‘Gaza Is at Breaking Point’: Health Workers and Patients Describe an Unfolding Catastrophe in Rafah

Since the escalation of hostilities in October 2023, around 1.7 million people have been displaced in Gaza, with an estimated 1.5 million crowded into Rafah. As food, fuel, clean water and medical supplies run desperately low, disease, illness, severe hunger and acute malnutrition are rife, particularly among the more than 155,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women and their newborns.

Our Abortion Stories: ‘Kate Cox’s Story Is One of Millions That Must Be Shared, and This Is Mine.’

“My husband and I chose the safety and stability of our family over the risks of another pregnancy. We wanted to ensure that my daughter had a mother, and I wanted my husband to have a wife. … As we brace and prepare for potential shifts this year, the power of telling our personal reproductive stories can be a catalyst for change and a beacon of solidarity. I hope that by telling my full story, others will be encouraged to do the same by knowing that they are not alone. ”

Share your abortion story by emailing myabortionstory@msmagazine.com.

Abortion Pill Revolution: CVS and Walgreens Now Selling Abortion Pills, While Telehealth Abortion Soars

Two developments are significantly increasing access to abortion pills, which have been available for over two decades but highly restricted until recently:

(1.) On March 1, CVS and Walgreens announced they will begin dispensing abortion pills at brick-and-mortar pharmacies in some states, with a promise to expand to more states soon.

(2.) Meanwhile, the Society of Family Planning released its #WeCount report showing that telehealth abortion—where patients consult remotely with a provider, who then mails abortion pills to them—has increased to 16 percent of all abortions.

When Every Miscarriage Is a Murder Scene, Poor Women Pay the Highest Price

The Alabama Supreme Court recently shocked the nation when it held that the word “child” includes frozen embryos. Treating an embryo as the equivalent of a child upends the fertility industry, as it threatens to end in vitro fertilization (IVF) services and puts the status of embryos already in storage in serious question.

While these implications are important to untangle, the brunt of the effects of fetal personhood will fall not upon families with the resources to undergo IVF, but rather on poor and non-white women. Every decision made by a pregnant person could be second-guessed by the government. Every step outside of the most risk-averse approach to pregnancy puts the pregnant person under the microscope of the state.

My Family Was Made Possible by IVF. My Heart Aches for the Women of Alabama.

For over a decade, I have been faced with constant reminders of the long and winding road it took for me to become a mother.

In the wake of last week’s Alabama Supreme Court ruling, there are very obvious places along the way where the whims of a judge who would like a Christian theocracy would supersede the wishes of myself, my husband and the suggestions of my doctors—well-educated and well-known experts in their field. 

This OB-GYN Was Terrified For Her Patients Who Needed Abortions. Then She Became One.

Dr. Austin Dennard is an OB-GYN in Dallas. After Texas banned abortions after six weeks’ gestation (before many women even know they’re pregnant), Dennard’s patients began coming to her with concerns. Then, in 2022, she became a patient who needed an abortion. Now, she is fighting back against the state that’s become a hell on earth for pregnant women—and the extreme Republicans working to make it a reality for every state in the nation.

“There are patients who will choose to continue a pregnancy with anencephaly, and that is okay. But in the state of Texas, there is no choice but to continue. … It didn’t matter in my state that we found this diagnosis early. It did not matter that this baby was never going to survive outside my womb. It didn’t matter that I was a doctor. It didn’t matter that I was a sixth-generation Texan.”

Fighting Fatphobia and Embracing ‘Unshrinking’: The Ms. Q&A With Kate Manne

We live in a society obsessed with fatness. Or, perhaps more accurately, obsessed with fighting it.  Fatness has been rendered a disease, and we are inundated with “cures,” which particularly haunt women’s bodies—and their wallets.

Questioning the devotion to anti-fatness usually prompts a “well, being fat is unhealthy!” But according to Kate Manne, feminist philosopher and author of the recently released Unshrinking: How to Face Fatphobia, the connection between weight and health is not so clear cut. What is clear, Manne brilliantly reveals, is that fatphobia, not fatness, is the problem.

Embracing a ‘Soft Life’: Redefining Strength and Identity for Black Women

As enticing as the idea of the “strong Black woman” sounds, this myth of fierceness, fearlessness and resilience doesn’t hold up under the weight of the racism and sexism Black women face in trying to thrive daily. 

Enter the “soft life.” Soft life intentionally pursues an easy and peaceful life. A soft life is a lifestyle of comfort and relaxation with minimal challenges and stress. Black women rarely get to experience that and often are expected to be the backbone of their families. The ultimate goal is to thrive and enjoy life without having to endure hardships, pain or burdens. 

Our Abortion Stories: ‘I Knew Something Was Wrong, But My Doctor Wouldn’t Listen’

Abortions are sought by a wide range of people for many different reasons. There is no single story. Telling stories of then and now shows how critical abortion has been and continues to be for women and girls. (Share your abortion story by emailing myabortionstory@msmagazine.com.)

Two women detail their experiences with miscarriage and abortion healthcare in this edition of Our Abortion Stories: “It was one blow after another. It turned out the doctors there wanted me to have a hysterectomy. I laughed at them.”