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What we do today

One in three women across the country cannot get abortion care in their state, according to Planned Parenthood. “The rights we have over the next 20 years will be determined by what we do today,” says Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood. “This is the fight we must have.”

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Banning books

Why are books banned? “To foment anxiety and anger with the goal of suppressing free expression in public education,” concludes PEN America, a nonprofit that works to defend and celebrate free expression. “The freedom to read, learn and think continues to be undermined for students.” I read about “restricted reading” in the fall 2023 issue […]

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Women should be quiet

Women, of course, often have not enjoyed anything close to equality, reports Elizabeth Wayland Barber in her book Women’s Work—The First 20,000 Years. Socrates, Barber writes, once asked an Athenian gentleman named Isomachos if he had trained his 14-year-old bride. Yes, the gentleman replied, because the girl was of “good breeding,” and she had spent […]

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Do something!

Catherine Burks-Brooks was 21 in 1961 when she joined a group of Black and white activists riding a bus through the segregated South. At 11, the Black girl had refused to step out of the way to let white pedestrians pass on the sidewalk. As a teenager, she once threw “Colored” sign off a city […]

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White supremacy

Edward Alfred Pollard wrote a book called The Lost Cause Regained in 1868. In his book, he argued: Slavery was lost, but white supremacy could endure if the white South held fast to its commitment to a racial hierarchy. I read about Pollard in Meacham’s book about Abraham Lincoln–And There Was Light. –Joy

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Changing your mind?

Once, when someone accused Abraham Lincoln of changing his mind, Lincoln replied, “Yes, I have, and I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”

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Goodness is possible

Americans sometimes fall short of their ideals, concludes John Meacham in this book Abraham Lincoln–And There Was Light. “It is a fact of American history that we are not always good, but that goodness is possible. Not universal, not ubiquitous, not inevitable—but possible.”

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Common rights and respect

In his book about Abraham Lincoln–And There Was Light, John Meacham writes: “This book charts Lincoln’s struggle as he defined it within the political universe he and his country inhabited—not to celebrate him for moral perfection, for he was morally imperfect, but to illustrate that progress comes when Americans recognize that all, not just some, […]

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Maternal mortality

These are bleak statistics. The United States ranks 46th in the world for maternal mortality, reports Ms. magazine And, the United States is the only wealthy nation that doesn’t provide paid maternity leave. Globally, paid maternity leave averages 29 weeks.

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Tired and weary

Representative Cori Bush, a Democrat from Missouri, announced the formation of an ERA caucus in the House in April. According to Ms. Magazine, she commented, “I would venture to guess that you have grown tired and weary of our statistics of all the disparate treatment that women experience in this country. Imagine how tired we […]

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