What Will Happen To Abortion Rights After Justice Anthony Kennedy Retires?

This is not a drill: Justice Anthony Kennedy will retire from The U.S. Supreme Court, effective July 31, per a resignation letter sent to President Donald Trump on Wednesday. Please excuse me while I vomit on my shoes in panic over the inevitable loss of the rights to my own body. Not to sound alarmist, but this is yet another step in the direction of our IRL Handmaid’s Tale scenario. It’s all playing out, just as we predicted. Our rights are in more danger than ever, advocates and legal experts say.

In his time on the Court, Justice Kennedy, a moderate conservative, provided the swing votes that legalized same-sex marriage and protected abortion rights and affirmative action. His decision to step down comes the day after the Court ended its 2017 term, and two years to the day since Kennedy was the deciding vote in the landmark Whole Women’s Health case that blocked a Texas law that shut down most of the state’s abortion clinics.

In 2017, Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch, who most recently sided with conservative justices in striking down a California law aiming to ban fake women’s health clinics from lying to pregnant women about their health options. Translation: Trump has already appointed one Justice who is not friendly to abortion rights and access. While the Gorsuch appointment was only a replacement for the very conservative Antonin Scalia, who died just before President Barack Obama left office, the ability to replace Justice Kennedy represents a total re-stacking of the court in a conservative direction that could lead to a complete loss of abortion rights in this country.

“Justice Kennedy provided a critical vote to uphold a woman’s right to abortion and to stop politicians from blocking a woman from having an abortion. We’ve now lost his tie-breaking vote and President Trump has promised to replace him with a Justice who would take away the constitutional right to have an abortion altogether,” explains Jennifer Dalven, Director, Reproductive Freedom Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

For millions of women, this new appointment could mean they won’t be able to get their abortion, whether Roe is overturned right away or not.

“The fact of the matter is that many of the most conservative state legislatures have been waiting for this moment. They have been passing laws that should not stand, that are not constitutional given current precedent, with the hopes that the court will one day change,” adds Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health.

Indeed, already there are countless cases working their way through federal courts that could lead to a challenge of Roe. This includes the case that struck down the Indiana fetal burial law signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence, which has made it through the court of appeals already. It also includes a case challenging the loss Medicaid funding for preventive health services at clinics that also provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood.

The (sort of) good news is that “most of the cases that are farthest along in the Federal courts don’t directly concern the issues that would invite the court to overturn Roe,” says Amy Myrick, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “But we have to worry. They can re-frame their questions later in litigation.”

There are also two cases challenging pre-viability bans, a 15-week ban in Mississipi and a 6-week ban in Iowa. Regarding those cases, Myrick says that although frightening in the context of a much more conservative Supreme Court, both are years away from becoming a direct challenge to Roe. “It’s a long road for either of those cases. There’s nothing the anti-choice side can do to make those cases move that much faster.”

But frankly folks, the overturning of Roe is the least of our problems. In so many places, abortion is already out of reach for far too many women. More than half of the country — 29 states — can be termed “hostile” to abortion rights, according to the The Guttmacher Institute, which tracks state laws designed to make getting an abortion more difficult. According to their 2017 report, “58% of American women of reproductive age lived in a state considered either hostile or extremely hostile to abortion rights in 2017. Only 30% of women lived in a state supportive of abortion rights.”

Dalven adds that although any abortion-related case that comes before the court could be a route to reverse Roe, what is more likely (and more disturbing, since this strategy is already well under way) is that the court will simply stop blocking laws that target abortion providers with such strict requirements that clinics close, or women are forced to spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars to travel, get time off work, and jump through hoops like waiting periods and get medically unnecessary ultrasounds.

“Roe is really not the relevant question at this point,” Dalven says. “The question is are they going to uphold laws like the one they struck down in the Whole Women’s Health case? Justice Kennedy stopped that from happening. For millions of women, this new appointment could mean they won’t be able to get their abortion, whether Roe is overturned right away or not.”

What’s most important right now is making your voice heard on this issue. “People do have an opportunity to take action. We need to make it clear to the current members of the U.S. senate, as well as those who could be voted in this year, that anyone who cannot commit to women’s rights does not belong on the Supreme Court,” Miller says. “We can all vote in the upcoming elections to make sure our elected officials stand up for women’s rights and equality, to which the right to choose an abortion is absolutely critical.”

So, get out your phones now to call your senators at (202) 224-3121, and make sure you’re registered to vote.

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It's A Bra! It's A Top! It's Your New Summer Essential

We use clothing to express ourselves, but sometimes, it’s what we wear below the surface that makes us feel most powerful. This week, UndHER World is taking down the taboo of lingerie through personal stories, shoppable roundups, and a closer look at what lies underneath.

With July nearly upon us, it’s officially the season to let it all hang out. Our legs are finally getting a little sun, our shoulders are, well, maybe a little burnt, and we’re fully leaning into the months ahead when less is more, clothing-wise. Between the tie tops, short-shorts, and easy dresses, we’re far from strangers to showing a bit of skin. But, don’t leave that tummy in the shadows. It’s also time to show off your midsection. It feels like you’d be hard-pressed to find any top that’s not a crop-top this season, but we’re taking the crop to new heights. Enter: The bra top.

Whether a longer version of a sports-bra or a knit, linen, or tie-front variation (tackling two trends in one), there’s a bra top for however much you’re willing to bare. Paired perfectly with a matching pant or skirt (yep, sets are still going strong) or some of the season’s ’80s-revival bermuda shorts, bra tops are the essential you didn’t know your high-waisted bottoms were missing. The best news? It’s totally fair game to go braless if you’re comfortable with it — but plausible to throw on a strapless bra or some stick-ons if you’re looking for a tad more support. However you choose to go quasi-topless this summer, click ahead to explore some of the best takes on this hot-weather must-have.

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The Facts About Marine Plastic Pollution — & How You Can Help

There’s no denying that marine plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to our environment. According to new data, a staggering 1 million plastic bottles (mostly disposable water bottles) are sold globally every minute. This equates to roughly 20,000 bottles a second. The U.S. alone is estimated to throw away enough 12-ounce plastic bottles to circle Earth about 11 times a week or 600 times a year. A large amount of un-recycled plastic will eventually end up in the ocean and/or be mistaken by animals as food. In recent years, scientists and advocates alike have increased their efforts to raise awareness about this widespread issue — all while stressing the importance of taking action now. In partnership with adidas x Parley, we’re sharing five easy ways you can make a difference to protect the ocean.

Ditch disposable plastics.

As of 2017, we’ve accumulated about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste. 79% of it — like bottles, straws, grocery bags, and coffee cup lids — has wound up in landfills and the natural environment. Investing in a reusable water bottle is one example of how you can easily spend less and eliminate trash.

Source: Science Advances, Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made, July 2017.

Avoid chemical sunscreen and products with microbeads.

Oxybenzone, the UV-filtering ingredient found in most sunblock, is toxic to coral reefs. Scientists estimate anywhere between 5,400 and 12,700 metric tons of sunscreen lotion is released into the reefs each year, putting nearly 40% of them along coastal areas at risk.

Researches have also calculated that a whopping 8 trillion microbeads (tiny plastics used in everything from face scrubs to cleaning supplies) are washed into U.S. aquatic habitats every day. That’s enough to cover 300 tennis courts.

As alternatives, switch over to using mineral-based sunblocks and goods made with natural exfoliators.

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Sources: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, October 2015. Environmental Science & Technology, Scientific Evidence Supports a Ban on Microbeads, October 2015.

Wear items made with upcycled materials.

Aside from plastic bags, the bulk of marine plastic pollution comes from plastic beverage bottles. Once discarded into the environment, it takes an average of 450 years for just one bottle to decompose. In an effort to prevent plastic waste from entering our oceans, adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans and turned a threat into a thread: performance sportswear.

Each pair of the Ultraboost Parley shoe is made with Parley Ocean Plastic™: upcycled waste from beaches and coastal communities that is intercepted before it reaches the ocean. Thus, by design, each pair prevents roughly 11 plastic bottles from further harming the ecosystem.

Source: New Hampshire Department of Environmental Sciences.

Repurpose old plastic containers.

According to the EPA, “The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place.” Reusing plastic products rather than making new ones saves money and energy, and it lessens greenhouse gas emissions known to speed up global climate change.

Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Participate in a beach cleanup.

There are at least 267 known marine animal and bird species that have suffered from the entanglement or ingestion of plastic debris. Always remember to pick up after yourself when you’re at the beach, and consider getting involved in a larger cleanup effort to keep wildlife safe.

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Source: Research Gate, Plastic marine debris: Sources, distribution and impacts on coastal and ocean biodiversity, January 2016.

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Fenty Beauty's New Eye-Makeup Collection Is Here — & It's Gorgeous

You’ll recall that Rihanna majorly dropped the mic fashion-wise back at the 2017 Met Gala, in an off-the-runway (and off-the-wall) dress designed by Rei Kawakubo, the honoree of the night. But let’s not forget the equally avant-garde fuchsia eyeshadow she also wore, the vibrant color draping down from her eyes to her cheeks. It was epic, and therefore it was only a matter of time before the makeup mogul released a full eye-makeup collection for Fenty Beauty.

With the Moroccan Spice Collection, Rihanna has done just that, and looked to one of her favorite countries for inspiration. The brand revealed that its creator has actually been wearing the product range for months now, on red carpets and behind the scenes, and she was also heavily involved in creating it. “She actually handpicked all these eyeshadows, which makes it super unique,” Fenty Beauty global makeup artist Hector Espinal tells us.

The culturally-inspired collection includes a 16-shadow palette which has stolen the show all over social media, thanks to its dreamy packaging and spot-on color scheme, along with a liquid eyeliner called Flyliner (reportedly Rihanna’s favorite) and the Pro Filt’r Amplifying Eye Primer, which ensures your RiRi-approved look lasts all day.

If you want to get your hands on the collection right away, Rihanna is bringing the spice market to customers in New York City with three pop-up shops from June 27-29. And if you can’t make it or don’t live in the area, the Moroccan Spice Collection is available online now for pre-order and will drop at Fenty Beauty, Sephora, and Harvey Nichols on July 6. Ahead, everything you need to know so you can pre-order with confidence…

If this eyeshadow palette reminds you of a real-deal spice market in Morocco, that’s because it’s supposed to. It comes complete with 16 shades and a range of finishes (matte, metallic, satin, glitter and pearl), including one turquoise shade, “Evil Genie,” which was inspired by the eyeshadow Rihanna wore in her “Wild Thoughts” video.

FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA, $59, available at Fenty Beauty

No palette is complete without an eyeshadow brush. The All-Over Eyeshadow Brush distributes color evenly onto the entire lid, but can also blend it out out with its tapered fan shape. If you want the pigment to stand out even more, spritz face primer or face mist onto your shadow brush to really get a grab of the product.

FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA, $24, available at Fenty Beauty

For those that find eyeliner challenging to apply, Fenty Beauty gets it. Thanks to its triangular shape, the Flyliner pen makes it more comfortable when you’re trying to ace that cat-eye. Espinal also loves how long-lasting the liner is. “I feel like I can do anything with it, and it won’t budge,” he says.

FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA, $20, available at Fenty Beauty

If you feel like your eyeshadow never stays put, this is for you. The unique cotton-bud applicator is comfortable to apply and smooths right onto the lid. When applying, remember to wait a minute or two for the primer to set before adding on eyeshadow.

FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA, $22, available at Fenty Beauty

Whether you want an over-the-top smokey eye or a minimal look, this smaller tapered brush will come in handy. Plus, the bristles are super-soft, so it’s easy to blend the color.

FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA, $24, available at Fenty Beauty

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Confessions Of Beyoncé's Makeup Artist: From Crazy In Love To OTR II

Imagine being so close to Beyoncé that you could just reach out and touch her. Now imagine being able to do that and getting paid for it. That is Francesca Tolot ‘s actual job.

Beauty-industry veteran Tolot is a celebrity and editorial makeup artist whose work you’ve seen on the cover of Vogue, in Atomic Blonde, and on the face of Beyoncé, in music videos like “Crazy In Love” and “Partition” — and, most recently, for the On The Run II tour.

It’s been 15 years since Tolot began working with the star (“I’ve done every single music video since her first solo album,” Tolot says), so it was only natural that she be in charge of Bey’s makeup for all the video content and stripped-down tour-book photos for the Carters’ joint performances. So, what’s that like? We asked — and Tolot answered.

We know Beyoncé is the ultimate boss. What was the creative direction like on set for the OTR II content?
It was pretty loose — she really trusts me. We do have a connection and we kind of think the same way. She never gives me strong direction; it’s more about expressing her feelings and what she wants to portray and communicate through her look. From there it’s a collaboration and that transfers into the hair and makeup. I feel very blessed that we do have such a connection that there’s never a need for a long conversation or images from the internet [for inspiration].”

So, you two don’t pull images from Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration?
“No, we just connect on that kind of level. It really requires minimal words and images to understand each other.”

What inspiration did you use?
“We were in Jamaica, so the whole island flavor, spirit, and music really inspired these looks. It was that with a little bit of vintage added to it, but in a modern way.”

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on


Did she have a specific look in mind?
It was one of her desires to be really natural, raw, and herself. She wanted her hair and makeup to be minimal. She feels very good in her skin. She’s one of those people who can wear absolutely nothing and go out and be photographed.”

Does she like to do that a lot?
“I did something similar for the ‘If I Were A Boy ‘ video. Throughout the years, she started liking natural makeup more and more, except for when the moment calls for something else. There’s one scene in ‘Crazy in Love ‘ when she walks down the street in a tank top and jean shorts. The makeup was very minimal there. Then, of course, the rest was full-on glam.”


Did you use body makeup on her for the beach and bedroom shots?
“No, nothing. She didn’t need it. At most, I used some baby oil in those beach photos for that shine you see. She has good skin. Unless she’s been rehearsing and has some bruises from dancing, I don’t need to use body makeup on her. The biggest challenge was to keep the sand away from her body, but no, no body makeup.”

Did you do Jay Z’s makeup?
“He doesn’t use makeup. Some people do, but he does not wear makeup. At the most, I’ll use eye drops on him, or, if he’s sweating, I’ll blot his skin.”

If you didn’t put makeup on Beyoncé, what did you use?
“I used some moisturizer, maybe a stain on her lips, then nothing else. But this was just because it was right for some of the moments in the OTR visuals. Some other scenes, she was full glam. Thats the beauty of working with her: She can go from extreme glamour to absolutely nothing.”

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