Keeping Score: Right-Wing Activists Spread Disinformation on Birth Control; Larry Nassar’s Survivors Reach $138.7 Million Settlement; Breast Cancer Screenings Should Start at Age 40

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 this biweekly roundup.

This week: the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on emergency abortion care and criminalizing homelessness; new EEOC and Title IX regulations protect sexual violence survivors, pregnant people and the LGBTQ community; Arizona repealed their 1864 abortion ban, while Florida now has a six-week ban; birth control misinformation goes viral on TikTok; the United Methodist Church repealed their ban on LGBTQ clergy; the chilling effects of the global gag rule; three in five Americans support a national law protecting access to medication abortion; and more.

Arizona’s 1864 Abortion Law Was Made in a Women’s Rights Desert. Here’s What Life Was Like Then.

In 1864, Arizona—which was an official territory of the United States—was a vast desert. Women in Arizona could not vote, serve on juries or exercise full control over property in a marriage. They had no direct say in laws governing their bodies. Hispanic and African American women had even fewer rights than white women.

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on April 9, 2024, that a 160-year-old abortion ban passed during this territorial period will go into effect. Since that ruling, the Arizona legislature has been grappling with how to handle the near-total ban. Even if the ban is fully repealed, it could still take temporary effect this summer.

As someone who teaches history in Arizona and researches slavery, I think it is useful to understand what life was like in Arizona when this abortion ban was in force.

Women Use Lived Experience to Fight for Second Chances for Incarcerated Women: ‘I Am Not an Eternal Criminal’

We see more than 600,000 people released from U.S. prisons each year. This April, Second Chance Month, is an opportunity for us to bring to light the difficulties for those seeking a successful return back to society.

Incarcerated women in particular face unique challenges compared to their male counterparts, and their rate of entry has accelerated at twice the pace of men over the past three decades.

April 2024 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, we provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.

Here are 25 fantastic books releasing this month that we recommend you dig into. There are stunning debuts, masterful historical fiction, kaleidoscopic short stories, thoughtful manifestas, moving memoirs, groundbreaking nonfiction, and so much more.

From The Vault: Joan Little and The Dialectics of Rape (June 1975)

“A little more than 100 years ago … rape served not only to further [the Black woman’s] oppression but also as a means of terrorizing the entire Black community. It placed brutal emphasis on the fact that Black slaves were indeed the property of the white master. … The social incentive given to rape is woven into the logic of the institutions of this society. It is an extremely efficient means of keeping women in a state of fear of rape, or of the possibility of it.”

( For more ground-breaking stories like this, order 50 YEARS OF Ms.: THE BEST OF THE PATHFINDING MAGAZINE THAT IGNITED A REVOLUTION (Alfred A. Knopf)—a collection of the most audacious, norm-breaking coverage Ms. has published.)

Keeping Score: E. Jean Carroll Wins Defamation Case; 64K Pregnancies from Rape in Abortion Ban States; U.S. Congress Members Urge SCOTUS to Protect Abortion Pill

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 this biweekly roundup.

This week: E. Jean Carroll wins defamation case; over 64,000 pregnancies from rape in abortion ban states; Taylor Swift targeted by deepfake attack; House passes CTC expansion; states implement anti-trans laws; abortion rates have risen since 2020; Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed the first anti-LGBTQ bill of the year into law; more than three in five Americans support Congress passing a law guaranteeing the right to an abortion; and more.

Legislators Should Protect Domestic Violence Survivors Like Me

These words are being written from inside Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, Oklahoma. We are nearly one month into 2024 and I’m nearing the end of my 26th year of incarceration. Why are so many domestic violence survivors like me locked up in America? After all, I’m far from alone. 

For years, my ex-fiancé raped, choked, beat and stalked me. On numerous occasions, he even threatened to kill me and my son. People have asked me over the years, “Why didn’t you just leave?” How I wish it were that easy.

Six Things You May Not Know About Abortion

After reading about Kate Cox’s unsuccessful efforts to obtain an abortion in Texas, I needed an outlet for my ire. I took to social media, where I found reprehensible comments about abortion on Threads. I responded to them. I schooled my interlocutors with facts and links to research. I dazzled them with my correct grammar. I received tens of likes.

You may be shocked to learn that I changed no one’s mind. I was nevertheless surprised by some people’s misconceptions about abortion—many of which appeared to be shared by pro- and anti-abortion individuals. In the spirit of clearing the cobwebs out of our collective discourse, here are a few facts about abortion that have not been widely reported—starting with the fact that most people who obtain abortion care in America report using contraception in the month in which they became pregnant.

Marco Flores Deserves to Stay in the U.S.: A Feminist Argument Against Deportation

Marco Flores and his mother migrated to the U.S. from El Salvador for a better future. When Marco was 9, a neighbor began sexually abusing him, which continued until Marco was 14. Eventually, Marco’s mother told him the neighbor would soon be moving into their home to babysit his 6-year-old nephew. Convinced that this was the only way to protect his nephew from the abuse he had endured, teenage Marco murdered Jaime Galdamez. Marco accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Now in his early 30s, Marco has served his time and is set to be released—and immediately deported back to El Salvador. Two lawyers are fighting for him to remain. A feminist understanding of immigration ethics offers a better understanding of the moral challenge in question—underscoring why Marco Flores deserves to remain in the United States.

Human Rights Advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh on Activism in the U.S. and Iran: ‘Democratic Resistance and Belief in Civil Society Always Pays Off’

On Oct. 29, Iranian human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh was assaulted, arrested and put in prison for attending the funeral of 16-year-old Armita Garawand, who was beaten to death for not wearing a hijab. Despite her injuries, Nasrin began a hunger and medication strike and was released on bail two weeks later. She still faces over 13 years in prison. 

But the activist and attorney is not giving up hope. “Democratic resistance and belief in civil society always pays off in the long run. Governments can be dictatorial and autocratic, and they can have all kinds of armies and weapons at their disposal. Despite this, we see them fail over and over again, and something better emerges because of humanity’s collective will. I draw strength from all these experiences. I hope you can, too.”