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.”

War on Women Report: New White House Research on Women’s Health; N.J. Prison Closed After Sexual Abuse by Guards

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

This week: Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women shuttered after years of documented physical and sexual abuses by guards; a new White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research; Trump-appointed judges deal blow to Voting Rights Act; and more.

Ms. Magazine’s Prison and Domestic Violence Shelter Program: Let Women on the Inside Know They Are Not Alone

Women in prison often spend 17 hours a day isolated in their cells, with no reading material except the Bible, or with only books and magazines they must share with hundreds of other women. And this past year has seen reading bans inside prisons grow at a more concerning rate than those in public schools and libraries.

If you would like the deep satisfaction of knowing you’re a part of letting women know they’re not alone, please make a tax-deductible contribution to the Ms. Prison and Domestic Violence Shelter Program.

War on Women Report: New House Speaker Is Anti-Women and Anti-Gay Rights; Shooting at Montana Planned Parenthood; Maine’s Deadliest Mass Shooting

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

Since our last report: The U.S. Coast Guard covered up an investigation of systemic sexual misconduct; a man fired two rounds from a shotgun into the front entrance of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Montana; the deadliest mass shooting in Maine’s history; some of Rep. Mike Johnson’s most eyebrow-raising beliefs; President Biden called for $16 billion in emergency childcare funding; and more.

Iranian Women’s Rights Attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh Is Headed Back to Prison

On Sunday, while attending a funeral service for 17-year-old Armita Geravand, renowned Iranian women’s rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested and beaten. A local news agency in Tehran said Sotoudeh’s grounds for arrest were “not wearing a headscarf” and “disturbing the society’s mental security.”

Other Iranian human rights activists, mourners and protesters were arrested alongside Sotoudeh—all of whom had assembled to honor Geravand, who was recently arrested and assaulted by the country’s morality police for not wearing a headscarf. Geravand eventually fell into a coma and died on Saturday, the day before the arrests.

When Any Birth Outcome Can Be a Criminal One

Anti-abortion and right-wing prosecutors and law enforcement agencies are warping child neglect, abuse and endangerment statutes to criminalize behavior during and after pregnancy.

Dobbs “will further accelerate an existing crisis, putting anyone who is pregnant or has the capacity to become pregnant at even greater risk of arrest, prosecution, and conviction,” according to a new report from Pregnancy Justice.