Battle on Girls Report: Mike Pence Requires Nationwide Ban on Abortion Capsules; Minnesota Is First State to Defend Abortion Rights in 2023

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. However day after day, we keep vigilant in our targets to dismantle patriarchy at each flip. The combat is way from over. We’re watching, and we refuse to return. That is the Battle on Girls Report.

Since Our Final Report ….

Thus far this 12 months has been an actual whiplash:

  • Fifty percent of women are uncertain if treatment abortion is authorized of their state and one-third of adults are uncertain if emergency contraception is authorized of their state. 
  • Minnesota turned the first state to enshrine the best to abortion into regulation this 12 months. Final 12 months, California, Michigan and Vermont enshrined the best to abortion of their state constitutions. 
  • GOP lawmakers throughout the U.S. are mimicking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantiscontroversial “Don’t Say Homosexual regulation limiting LGBTQ discussions. Wyoming lawmakers launched a proposal to ban references to sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten by third grade. A Missouri proposal would prohibit any faculty worker from speaking about the identical topics with any scholar youthful than 18 except the worker is a licensed psychological well being counselor.
  • Utah banned gender-affirming care for transgender children—the fifth state to enact laws limiting healthcare for trans youngsters after Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Arizona handed comparable legal guidelines.
  • The richest Black moms and their infants are twice as more likely to die in comparison with the richest white moms and their infants. 

Let’s not neglect what else was thrown our approach over the past month.

Wednesday, Feb. 1

+ Beginning this month, as a part of a ruling in a toddler custody dispute, new mom Arleta Ramirez was ordered to make use of a bottle as a substitute of breastfeeding. Ramirez and the daughter’s father break up shortly after the delivery and he moved out of their house. On Nov. 28, 2022, a Prince William County decide ordered that the daddy may go to the child 4 days per week forward of in a single day visits. The order had one other situation: “Mom is to make each effort to put the kid on a feeding schedule and use a bottle.” 

Ramirez didn’t know what to do. Authorities agreed that “breast is finest,” however her child fed as a lot as as soon as per hour and the daddy complained that feeding instances interfered along with his visits. Breast milk is backed by the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics, citing “unequivocal evidence” that it protects newborns from illness.

“Why are they forcing me to cease breastfeeding?” requested Ramirez. “Isn’t that her proper? Isn’t that in her finest curiosity?”

Thursday, Feb. 2

+ Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was removed from the Home International Affairs Committee after a party-line vote within the Home, for what Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) described as “repeated antisemitic and anti-American remarks.” “Omar’s language about Israel was careless and, inadvertently, drew on anti-Semitic tropes,” wrote Pema Levy in Mother Jones, however “the GOP has been gunning for Omar ever since she was elected.”

Some Democrats defended her. In a Thursday morning information convention, Minority Chief Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) mentioned: “What’s going to happen on the ground at this time will not be a public coverage debate. It’s not about accountability. It’s about political revenge.” On the Home ground, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), accused her Republican colleagues of racism. “That is about focusing on ladies of colour in the US of America,” she mentioned.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), joined by Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), speaks at a press convention on committee assignments on Jan. 25, 2023. (Kevin Dietsch / Getty Photographs)

+ The federal government can’t cease individuals who have home violence restraining orders in opposition to them from owning firearms, in line with a federal appeals courtroom ruling. The appeals courtroom dominated the federal regulation banning folks below home violence restraining orders from proudly owning firearms was unconstitutional—one thing that “our ancestors would have by no means accepted.” The choice got here from a three-judge panel consisting of Judges Cory Wilson, James Ho and Edith Jones. Wilson and Ho have been nominated by Donald Trump whereas Jones was nominated by Ronald Reagan. Now, Individuals don’t have any energy to disarm males who’re more than likely to homicide their companions and kids.

+ Excellent news! Indiana Legal professional Todd Rokita is facing a disciplinary probe by the Indiana Supreme Court docket Disciplinary Fee over potential misconduct on account of his harassment campaign in opposition to Dr. Caitlin Bernard. Dr. Bernard was the abortion supplier who helped a 10-year-old rape survivor get hold of an abortion final 12 months and was on the heart of the nation’s abortion debate.

Friday, Feb. 3

+ Derek Myers, who briefly labored with Rep. George Santos’ (R-N.Y.) workplace, accused Santos of sexual harassment, in line with a letter despatched to the Home of Ethics Committee. Within the letter, Myers mentioned he was alone in Santos’ workplace on Jan. 25 and was discussing mail obtained by constituents when the Republican congressman requested him if he had a Grindr account, which is a well-liked homosexual courting app. 

Myers additionally mentioned Santos requested him to take a seat subsequent to Santos on a sofa the place he positioned his hand on Myers’ knee. Santos mentioned that his husband was out of city and that Myers ought to “come over,” in line with the letter. Santos then moved his hand up Myers’ leg “into my internal thigh and proceeded to the touch my groin.” On Twitter, Myers shared he filed a police report with the U.S. Capitol Police concerning the incident.

Tuesday, Feb. 7

+ A federal courtroom ruling from a decide recognized for his anti-abortion views may quickly ban access to medication abortion throughout the U.S., regardless of overwhelming proof that treatment abortion is secure and efficient. This ruling turns into much more harmful when contemplating ladies and others of reproductive age (15-49) in counties the place treatment abortion is the one obtainable choice.

One of many drugs utilized in a self-managed abortion, mifepristone, might quickly be pressured off the U.S. market. (Phil Walter / Getty Photographs)

+ Idaho Republicans launched new legislation that will label anybody who helps a teen journey out-of-state for an abortion as a “human trafficker.” This push marks the primary of what’s going to be many makes an attempt to more and more chip away at ladies and ladies’ potential to go away the state for important healthcare.

+ Texas filed a lawsuit in opposition to the Biden administration to block it from asking pharmacies to fill reproductive well being prescriptions. This lawsuit targets guidance issued by the Biden administration final summer time that pharmacies threat violating anti-discrimination legal guidelines in the event that they refuse to fill prescriptions for important treatment. Some pharmacies are involved that they may very well be prosecuted in anti-abortion states for filling prescriptions for medicine that may also be used to terminate a being pregnant. For instance, methotrexate is used to deal with continual situations akin to rheumatoid arthritis however it is usually widespread for treating ectopic pregnancies. 

This observe document will not be new for Texas. Final 12 months, the state sued the Biden administration over steerage requiring hospitals to offer abortion care to sufferers dealing with medical emergencies.

Monday, Feb. 13

+ “We need to” ban abortion drugs nationwide, mentioned Mike Pence in a just lately leaked audio. This isn’t stunning. The previous vp has been in a battle in opposition to abortion entry his total profession. On the day Roe fell, he argued “we must not rest” till abortion is banned in each state and later supported Sen. Lindsey Graham’s suggest nationwide ban.

+ Three students were killed and 5 others wounded—some with life-threatening accidents—in a capturing on Michigan State College’s campus. Police recognized the suspect as Anthony Dwayne McRae, 43, who had no ties to the varsity. The gunman fled the scene however later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This assault is reportedly the second faculty capturing of the 12 months and occurred a day earlier than the fifth anniversary of the Parkland school shooting

“This actually has been a nightmare we live tonight,” mentioned Chris Rozman of the MSU Police. President Biden known as for an finish to gun violence, and plenty of are remembering the victims: juniors Arielle Anderson and Alexandria Verner, and sophomore Brian Fraser.

+ Practically one-third of highschool ladies reported in 2021 that they severely thought-about suicide, up almost 60 % from a decade in the past, in line with recent research from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Teen ladies throughout the U.S. are “engulfed in a rising wave of violence and trauma,” mentioned the federal researchers. Nearly 15 % of sweet sixteen ladies mentioned they have been pressured to have intercourse—a rise of 27 % over two years—and 13 % tried suicide, in contrast with 7 % of boys.

Abortion rights supporters exterior of the Austin Conference Middle on Could 14, 2022, in Austin, Texas, the place the American Freedom Tour with former President Donald Trump was being held. Protests have been a response to the Supreme Court docket’s then-leaked draft opinion indicating the Court docket’s plan to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Brandon Bell / Getty Photographs)

Thursday, Feb. 16 

+ The Kentucky Supreme Court docket rejected a request to dam two abortion bans, leaving abortion unavailable within the state whereas the case performs out. The courtroom was requested to reinstate an injunction blocking the state’s set off ban and a ban on abortion after six weeks of being pregnant. The justices despatched the problem again to a decrease courtroom, clarifying that their determination doesn’t “in any approach decide whether or not the Kentucky Structure protects or doesn’t shield the best to obtain an abortion.” Three months in the past, Kentucky voters rejected a poll measure that will have specified that the state structure doesn’t shield the best to abortion. 

“Even after Kentuckians overwhelmingly voted in opposition to an anti-abortion poll measure, abortion stays banned within the state,” said Deliberate Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union in an announcement. “We’re extraordinarily disenchanted in at this time’s determination, however we’ll by no means quit the combat to revive bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom in Kentucky.”

+ GOP presidential contender Nikki Haley isn’t “in her prime” at age 51, mentioned Don Lemon, CNN co-anchor. “A lady is taken into account to be of their prime in [their] 20s and 30s and possibly 40s,” mentioned Lemon. Throughout the CNN newsroom, feminine journalists have been shocked at Lemon’s remark. 

Later Thursday, Lemon apologized for his comments, saying he regretted his “inartful and irrelevant” references to a lady’s prime age. “A lady’s age doesn’t outline her both personally or professionally,” he mentioned. “I’ve numerous ladies in my life who show that each day.” Lemon returned to the community’s air on Feb. 22 and can take part in formal training following sexist feedback.

Sunday, Feb. 19

+ All 49 awards on the 2023 BAFTA movie awards got to white folks. However the nominations have been rather more numerous than the winners’ circle—about 40 % of the appearing nominees have been folks of colour.

Tuesday, Feb. 21

+ Led by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), 21 Democratic governors introduced the launch of the Reproductive Freedom Alliance, a coalition dedicated to defending and increasing reproductive care of their states. The Alliance will work collectively to strengthen abortion entry within the face of the Republican’s persistent assault on all features of reproductive healthcare. 

Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Professional-Alternative America, released the next assertion in response:

“Anti-choice Republicans are threatening the rights of Individuals in each state—regardless of the place you reside, your rights are at risk. This Alliance will counter extremist assaults on reproductive freedom by defending entry and restoring our rights. Proper now, almost 25 million folks dwell in states with bans on abortion in impact; we look ahead to working with these governors to make sure of us can get the care they want whereas increasing entry in every single place.”

Wednesday, Feb. 22

+ Lawmakers in 23 states have launched or pre-filed not less than 80 payments that may make it tougher to vote at house, in line with recent research from the Brennan Middle. One invoice in Mississippi (SB 2358) would restrict neighborhood return of mailed-out ballots, prohibiting knowingly amassing or transmitting a poll that was mailed to a different particular person apart from a relative, family member or caregiver. At present, there are not any restrictions on the dealing with or mailing of ballots by people apart from the voter. 

One other invoice in Arizona (H.B. 2231) would take away no-excuse mail voting. Solely people who find themselves bodily unable to go the polls, absent from their jurisdiction, or visually impaired may vote previous to Election Day. If any of those payments cross and be signed into regulation, they’d go into impact earlier than the 2024 presidential primaries and election.

Thursday, Feb. 23

+ Harvey Weinstein, former Hollywood producer, was sentenced in L.A. to an additional 16 years in prison for rape and sexual assault prices. Weinstein, 70, is already serving a 23-year jail sentence in New York.

A march in opposition to sexual harassment, violence and U.S. President Donald Trump in solidarity with American ladies in the course of the Girls’s March together with the #MeToo motion,on Jan. 20, 2018, in Rome (Photograph by Andrea Ronchini/NurPhoto through Getty Photographs)

+ R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 20 years in jail in a Chicago federal courtroom following his conviction final 12 months on prices of kid pornography and enticement of a minor. Kelly, 56, is already serving a 30-year jail time period for his 2021 conviction on racketeering and intercourse trafficking prices in a New York federal courtroom. “Robert Kelly is a serial sexual predator who, over the course of a few years, particularly focused younger ladies and went to nice lengths to hide his abuse of Jane and different minor victims,” mentioned the prosecutors in a submitting. “To today, and even following the jury verdict in opposition to him, Kelly refuses to just accept duty for his crimes.”

Up subsequent:

U.S. democracy is at a harmful inflection level—from the demise of abortion rights, to an absence of pay fairness and parental depart, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and assaults on trans well being. Left unchecked, these crises will result in wider gaps in political participation and illustration. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Modification, and centering the tales of these most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we’re redoubling our dedication for the following 50 years. In flip, we’d like your assist, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll obtain the print journal together with our e-newsletters, motion alerts, and invites to Ms. Studios occasions and podcasts. We’re grateful on your loyalty and ferocity.