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Timeline: Trump’s Attacks on Access to Birth Control

Since even before his presidency began, efforts by Trump and his appointees to undermine access to birth control have been relentless — and show no sign of stopping.

A birth control skeptic, a stronger Global Gag Rule, and Neil Gorsuch

January 5

Trump hires Katy Talento to lead health policy at White House

Talento once falsely wrote that birth control can cause “miscarriages of already-conceived children” and risks “breaking your uterus for good. 


January 23

Trump turbocharges ‘Global Gag Rule.’

Organizations funded by U.S. global health programs now may lose federal funding for providing, advocating for, or even talking about safe, legal abortion. This policy will impact health care access provided by over 1,200 organizations in at least 60 countries.


January 24

Senate confirms Nikki Haley as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

As Governor of South Carolina, Haley said “women don’t care about contraception.”


January 31

Trump nominates Gorsuch for lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court

Gorsuch has an alarming history of interfering with reproductive rights and health. Gorsuch has sided with a politician who “defunded” Planned Parenthood in Utah — and believes that bosses should be able to impede their employees' access to birth control.

Repealing the ACA round one and an anti-abortion zealot is hired

March 6

House introduces American Health Care Act

Had it become law, it would have caused millions to lose health coverage — and blocked low income patients’ access to STIs, cancer screenings, and birth control at Planned Parenthood health centers.


March 28

Trump hires Scott Lloyd to lead Office of Refugee Resettlement

Lloyd is a zealot who went on to block many young immigrant women in his care from obtaining a safe, legal abortion. Lloyd heads the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — despite of his lack of relevant experience.


March 30

Trump administration withholds all funding for United Nations Population Fund

This fund provides reproductive health care in over 150 countries, and is the largest provider of contraceptives globally.

Family planning is attacked and another anti-women's health extremist is hired

April 13

Trump and Congress roll back protections safeguarding the nation’s family planning program

Obama administration Title X guidelines protected the ability of low-income people to continue to receive family planning care from the most qualified and highest performing providers, including Planned Parenthood health centers.


April 28

Trump appoints Charmaine Yoest to HHS

A former president of Americans United for Life, Yoest has charged that emergency contraception “has life ending properties.” (It doesn’t.)

May 1

Trump hires Teresa Manning to manage nation’s family planning program

Now in charge of the program that supports birth control access, Manning has said she believes “contraception doesn’t work.”


May 4

House passes American Health Care Act

Had it become law, it would have caused millions to lose health coverage — and blocked low income patients’ access to STIs, cancer screenings, and birth control at Planned Parenthood health centers.

May 8

Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett for lifetime appointment on a federal appeals court

Barrett has sharply criticized the birth-control coverage guarantee — calling it “a grave violation of religious freedom.”


May 22

Another Title X attack

Trump budget proposes blocking Title X patients from receiving family planning services at Planned Parenthood health centers and “defunding” Planned Parenthood, and eliminates all funding for international family planning programs


May 28

Trump hires Jane Norton to work at HHS

“As lieutenant governor [of Colorado], I defunded Planned Parenthood.” —Norton


May 31

Trump's cruel plan revealed

A leaked memo reveals an administration plan to undermine birth-control coverage guarantee

June 6

Trump hires Valerie Huber to work at HHS

Huber once led an abstinence-only-until-marriage promoting organization that wrote model legislation — enacted later by lawmakers in Tennessee — levying fines when sex education courses touch on “gateway sexual behavior.”


June 7

Trump nominates Stephen Schwartz for lifetime appointment on a federal appeals court

In a 2014 brief filed with the Supreme Court, Schwartz sided with Hobby Lobby against the birth-control coverage guarantee.


June 22

Senate introduces Better Care Reconciliation Act

Like the House’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, this bill would’ve caused millions to lose coverage — and blocked patients’ access to Planned Parenthood health centers.

July 5

Texas asks HHS to break precedent by requesting federal funding for a women’s health program that excludes Planned Parenthood

The failed ‘Healthy Texas Women’ plan has slashed access to contraception and care. Trump may fund it anyway — despite a maternal mortality rate in Texas that remains stuck at devastating heights.


July 12

House GOP spending bill proposes elimination of Title X, the nation’s family-planning program, as well as the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

The budget proposal would have left up to four million Americans who rely on Title X with no dependable access to birth control – and cut off funding for a program that supports evidence-based approaches to pregnancy prevention, while increasing funding for ineffective abstinence-only education.


July 13

Senate amends the Better Care Reconciliation Act to include the so-called Cruz Amendment

This amendment would have allowed insurers to not cover birth control, making a bad bill worse.


July 14

HHS cuts short Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program grants

Researchers lose final two years of funding for five-year programs & studies — disrupting efforts that have helped to bring the nation’s teen pregnancy rate to a record low.


July 19

Senate introduces Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act

This attempt at repealing the Affordable Care Act while offering no replacement would have — no surprise — caused millions to lose coverage & blocked patients’ access to Planned Parenthood.

August 3

Trump nominates L. Steven Grasz for lifetime appointment on a federal appeals court

In a law review article, Grasz once made a so-called “personhood” argument, the kind that ideologues have used in efforts to ban access to common types of birth control.

September 7

Trump nominates Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley for lifetime appointments on federal district courts

In remarks he made in 2013, Mateer called the birth control coverage guarantee similar to “what happened in the 1930s in Germany with Hitler.”

While Talley was working as a lawyer for the state of Alabama, he attacked access to women’s health centers that also provide abortion.


September 18

Senate introduces Graham-Cassidy repeal bill

The last-ditch effort to gut Obamacare would have — like the others — caused millions to lose health coverage and blocked patients’ access to Planned Parenthood.


September 27

HHS strategic plan describes life as “beginning at conception”

The planning document carries no legal force — but ideologues have employed similar language to attack not only abortion, but also common methods of birth control.


September 28

Trump nominates Kyle Duncan for lifetime appointment on a federal appeals court

When Hobby Lobby sued to deny its employees birth control and undermine the contraception coverage guarantee, Duncan represented the company at the U.S. Supreme Court.

October 6

HHS rolls back birth control mandate

In sweeping language, Trump administration officials allow virtually any employer, school, or other entity to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage for religious or moral reasons — effectively eliminating the birth control coverage guarantee.


October 12

Trump signs executive order that attacks quality health coverage, including birth control

The order encouraged the spread of loosely regulated plans whose coverage might exclude birth control, maternity care and other essential benefits.


October 19

Leaked White House memo reveals plan to divert family planning funds in the U.S. and around the world

In leaked guidance, the Domestic Policy Council proposes slashing funding for Title X, the nation’s family planning program, by half, and cutting funding for international family planning. The plan — which appears in the memo with, Katy Talento as its point of contact — would redirect Title X funds to promote fertility awareness methods, such as the rhythm method.


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