Roe v. Wade just turned 49. Will the Supreme Court decision make it to 50?

January 24, 2022, 1:58 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The Arizona Democratic Party censures Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an activist investor offers to buy Kohl’s, and we wonder: did we just mark the last anniversary of Roe v. Wade?

– Golden anniversary? This Saturday marked the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. For many, the occasion raised the same question: will Roe make it to 50?

The Supreme Court is set to decide on Mississippi’s abortion law in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health by this summer, a ruling that, given the court’s conservative majority, could very well overturn the case that has guaranteed the right to an abortion across the U.S. since 1973. Of course, Roe has already been hobbled in much of the country by state legislation that makes abortion inaccessible to millions women at most stages of pregnancy. Still, there’s something different about the end of Roe itself.

The significance of this particular anniversary was on the minds of not just abortion rights supporters, but of anti-abortion activists too. There was an unusual air of celebration at this year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

So how do you mark an anniversary when you worry it could be the last? The Biden administration, for its part, set up a task force on reproductive health care access within the Department of Health and Human Services. And in the NYT, women who received abortions before Roe reflected on life then—and what their experiences tell us about a possible future.

“There were so many girls from that era that did not survive,” remembered Rita Ray, who had an abortion in 1959. “I would never, ever want anybody to go through what I went through,” added Arla Ralston, who had an abortion in 1970.

And then there’s this from Wanda Kilbourne, who had an abortion in 1970: “In all of the years since then, I’ve never told anyone this story.”

As we wait to learn Roe‘s fate, I suggest reading the stories of these women. By keeping their accounts alive, we can help ensure that no matter the outcome in the Mississippi case, women aren’t hurtled back to a time when having an abortion is a secretive, dangerous, and lonely experience.

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


- Sinema censure. The Arizona Democratic Party voted to censure Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who represents the state in the Senate, after she voted against changing Senate rules that would have allowed voting rights legislation to advance. The party said that Sinema failed "to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy." Former Sinema staffers and campaign volunteers, meanwhile, say they feel betrayed by the senator.

- Healthy debate. CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch gets the corner office interview in the NYT. She talks about hiring amid a labor shortage, CVS Health's opposition to public health insurance proposals like Medicare for All, and how CVS is thinking about political donations a year after the Jan. 6 riots. New York Times

- In-store sale. Kohl's, led by CEO Michelle Gass, is continuing to face pressure from activist investors. Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP offered $9 billion to buy the department store chain—an offer that came after a different activist urged changes to the board and consideration of a sale. WSJ

- Online and lonely. During the pandemic, Gen X women have reported the sharpest rise in loneliness. That means that "moms in middle age" are "rarely alone, often online, and increasingly lonely." Gen X women say the pressures of caregiving and work are both helped and hurt by social media, which facilitates connection but can increase feelings of loneliness. WSJ

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Olympic ice hockey player and New Jersey Devils manager for player development Meghan Duggan is now president of the Women's Sports Foundation; Ivy League executive director Robin Harris will be the organization's board of trustees chair. 


- Court reporter. Is Ginni Thomas a threat to the Supreme Court? The wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, known for her own conservative politics, is working with multiple organizations involved in cases that will appear before the court. The New Yorker's Jane Mayer investigates her influence. The New Yorker

- Online dating tragedy. A 24-year-old woman named Lauren Smith-Fields was found dead in her Bridgeport, Connecticut apartment in December after she went on a Bumble date. Her family and friends have rallied to protest the lack of attention to her case; they say police have mishandled the investigation. Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd said on Instagram this weekend that she was "saddened by this loss" of a "vibrant, young woman" and "Bumble community member," and added that Bumble offered its full support to Smith-Fields' family and the Bridgeport police. Rolling Stone 

- Double pay gap. The gender pay gap hits some families particularly hard—especially same-gender couples. A new study of earnings of same-sex couples found that families with two men as breadwinners earned an average of $121,000 in income, while families with two female earners took home $93,000, which is less than the average for mixed-gender couples. Axios


Green M&M’s fashion makeover is COVID comfy, but not everyone is happy WSJ

Honoring his mother was Louie Anderson's life's work Vulture

The cult of Saint Joan NYT


"I think it’s important for people to not only be in the physical world but also to be in the digital world. I see this is as the future of partying, going out, interacting with people and being social."

-Paris Hilton on her interests in NFTs

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