Keeping Score: California Schools to Provide Free Period Products; Title X Gag Rule Reversed; Texas Abortion Ban Reinstated

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: Biden administration reverses Title X gag rule; federal courts halt, then reinstate Texas’s six-week abortion ban; school districts crack down on BLM and pride flags; Playboy features first gay man on its cover; California overrides workplace NDAs *and* requires free menstrual products in schools; and more.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Kentucky Abortion Ban: “The Right to Abortion Is Hanging by a Thread”

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in one of three abortion cases before the Court this term that will determine the future of abortion rights in the U.S. EMW Women’s Surgical Center v. Cameron involves a Kentucky law effectively banning abortion at 15 weeks. The law blocks physicians from providing a medically safe and standard abortion method called dilation and evacuation, or “D&E.”

“Two courts already held that this law violates the rights of Kentuckians. The Supreme Court ought to put an end to the attorney general’s attempts to force people to continue their pregnancies against their will.”

“Respect Us, or Expect Us”: Indigenous Women Continue to Fight Against Pipeline 3

On October 1, Pipeline 3 became operational in Minnesota, despite resistance efforts led by Indigenous women and two-spirit individuals, who are seeking to hold President Biden accountable for promises made and broken.

The construction of the pipeline endangers local women and girls and infringes upon the rights of the rice, the land, the water, the nonhuman beings and the people. 

Trump’s Title X Gag Rule Reversed by HHS: “Patients Deserve Accurate and Comprehensive Information About Their Health Options”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reversed a Trump-era policy prohibiting healthcare providers who receive Title X funds from informing patients about the full range of reproductive healthcare options, including abortion.

“Now, our Title X family planning program can once again function in the way it’s meant to—by providing patients with birth control, STI screenings and cancer screenings that keep them healthy, and by informing them about all their options, including their right to abortion.”

The Biden Administration’s Expulsion of Haitians Is Unconscionable—and a Missed Opportunity

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. … No one puts their children on a boat unless the boat is safer than the land.”

Recent expulsions of thousands of Haitian migrants showcase how far the U.S. has to go on immigration reform.

The proliferation of Haitian migrants at the Mexican border did not begin under this administration. But for Biden, this represents not only a missed opportunity to distinguish himself on immigration, but also an egregious lack of humanity and regard for Black lives in the Caribbean.

Before Roe v. Wade, the “Janes” Gave Desperate Women a Safer Choice (Fall 2018)

There’s a reason most people don’t know about the underground network of nonmedical women in New York City who are volunteering their homes to help women living in states where access to abortion is severely restricted.

It’s the same reason most people living didn’t know about Jane, a group women who in the years before Roe v. Wade used code names and street-corner pickups to arrange as many as 11,000 abortions.