could, in fact, help Democrats hold on to their majorities in both the House and the Senate?
“Between guns, abortion and the Republicans’ behavior, people will be concerned enough to go to the polls,” said Roger Craver, cofounder of the government watchdog group Common Cause. “And a big turnout will be very important because that’s what will give Democrats the win.”
On Saturday in Arizona, a 15-week abortion ban—signed into law on July 6 by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey—was set to take effect. But before it could, a late Friday ruling from Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson green-lighted an anti-abortion law from 1864 that supersedes all other bans, outlawing almost all abortions in the state and penalizing abortion providers who provide the service with two to five years in prison. Abortion is now effectively illegal in the state, making it the 15th U.S. state currently enforcing extreme or total bans on abortion.
There’s a little over a month until the midterm elections, and Arizona is a battleground for federal and state elections. Democrats see the extreme law as an opportunity to mobilize voters.
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on six more of President Biden’s nominees to U.S. federal courts. Included among the impressive slate of nominees was civil rights lawyer Julie Rikelman, who is nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. “I wanted to be an attorney because I believe so deeply in our justice system and the promise of equal justice for all,” Rikelman said during her confirmation hearing.
Public trust in the judiciary is bolstered when courts better reflect the diversity of our country. Confirming Julie Rikelman will ensure a court that better reflects and represents the experiences of all people in America.
For almost two weeks, protests have been raging across Iran, triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was in custody of the morality police at the time of her death. Her alleged crime was not abiding by the country’s hijab rules.
Iranian human rights lawyer and long-time friend of Ms. magazine, Nasrin Sotoudeh has spent her career fighting for the rights of women and minorities in the Middle East. In a letter to Ms., Sotoudeh connected what’s happening with Iran to the global fight for women’s rights.
A growing group of prosecutors is pledging to use their discretion to not prosecute abortion cases.
“It is my hope and belief that more prosecutors will take a stand and be on the right side of history on this issue,” said Miriam Krinsky, executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution, a nonprofit that supports elected prosecutors who are looking to reimagine the justice system.
Reflections from a former secretary of state—on her time in office and her work today as an advocate and champion for free and fair elections.
“Government shouldn’t be a hands-off, secret system where only a few are allowed to participate. I saw the need for different voices and ideas.”
In 2017, a year into the presidency of Donald Trump, three notable women—Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, and executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Ai-jen Poo—looked to harness the sudden rage and confusion felt by women across the U.S. Garza, Poo and Richards announced the start of a women’s equality organization called Supermajority, a multiracial coalition of women organizing around issues like paid leave and affordable healthcare. The group’s name hearkens to the fact that women make up more than half of the U.S. population.
These days, Amanda Brown Lierman is the executive director of both Supermajority and the Supermajority Education Fund, a sister nonprofit organization for research, education and development programs that prepare women civic leaders. And Lierman and her team have their eye on the prize: the 2022 midterms.
On Sept. 7, Ms. recorded a “fireside chat”-style discussion with Attorneys General Letitia James (N.Y.) and Dana Nessel (Mich.)—two trailblazers in the fight for justice and democracy—moderated by election administration expert and governor of the United States Postal Service, Amber McReynolds.
Here are our favorite moments of that conversation.