Ann Friedman

Ann Friedman is a columnist for New York magazine's website and for the Columbia Journalism Review. She also makes pie charts for The Hairpin and Los Angeles magazine. Her work has appeared in ELLE, Esquire, Newsweek, The Observer, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. She lives in Los Angeles, but travels so often the best place to find her is online at annfriedman.com.

Recent Articles

Rejecting "Population Control" as a Way to Fight Climate Change.

New research ( PDF ) from the London School of Economics says that, when it comes to fighting climate change, investing in contraception is five times more effective than technologies such as wind and solar power. Meeting basic family planning needs along the lines suggested would save 34 gigatonnes (billion tonnes) of CO2 between now and 2050 - equivalent to nearly six times the annual emissions of the US and almost 60 times the UK's annual total. In response to the report, some enviro-bloggers have called for "breaking the taboo" on linking population policy with environmental policy. Writes Lydia DePillis at TNR , [I]t's simply about reducing the number of footprints as well as their size, through increasing access to reproductive choice--a key element of the development agenda, and something the Obama administration itself endorsed eight months ago, by scrapping the gag rule on family planning. Too bad it looks like that's totally off-limits in the American environmental discourse...

RU-486 HASN'T IMPROVED ABORTION ACCESS.

The Guttmacher Institute released new research that shows the abortion pill (mifepristone, still known by some folks as RU-486) hasn't broadened abortion access in the United States. One of the reasons that feminists worked so hard to get the FDA to approve mifepristone is that they hoped it would be a way for your average OB/GYN to discreetly provide abortions. That it would, in essence, make it impossible for anti-choicers to protest women who were seeking abortions, because they would have to protest outside every clinic and doctor's office. However, Guttmacher found, Most mifepristone abortions were performed at or near facilities that also provided surgical abortion. Only five mifepristone-only providers of 10 or more abortions were located farther than 50 miles from any surgical provider of 400 or more abortions. There are a lot of reasons for this. As I wrote last year , The requirements for being a provider of medical abortion and a provider of surgical abortion are actually...

EMPOWERING THE WORLD'S WOMEN.

I was excited to see the package of articles in The New York Times Magazine yesterday on the state of women's rights globally -- it's an issue that feminists bring up repeatedly, but one that tends to get little traction in major media outlets. Times columnist Nick Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn , authors of the lead article , attempt to show that women's rights are not a niche concern or a "soft issue" but are core to fixing the major problems that plague the world today. The simple fact is that in places around the globe where women are doing well, everyone is doing well. If only our foreign policy reflected that fact. (As Michelle Goldberg reported in our June issue, Hillary Clinton is working on it, but it's a long road.) Yet there's something about the article that rubbed me the wrong way. I think the banner on the Times ' Web site sums it up: Saving the World's Women? When I tweeted last week that the "we Westerners must save women!" phrasing rubbed me the wrong way, a few...

AFGHAN ELECTION: LEGITIMATE FOR WHOM?

A group of women gather at the National Stadium, where Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke at a rally in Kabul. Photo by ( The Washington Post / Nikki Kahn) As Adam pointed out earlier, many people are questioning whether it's even possible to hold a "legitimate" election in Afghanistan tomorrow given the potential for low turnout due to recent threats of violence by the Taliban. But, as Jeanne Brooks notes , it's not just violence that threatens democracy in Afghanistan -- it's the disenfranchisement of women. President Hamid Karzai recently signed a law that severely restricts women's rights. Among many other appalling provisions, it prevents Shia women from casting a vote without their husband's permission. As Rachel Reid writes in the Washington Post , Things got much worse recently when President Hamid Karzai officially promulgated legislation that would make the Taliban proud. Unfortunately, this is part of a pattern: As Karzai's government has grown weaker he has increasingly...

Nativism Versus Security

When police become immigration enforcers, everybody loses.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio holds a news conference and stands in front of imprisoned illegal immigrants. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
It's tempting to write off Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio as just another right-wing hatemonger. Like the Pat Buchanans and Lou Dobbs of the world, he has a large platform, talent for exploiting the racist side of populism, and an all-consuming desire for attention. So what sets Arpaio apart? Whether we like it or not, he's more than a blowhard. His Arizona county covers 9,000 square miles. It has a population of nearly 4 million. He has 4,000 employees and 3,000 "volunteer posse" members. And although his tactics are under investigation by the Justice Department, he continues to receive financial support from the Obama administration. When it comes to his actions on immigration, the federal policy that empowers him is the 287(g) provision, which essentially allows local police and sheriffs to act as national-security officials. This "partnership" with the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has enabled Arpaio to turn his law-enforcement bureau into a racial-...

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