September 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups—to do my part in the disruption of what has been the acceptable “norm” in the book world for far too long (white, cis, heterosexual, male); and to amplify indie publishers and amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, queer, trans, nonbinary, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities—you know, the rest of us.

Here’s to all the great writers out there toiling away to make us think, learn, feel and fly … and to the 30 on this list.  

‘Chaos, Confusion and Crisis’: Marking a Full Year of Texas’ Six-Week Abortion Ban

It’s been two months since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the federal constitutional right to an abortion—but we can’t forget that Texans like me have been suffering for much longer.

For one year, abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy has been banned in Texas. For one year, people like me have been forced to find the time, money and resources to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles out of state, if they can, to access healthcare. And if they can’t, for one year, countless Texans have been forced to carry pregnancies against their will, with profound medical risks and life-altering consequences.

The State of State Equal Rights Amendments: A National Roundup

In the United States, the fight for a federal Equal Rights Amendment has been a century in the making. Meanwhile, state-level equivalents abound—some as comprehensive provisions of state constitutions that guarantee equal rights regardless of an individual’s gender, and others as provisions that prohibit gender-based discrimination in specific circumstances.

View a comprehensive summary of the protections afforded in the 50 states.

Overturning Roe Will Exacerbate the Black Maternal Mortality Crisis. It’s Time for Our Leaders To Act

Black women’s health and bodily autonomy have been under consistent, unrelenting attack for centuries, a reality that holds true today. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and deny millions of people the constitutional right to abortion is expected to disproportionately hurt Black women. Policies that seek to improve Black maternal health must necessarily include policies that expand access to abortion care.

It’s Women’s Equality Week—and Three More Total Abortion Bans Are About to Take Effect

On Thursday, existing laws in Texas, Tennessee and Idaho will take effect that either outlaw abortion entirely, or increase penalties for doctors who perform an abortion. The very next day, the U.S. will commemorate Women’s Equality Day. You’ll understand if we don’t feel much like celebrating.

Before this week, total bans were already in effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

In Post-Roe Louisiana, Things Go From Bad to Worse for Teens

Abortion is a critical component of reproductive healthcare, and young Louisianans will continue to need it.

As Louisianans, we must ask ourselves: How can our legislators claim teens are not mature enough to learn about how their reproductive bodies work, while presuming they can cope with forced parenthood? Abortion is a critical component of reproductive healthcare, and young Louisianans will continue to need it.

What We Must Learn From Latin America in a Post-Roe World

While we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the kinds of horrors that banning abortion will create in the U.S., our neighbors in Latin America have understood this reality for years. We cannot afford to ignore the wins and the lessons learned from our neighbors and friends around the globe as we embark on the long road ahead to rebuild power and restore our right to abortion in the U.S.

Safe Haven Laws Were Never Supposed to Be an Alternative to Abortion

The case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has thrust safe haven laws back into the public spotlight. Safe haven laws ignore the very real risks and burdens associated with pregnancy and childbirth, particularly for vulnerable communities, and were never intended to be a literal alternative to abortion.

These laws ignore the very real risks and burdens associated with pregnancy and childbirth, particularly for vulnerable communities. They also represent an abandonment of “troubled young women” by “deciding that their deep-rooted problems can be saved by an after-the-fact, quick-fix solution.”