For Immediate Release
October 10, 2006

Erin Carmany
(east coast)
duVergne Gaines
(west coast)

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Fall issue of Ms. magazine hits newsstands

Washington, DC – COVER STORY: " We Had Abortions "

At a time when dozens of states might outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned, Ms. magazine has launched a campaign to put real woman's faces on the abortion issue. The Fall issue of Ms. features the first group of women who have publicly declared that they have had abortions by signing the Ms. Petition for Safe, Legal and Accessible Abortion and Birth Control.

"Women who have had abortions are standing up and taking the debate out of the hands of the politicians. The time for slogans and rhetoric is over." said Eleanor Smeal, publisher of Ms. magazine, who spearheaded the petition drive. "We need to turn the focus to real women's lives."

The current Ms. petition carries on a tradition from the 1972 debut issues of Ms. , in which 53 prominent American women-including Ms. cofounder Gloria Steinem-publicly declared that they had undergone illegal abortions, and called for the repeal of anti-abortion laws in the United States. "I've never stopped being grateful that I was able to have an abortion in my early twenties," said Steinem. "It was the first time I took responsibility for my own life."

The petition comes at a time when South Dakota has an outright ban on abortion on the November ballot, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or to protect the health of the woman. In addition, if Roe v. Wade were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, an estimated 30 states might outlaw abortion. Accompanying the Ms. petition is the investigative article " Showdown on the Plains ," by Rebecca Clarren, who traveled to South Dakota to find out firsthand how that state's draconian ban is now being fought at the ballot box.

And, Ms. looks at the work of Los Angeles artist Andrea Bowers, whose traveling exhibition, " Letters to an Army of Three ," honors the work of three women who risked prosecution in the pre- Roe era to inform women where they could obtain safe abortions. A detail of an image from Bowers' show appears on the cover of the magazine.


--The Geography of Breast Cancer , by Francesca Lyman. In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Ms. maps breast cancer "hot spots" and examines the movement to understand environmental correlations of breast cancer.

--Fatal Error on AIDS . Ms. teams up with the Center for Public Integrity for an analysis of how ideology is trumping good science and public health policy as Bush's global AIDS plan ignores reality and endangers women's lives.

--School's Out in Afghanistan . In a timely report, foreign correspondent Bay Fang reveals how girls' schools in Afghanistan are under increasing attacks just as a provincial director of the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs, who was opening schools for girls and women's occupational training programs, is assassinated.

--No More Excuses for Wage Disparity . Two top sex-discrimination lawyers, Debra S. Katz and Justine F. Andronici, argue that the "she-didn't-ask-for-more" defense can no longer be used to explain away the wage gap and the promotion gap.

Interviews are available with Ms. publisher Eleanor Smeal, cofounder Gloria Steinem, and executive editor Katherine Spillar .

The Fall issue of Ms. is available on newsstands October 10.




Copyright Ms. Magazine 2009