In Swing State of Arizona, a Near-Total Abortion Ban From 1864 Takes Effect

On Saturday in Arizona, a 15-week abortion ban—signed into law on July 6 by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey—was set to take effect. But before it could, a late Friday ruling from Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson green-lighted an anti-abortion law from 1864 that supersedes all other bans, outlawing almost all abortions in the state and penalizing abortion providers who provide the service with two to five years in prison. Abortion is now effectively illegal in the state, making it the 15th U.S. state currently enforcing extreme or total bans on abortion.

There’s a little over a month until the midterm elections, and Arizona is a battleground for federal and state elections. Democrats see the extreme law as an opportunity to mobilize voters.

Harnessing the Power of Women Voters

In 2017, a year into the presidency of Donald Trump, three notable women—Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, and executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Ai-jen Poo—looked to harness the sudden rage and confusion felt by women across the U.S. Garza, Poo and Richards announced the start of a women’s equality organization called Supermajority, a multiracial coalition of women organizing around issues like paid leave and affordable healthcare. The group’s name hearkens to the fact that women make up more than half of the U.S. population. 

These days, Amanda Brown Lierman is the executive director of both Supermajority and the Supermajority Education Fund, a sister nonprofit organization for research, education and development programs that prepare women civic leaders. And Lierman and her team have their eye on the prize: the 2022 midterms.

SNEAK PEEK: Ms. Fall Issue Delves Into Dobbs’ Impact on Midterm Elections

As election season kicks off in earnest and with the consequential midterms fast approaching, pundits are speculating: What effect will the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision have on the election’s outcomes? It’s clear that abortion is on the ballot—but how will it sway turnout and decisions in an election that traditionally sees lower numbers of voters? 

In the Fall issue of Ms., we’re tackling these questions, and much more. Join us as we delve deep into the current state of abortion access nationwide and the security of our very democracy.

Keeping Score: Rep. Ernst Blocks Birth Control Access Bill; Democrats Urge Biden to Extend Student Loan Pause; Amelia Earhart Statue Unveiled in U.S. Capitol

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 in this biweekly round-up.

This week: Massachusetts bill will strengthen reproductive rights for college students; Justice Alito defends his ruling in the name of “religious liberty”; Rep. Cori Bush introduces legislation for reproductive health services; WNBA star Brittney Griner sentenced to nine years in prison; Hong Kong guarantees space for women on company boards; and more.

The Best and Worst States for Gender Parity—and What Works to Increase It

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: the best and worst states for women’s representation and gender parity; what’s working around the globe to increase percentages of women in office; the presence of women artists at MoMA; the vital connection between the work for gender equity and the work to address climate change; and more.

Kansas Voters Overwhelmingly Reject Anti-Abortion Amendment in Primary Election

If passed, a proposed constitutional amendment on Kansas’ primary ballot in August would allow more than 20 laws restricting abortion to stay in effect, including mandatory ultrasounds and biased counseling to discourage abortion, a 24-hour waiting period, parental consent for minors, a 20-week abortion ban, a ban on telemedicine abortion and limitations on public funding and insurance coverage for abortion.

Feminist and equity-focused groups urge Kansas voters to vote “no” on the amendment.

Real Representation Is the Key To Protecting Our Reproductive Freedom

The overturning of Roe has sparked an avalanche of new state abortion restrictions, beginning the process of gutting reproductive healthcare access across the country. But the current situation is not just the result of a conservative Supreme Court. At the heart of this problem are legislative bodies at the local and state levels of government that are not representative of the American people. Harmful legislation—whether abortion restrictions, voter suppression or efforts to ban curricula that are inclusive of all people—often originates at the local level.

Our best (and only) shot at fighting for our civil liberties and protecting people is electing leaders to public office at the community, city and state levels who are reflective of the constituents they set out to represent.

Coalition-Building Is Key to Moving Women’s Political Leadership Forward

We are at a pivotal moment where we need to move towards greater equality more rapidly, so the path to gender parity in civic and political leadership is not 200 years long.

Let’s move beyond partisan politics and individual missions to achieve our collective goal of increasing the number of women in elected and appointed positions across the country, and bringing our country closer to a representative democracy. We can only do this if we work together.

Half a Century of Data on American Women and Politics

At the time of the Center for American Women and Politics’ founding, there were so few women in politics that some male colleagues wondered aloud what the organization would even study.

Five decades later, in a year marked by critical milestones and mixed outcomes for women’s rights and representation, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics is celebrating its anniversary as the original and preeminent source for data, research and resources regarding women in American politics and public life. Ms. spoke recently with Debbie Walsh, CAWP’s director for the last two decades, about the significance of that half-century mark.