The Arizona Abortion Ban Case Shows What ‘Let the States Decide’ Really Means

The Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling that reinstated a draconian 1864 near-total abortion ban reveals the disingenuous nature of the “leave-it-to-the-states” positioning of some Republicans.

In response to the state Supreme Court’s decision, Democrats spearheaded legislation to repeal that law, which was recently signed by Gov. Katie Hobbs (D). However, leaving it to the states doesn’t always have such a rosy ending—and, indeed, this is not the end of efforts in Arizona or elsewhere by special interests trying to impose their regressive worldview on us all through law. A closer look into the Arizona abortion case and court that led to the reprise of this antiquated anti-abortion law reveals that some of the same anti-abortion zealots who played a central role in overturning Roe are also playing a role in revoking Arizonians’ access to abortion healthcare.

Overturning Harvey Weinstein’s Conviction Shows Poor Understanding of Violence Against Women

Context is everything when it comes to sexual and physical violence against women. Harvey Weinstein had more than a “propensity” for sexual assault; he demonstrated a serially predatory pattern of behavior of targeting and violating women and learned from the systems that enabled him that he could get away with it. Knowledge of this pattern is not prejudicial; it is necessary for a thorough understanding of the perpetrator.

The overturning of Weinstein’s conviction merely emphasizes the degree to which protection of sexual predators at their victims’ expense and permissibility of male violence against women are entrenched in our institutions. If our legal system cannot appreciate the relevance of historical patterns of behavior, we can never combat violence against women successfully.

Nine Need-to-Know Changes From the New Title IX Rules

The United States Department of Education released its much-anticipated amendments to the existing Title IX regulations—which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. 

The amendments make substantial changes to the existing Title IX regulations. Experts anticipate these new changes will result in an increase in the number of Title IX complaints, since they broaden the protections of Title IX. The Education Department is requiring all schools implement the new 2024 regulations by Aug. 1. 

Here are nine significant changes to Title IX that interested parties in higher education should know.

Will SCOTUS Allow Pregnant Women to Die? Survivors Share ‘Dobbs’-Related Near-Death Experiences with the Court

On April 24, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases, Idaho v. United States  and Moyle v. United States, about whether states can prohibit doctors from treating women with life-threatening pregnancies until a patient’s condition deteriorates to the point where they are about to die.

Reproductive rights and legal advocates are collecting stories from over 100 women who almost died—and at least one who did—after being denied emergency abortion care.

The Abortion Pill and the Hypocritical Oath

The lead plaintiff in the mifepristone case heard before the Supreme Court this week is a shadowy organization calling itself the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM). The group’s name is clearly intended to evoke the Hippocratic oath, popularly understood as the commitment of doctors to “first do no harm.”

To claim, as the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine does, that forcing a woman or child to give birth against her will, even if childbirth will seriously injure or even kill her, honors the principle of “do no harm” is perverse, but also very revealing. It makes clear that the “harm” that AHM and other anti-abortion ideologues care about is wholly imaginary.

Why the ERA Is Needed—Even With the 14th Amendment

For years, critics have claimed that women don’t need the Equal Rights Amendment because the Supreme Court has secured women’s rights under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. 

At the time it was ratified in the 19th century, no one thought that the 14th Amendment protected women; its purpose was to end slavery. Thanks to pioneering lawsuits by Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 1970s, women did gain a measure of equal rights under the 14th Amendment, but lawyers know that those victories were limited.

(This essay is part of “The ERA Is Essential to Democracy” Women & Democracy collection.)

The Ms. Q&A with Nasrin Sotoudeh: The Iranian Activist on Global Solidarity, Her Time in Prison and Being an Optimist  

Nasrin Sotoudeh is an Iranian human rights lawyer and activist who has consistently fought for the rights of women, children, religious minorities and others under persecution in Iran. Over the years, Sotoudeh has spent much of her time in prison, having been arrested for protesting Iran’s mandatory hijab law and resisting authoritarian rule. While in custody in 2022, Sotoudeh wrote to Ms. editors detailing the plight of women in Iran and called for global solidarity around women’s rights.  Ms. executive editor Kathy Spillar spoke with Nasrin and her husband Reza Khandan last month.

“The world has gone through darker days. … We’ve made our way forward through those horrific and dark events and times, and so, why not again? As long as I’m alive, I’m just naturally an optimist.”

Women Who Dissent: Remembering Lilly Ledbetter, Mary Edwards Walker and Anjali Forber-Pratt

Throughout Women’s History Month, discover untold stories of incredible women. This week: Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, one of the first female doctors in America and the only woman to win the Medal of Honor; and Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, a professional wheelchair racer and Paralympian medalist.