‘A Virtual Abortion Doula in Your Pocket’: Aya Contigo Helps Latinas Find Abortion Care

U.S. abortion bans impact 6.7 million Latinas in the United States—the largest group of women of color impacted by these bans. Many lack insurance, cannot travel and face language and cultural barriers to reproductive healthcare. 

To address these barriers, two Canadian physicians—Dr. Roopan Gill and Dr. Genevieve Tam—co-created Aya Contigo, an app with an embedded live virtual chat to help people access contraception and abortion. Ms. spoke with Dr. Gill, an OB-GYN with advanced training in complex family planning about her work with Vitala Global and Aya Contigo.

Protect More Than Women’s Bodies on Campus

Research shows that among college students, women report more mental health issues than men. The work to protect women’s bodies is so important and still needed—but it is also important that we take steps to proactively protect the mental health of our female students. 

The year I went up for tenure, I had a series of unexpected and traumatic experiences. I know I am not the only faculty to experience a mental health breakdown at a high-stress and highly important time in my academic career. In fact, mental health problems in academia are under-discussed and relatively common. 

The Quest for Perfection Is Stunting Women’s Academic Potential

In the latest study on gender and perfectionism by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the majority of women in the surveyed group were perfectionists. And Harvard economics professor Claudia Goldin conducted a study that found female students responded more negatively to imperfect grades than male students.

“It seems like the strongest social pressure affecting college-educated, professional women today isn’t that they’re afraid to succeed; it’s that they’re afraid not to,” wrote Amanda Hess, critic and regular contributor to
The New York Times

We Must Stop Catholic Hospitals From Closing More Labor and Delivery Units

When I became a registered nurse two decades ago, I chose to work at my local Catholic hospital: Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas. This Mother’s Day provides a bleak reminder of the stark contrast between my Catholic employer’s public image and the reality inside its hospitals.

Ascension is one of the largest and wealthiest nonprofit and Catholic hospital systems in the United States. Ascension cut a quarter of its labor and delivery units, just in the last decade.

The Catholic health ministry boasts the mission of giving “special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.” Act like it.

Access to Contraception Should Not Be Up for Debate

I’m a women’s health nurse practitioner (NP) and educator at Emory University, teaching the next generation of NPs to care for individuals across the lifespan including for the sexual and reproductive healthcare needs.

From the first over-the-counter birth control hitting the shelves, to attacks on FDA-approved drugs, it’s felt like whiplash for reproductive freedoms in this country. 

I Used to Work Two Jobs and Made $1400 a Month. With Guaranteed Income, I Can Spend More Time With My Kids.

Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust (MMT) is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“Before the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, I was making about $680 every two weeks. Rent was my biggest monthly expense. … I had to work a lot of overtime before I started receiving MMT. Now I get to spend more time with my kids.”

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.

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.

Out of Touch on Menopause: Experts Respond to The Lancet’s ‘Over-Medicalization’ Claims

Menopause is gaining attention in the media and highest levels of government, including the White House—but we still have a long way to go to ensure women get the support they need. A recent series issued by a respected journal, The Lancet, proves this point. 

The series claims to promote an “empowerment model for managing menopause.” To us—more than 250 obstetrician-gynecologists, family medicine physicians, cardiologists, internists, urologists, medical oncologists, psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, nurse practitioners and licensed therapists—this was an unexpected and welcome opportunity.

The series was awash with misstatements that do not reflect the lived experience of women in this stage of life or our clinical experience in treating them.

Women Know Best About Their Bodies: Fighting Doctors’ Disregard and Colorectal Cancer

As a seemingly healthy 39-year-old mom of three young boys, five years after I first questioned what was happening to my body, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer—and it had advanced to stage 3. A lime-sized tumor had gone undetected. I realized something I knew the whole time: I am not crazy; I know my body better than anyone else. My gut was right, something was very wrong. 

One doctor, a gastroenterologist at UCLA, finally saw me. She knew that new cases of colorectal cancer has nearly doubled, resulting in a new standard of care that required colonoscopies beginning at age 45. She knew this disease had become the leading cause of cancer deaths for Americans 20 to 49 years old.biopsies, CT and MRI scans.

So it is urgent: If you are experiencing even one of the symptoms—like bloody stool, stomach pain, urgency to go, and/or anemia causing fatigue—go straight to your doctor and ask to be screened. If the doctors push back or minimize your concerns, keep going.