For an administration that frequently promises it will “invest in women’s health” or “empower women,” the reality is just the opposite.
President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office are unprecedented in the level of attacks on women's health and rights — and in the magnitude of grassroots resistance across the country, from Utah, to Arizona, to Tennessee, and beyond.
Trump’s actual record on women cannot be ignored. As Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood said recently: “From day one, women have been in the crosshairs of this Congress and this White House.”
How Trump Has Put Women in the Crosshairs
1. Expanding the Global Gag Rule
Within the first few days in office, Trump’s administration took direct aim at vulnerable women and their families around the world by reinstating and, for the first time in history, expanding the already dangerous legislation.
2. Proposing to Eliminate Nutrition and Anti-Violence Programs for Women and Children in the President’s Budget
Women were directly in the crosshairs of the the Trump administration's so-called “skinny budget” proposal, which would eliminate critical programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which goes toward baby formula and food for mothers and families with low incomes. The skinny budget proposal would also threaten programs to reduce violence against women, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline and programs under the Violence Against Women Act. All these cuts would disproportionately hurt communities of color, pregnant women, children, workers, and families with low incomes.
3. Revoking Obama's Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Orders
4. Undermining Title X, the Nation’s Family Planning Program
Vice President Mike Pence took direct aim at basic health care for women across the country, casting the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to dismantle President Obama’s rule protecting access to basic health care services through the Title X family planning program. President Trump then signed the bill into law behind closed doors. Four million people across the country rely on the Title X program for essential health care like birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, and well-woman exams.
5. Cutting Women’s Health Care to Pass the ACA Repeal Bill
In an attempt to force through the administration's already-unpopular bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the administration backed legislation that would end maternity coverage for women, force new moms back to work, ban abortion coverage, and raise insurance costs for women. Now, they’re also trying to allow insurers to claim that having given birth, having had a C-section, or having been a survivor of domestic violence is a so-called pre-existing condition that they can discriminate against.
6. Ending U.S. Funding for UNFPA
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is a vital organization. It’s a leading force in preventing maternal mortality and unintended pregnancy in countries around the world. On April 3, the Trump administration revealed that they were eliminating U.S. funding for UNFPA, putting women's lives at risk.
7. Ramping Up Immigration Enforcement Activities that Undermine Safety and Access to Health Care Within Immigrant Communities
In his first week in office, President Trump signed an executive order to ramp up immigration enforcement activities that would make accessing health care riskier within many immigrant communities, especially for immigrant women and their families who already face disproportionate barriers to accessing sexual or reproductive health care.
When communities that already face barriers in accessing care are driven fffurther into the shadows, they must forsake the care they need to preserve their own safety. Trump’s budget also called for a sharp increase in resources to detain and remove undocumented immigrants. Combined, these are blatant attacks on communities of color across the country.
8. Signing an Executive Order Banning Immigrants and Refugees from Muslim-Majority Countries
On January 27, President Trump signed an executive order that threatened to pull families apart by banning refugees and immigrants from six majority-Muslim countries. This is especially detrimental to women and children who make up the majority of refugees.
9. Confirming Anti-Abortion Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court — a judge whose views are so outside of the mainstream that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to change the rules in order to force through his confirmation. In every case related to reproductive rights that Gorsuch considered as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, he ruled in a way that would have blocked women's access to reproductive health care.
10. Advocating For a Bill That Would “Defund” Planned Parenthood – Blocking Millions From Essential Health Care
The disastrous bill to repeal the ACA had another hit on women hidden inside it: an extremely harmful provision that would “defund” Planned Parenthood, or specifically prohibit people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers. That preventive care includes birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment.
Many of these Medicaid patients would have nowhere else to go for care. Those who already face barriers to accessing health care — especially people of color, people with low incomes, and people who live in rural areas — would be hardest hit.
What Does this All Boil Down To?
You cannot rebuild the economy while leaving half the population behind. You cannot claim to invest in families or child care while cutting access to family planning, maternity coverage, and new mother assistance. The Trump administration has acted with clear disregard for women’s health and safety, and the health and safety of their families. These first 100 days have made it clear that the Trump administration will treat women’s health and lives as disposable.