‘Life and Death Decisions in Post-Roe America’: The Ms. Q&A with Shefali Luthra

Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022. But according to Shefali Luthra, author of Undue Burden: Life and Death Decisions in Post-Roe America, “it had been on the verge of collapse for decades.” After all, most Medicaid recipients had lost insurance coverage for the procedure in 1977 and a plethora of restrictions—from parental consent and notification requirements for minors, to mandated counseling sessions to dissuade people from ending their pregnancies—had long kept procedural abortion out of reach for large segments of the population.

Undue Burden digs into this lack of preparedness by introducing diverse people who have been directly impacted by the decision—people who have had to travel hundreds of miles to have an abortion, people whose highly-anticipated pregnancies became untenable, a trans man who became pregnant shortly after beginning his transition, and a young couple who lacked the emotional and financial resources to welcome a second child, among them. Their stories are juxtaposed with those of overwrought clinicians as well as staff at abortion funds. The result is a poignant and dramatic look at the stakes of losing Roe and a compassionate assessment of the human toll wrought by Dobbs.

How Rowena Chiu’s Story Helped Expose Harvey Weinstein—From ‘Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers’

Rowena Chiu began working for Harvey Weinstein in 1998, assisting in the London office with his European film productions. Later that year, at the Venice Film Festival, she found herself at a late-night meeting with the producer. There, she recalls, Weinstein told her “he’d never had a Chinese girl” before attempting to rape her.

After signing a nondisclosure agreement, Chiu spent nearly two decades in what she describes as “constant fear”—“fear of Harvey’s abuse, control and power; that the story would come back to haunt me; that I would inadvertently slip up on my promise to never speak of this.” She was finally inspired to speak out by the powerful testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, whose decision to “speak up” about Brett Kavanaugh in September 2018 made a lasting impression.  

“I can briefly glory in the relief that I am no longer sitting on a sickening secret,” she wrote. 

Separate Is Never Equal: Authors Margaret Beale Spencer and Nancy E. Dowd on Ensuring Equality for America’s Children

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine that allowed public schools to segregate students by race in 1954, it opened the possibility of radical change. But 70 years later, the promise of Brown v. Topeka Board of Education has yet to be realized.

Psychologist Margaret Beale Spencer and attorney Nancy E. Dowd, authors of Radical Brown: Keeping the Promise to America’s Children, interrogate why progress has been slow and uneven.

From Rachel Carson to Wangari Maathai—Meet the Women Who Ignited Environmental Movements

The environmental and feminist movements have grown like stems and branches of a twisting vine or tree. Sometimes merging, sometimes growing apart. At times they have strengthened each other, yet at other times they have grown distant. Ultimately, they both address similar forces of oppression and exploitation. They share a common goal of dismantling the “status quo.” Their shared vision is the thriving of both women and nature. Climate change is not just an environmental crisis—it is a feminist crisis as well. 

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.