The Importance of Talking About Women in the Fight Against Abortion Bans

The most powerful argument for abortion rights is to highlight the sex-based nature of these restrictions and argue that they violate equal rights. To succeed in arguing that sex equality requires the right to abortion, we need to be able to talk about how sex shapes access to abortion and how anti-abortion legislators target women with devastating consequences. The elimination of sex-based language in abortion politics makes this argument impossible, and reinforces the long-term right-wing strategy of suppressing information about sex-based disparities.

Keeping Score: U.S. Gymnasts Sue FBI for Failure to Investigate Nassar; SCOTUS Expands Religious Liberty Rights; Physicians Fear Post-Roe World

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: Physicians fear for their patients’ health outcomes without abortion access; Supreme Court rules to protect federal officers’ immunity over Fourth Amendments rights; U.S. women gymnasts sue FBI for failure to investigate doctor Larry Nassar; House passes legislation to ban purchase of semiautomatic weapons before age 21; first transgender performer is nominated for a Tony, and first non-binary composer wins for best original score; and more.

Dark Money Authors of GOP-Led ‘Women’s Bill of Rights’ Have a History of Attacking Title IX and Trans Women

In late May, the GOP Study Committee, the largest group of right-wing lawmakers on the Hill, introduced a so-called “Women’s Bill of Rights” (WBOR) in the House. Far from a comprehensive plan to promote gender equity, the bill does not affirm any rights for women other than the “right” for cisgender women to exclude transgender women from gender-affirming spaces.

The WBOR’s co-sponsor is the 501(c)(3) Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) and its 501(c)(4) action arm, the Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), which have long opposed the Equal Rights Amendment, paid family and medical leave, and countless other measures that would improve the lives of millions of American women and girls.

Unborn Who? Pregnancy Discrimination at COVID Vaccine Sites Signals How Expanded Conscience Rights Prioritize Control, Not Life

Women throughout the country reported showing up to their vaccine appointments only to be subjected to off-cuff, discriminatory treatment by professionals providing the vaccine, even as evidence mounted that the COVID-19 vaccine was safe and recommended for pregnant women, while COVID-19 was proving particularly dangerous in pregnancy, increasing the rate of severe complications including stillbirth. Some providers singled pregnant women out, requiring doctor’s notes; others refused to vaccinate them altogether.

As individual rights to deny medical care on religious or moral grounds expand, no one is safe from discrimination in medical care—not even the “unborn.” We should all understand our right to be free from gender-based discrimination in medical settings.

Keeping Score: Spain to Offer Paid Menstrual Leave; U.S. Soccer Teams Score Pay Equity; Taliban Dissolves Human Rights Commission

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: Spanish Cabinet approves paid sick leave for employees with menstrual pain; Lisa Cook becomes first Black woman on Federal Reserve board; baby formula shortage concerns U.S. parents; Oklahoma and Louisiana advance unprecedented abortion bans; Taliban dissolves nation’s human rights commission; American voters support upholding Roe v. Wade; America left reeling after back-to-back mass shootings; and more.

Mothers Want Federally Funded Childcare. Why Are These Koch-Funded Women Opposing It?

Special interest groups funded by corporations and the ultra-wealthy went all out in attacking Build Back Better. These groups hide behind a woman’s face to conceal anti-feminist policy positions while reproducing social inequalities for families across generations by opposing policies and structures that would advance equality and improve economic mobility. 

May 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.

Whether you read for knowledge or leisure, books are so important. May is a big month for new releases by women and writers of historically excluded communities; I’ve highlighted 60 of them here, but there are many more. I hope you’ll find some here that will help you reflect and act in whatever ways you can. 

The Patriarchs’ War on Women

Assaults on women’s and LGBTQ+ rights—and attempts to put women “in their place”—constitute a backlash against feminist progress expanding women’s full inclusion in public life.

As women’s participation becomes more prominent in domestic and international politics, here’s why political sexism and gender policing are also becoming more virulent—and what to do about it.