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.

The Hypocrisy of a Post-Roe Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day—like the countless that have come before it—conservative politicians who fancy themselves members of the party that upholds “family values” will send out social media posts praising the moms among us. They’ll wax poetic about the “decision” to become a mother and how it’s the “most selfless, most important job in the world.” Some may even go so far as to task their speech writers with crafting some moving message about how vital mothers are; how we’re raising the next generation of prolific thinkers and world leaders; how we should be revered “not just today, but every day.” 

And in the post-Roe world they created with their anti-abortion policies that have forced people into motherhood, attacked IVF and fertility treatments, and left doctors terrified to treat pregnant patients to the point that women are slipping into comas, miscarrying in hospital lobby bathrooms and enduring unnecessary C-sections instead of receiving common abortion care, it will all be one big, giant pile of bullshit.

The Twin Demons of Maternal Mortality and Femicide

Black women in the U.S. face a unique double-bind when it comes to maternal mortality and femicide.

Black maternal health isn’t just about perinatal care; it intersects with racial and reproductive justice, and it’s part of the nexus of gun violence and domestic violence. Focusing on this intersection should drive overwhelming support from both reproductive and racial justice communities working toward solutions. 

‘We Will Win’: Texas Abortion Funds Use Reproductive Justice to Guide Their Grassroots Activism

Texas abortion funds have been maneuvering complicated abortion restrictions for several years.

We interviewed representatives from the Frontera Fund, Texas Equal Access Fund (TEA Fund) and Jane’s Due Process (JDP) to learn how they have been navigating the increasingly challenging work of supporting abortion seekers in a state, home to 30 million residents, where abortions are completely inaccessible.

(This piece is the third in
a series of interviews with fund representatives across the U.S.)

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.

Which Political Party Is Budgeting for Women’s Futures?

For too many—especially women of color—paychecks aren’t keeping up. Inflation is inching downward, but costs for groceries, childcare and rent feel out of reach.

But congressional fights over taxes and spending are really about fundamental questions: What do women, our families and communities need? What kind of future do we want to build? Recent budget proposals by the Biden administration and Republicans in Congress show how our two major political parties answer those questions. The answers were starkly different, revealing high stakes when it comes to women’s ability to participate in the economy, care for their families and control their own reproductive lives. 

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.

Keeping Score: Kamala Harris Is First VP to Visit Abortion Provider; Fani Willis Can Pursue Racketeering Case Against Trump; Birth Control Access Is Key Election Issue

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: Alabama ruling endangers IVF; childcare costs are a significant barrier to parents having more children; Beyoncé and Olivia Rodrigo launch new charities; more than 9,000 women have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza; Biden addresses abortion access in the SOTU; new research on gender discrimination in the workplace; Kamala Harris’ visit to Minnesota abortion clinic is the first time a sitting U.S. president or vice president has visited an abortion provider; a judge ruled Fani Willis should not be disqualified from prosecuting the racketeering case against former President Donald Trump; and more.

Political Abuse Stifles Diversity, Report Shows

In 2022, voters elected the most diverse Congress in history—but that’s not saying much. Congress remains overwhelmingly male and white: Legislators of color make up just 25 percent of the government body, while the overall U.S. electorate is 41 percent people of color. That gap is as wide as it was 40 years ago.

One barrier to fair representation is abuse and intimidation—according to a new report from the Brennan Center. Officeholders at all levels of government face this abuse, but the amount of abuse is disproportionately high for women and people of color. ; It’s interfering with their ability to govern effectively—and it’s making them think twice about staying in politics.