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It’s been one year since we lost Ruth Bader Ginsburg

September 20, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Jen Psaki is in the spotlight, German business hasn’t made much progress for women during Angela Merkel’s tenure, and it’s been one year since we lost RBG. Have a peaceful Monday.

– One year without RBG. Can you believe it’s been one year since we lost RBG? Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She left behind an opening on the court, of course, but also an enormous legacy—one that includes a transformation of women’s rights in the United States.

It’s an anniversary that would be sad at any time, but for many, its timing this year is particularly poignant. As Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women’s Law Center, told CNN: “There’s no way she would have wanted the court to be in the place that it is today. But we can’t go back and change that fact. I don’t think it undermines the dramatic work she did, for decades and decades, to protect women.”

Goss Graves was in part referring to the court’s current conservative majority. But no matter what you think about Ginsburg’s successor on the bench, it’s hard to think about the anniversary of the justice’s death without reflecting on what’s changed for reproductive rights in that time.

Without Ginsburg and a liberal majority, the court has allowed Texas to move forward with the country’s most restrictive anti-abortion law. (For more news on that front, read this moving essay by Texas Dr. Alan Braid about why he’s violated the new law to provide an abortion to a woman outside the state’s six-week limit.)

What would Ginsburg think today? She devoted her life to women’s legal rights—including reproductive freedom—so we can guess that she, like many, would be disheartened and outraged.

Katie Gibson, a Colorado State University, put it this way for CNN: “Her legacy certainly deserves celebration, but people placed so much weight on her shoulders, looked at her as a savior, that they might not have been prepared for this moment now that she is gone. … Her plea for collective action was somewhat lost in the cultural frenzy that celebrated Justice Ginsburg as a heroic individual, and I think we are seeing the consequences of that now.”

So on this anniversary, let’s remember Ginsburg’s legacy—without losing sight of the bigger picture.

Emma Hinchliffe

The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe


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- Child support? A ProPublica investigation finds that single mothers who apply to receive welfare assistance are often required to disclose personal details like the identity of their child's biological father and when exactly they became pregnant. Sometimes that information is used to track down a father to compel him to pay child support—which state governments then keep as repayment for the welfare. ProPublica

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Amy Schumer shares her surgery story to raise endometriosis awareness Vanity Fair

A candid, vulnerable Selma Blair explains why she invited cameras to document her MS journey Variety

Halle Berry's fight for the director's chair New York Times


"Guys, you better watch out, 'cause this right here is a women's industry from now on."

-Pamela Williams, a truck driver and instructor with DSC Training Academy in Jackson, Mississippi. More women are getting into trucking as demand for drivers soars. 

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