By Alexis Cheney – @akcheney
Now that Americans have elected a president who has sexually assaulted women, feminists are wondering one thing: How will Trump’s presidency impact women’s rights? Since Trump promised to amend the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which covers birth control for women, many women are rushing to the Gynecologist for IUDs. Are women right to worry that Trump’s election will impede their access to birth control? How – exactly – will Trump’s election impact women’s rights and how can you take stand?
Here’s what you need to know:
First things first, since Republicans do not have the 60-vote supermajority in the Senate needed to repeal the entire ACA, they could only repeal parts of the law through budget reconciliation. Budget reconciliation would eliminate Medicaid coverage for Americans living near the poverty line. This means that without Medicaid, lower-income individuals would not have access to copay-free birth control. So, if you’re not insured by Medicaid, no need to rush to your OB-GYN or hoard birth control pills. Looks like birth control will only be available to women of a certain income.
#1 Trump May Restrict Women’s Access to Abortion
-Appoint a conservative Supreme Court justice who could overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to decide whether or not a woman has a right to get an abortion. A woman who wants an abortion in a state that does not legalize abortion, would have to travel to a different state for service. Trump said: “Because I am pro-life, and I will be appointing pro-life judges, I would think that [the right of women to get abortions] will go back to the individual states” (Third Presidential Debate, Oct. 20, 2016).
-Defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading reproductive health provider, which works to provide sex education and reproductive health care, including abortions, to women. Trump said: “I would defund it [Planned Parenthood] because of the abortion factor, which they say is 3 percent” (GOP Presidential Debate, Feb. 26, 2016).
-Sign into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortion at 20 weeks – standing in direct opposition to Roe v. Wade and the constitution – and would criminalize doctors who provide later abortions nationwide.
You Can: Support an abortion clinic by donating money, volunteering, or escorting women to clinics: https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion/. See Trump’s Letter to the Pro-Life Coalition for more detail about his policies on abortion.
#2 Trump May Facilitate Family Care (Sort of, Not Really)
-Provide six weeks of paid leave to new mothers. Although this law would be the first in the US to require employers nationwide to compensate mothers while they care for their newborns. It excludes new fathers and gay fathers. Trump spat on the necessity that men should balance their careers with parenting: “I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply funds and she’ll take care of the kids. It’s not like I’m gonna be walking the kids down Central Park” (Howard Sterns interview, 2005).
-Incentivize employers to provide employees with child care services.
-Rewrite the tax code to allow working parents to deduct childcare expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents from their income taxes. Don’t be fooled though – A family making $60,000 would get a deduction of 15 percent, while a wealthy family making $500,000 would get a deduction worth almost 40 percent.
-Allow parents to enroll in tax-free dependent care savings accounts for their children or elderly relatives. This effectively gives another tax break to wealthy families who can effectively deduct their childcare costs by first funneling the money through this account.
You Can: Co-Sponsor the FAMILY (Family and Medical Insurance Leave) Act today with a simple click of the mouse here.
#3 Trump May Exacerbate Sexual Violence Toward Women
-Defund civil rights enforcement, effectively stalling investigations of cases involving sexual assault.
-Limit the government’s power to prevent sexual assault and fuel the country’s existent culture of violence toward women through his own behavior.
-Allow his actions toward sexual assault to speak as allowable behavior across the nation. Donald Trump is a sexual predator – 20 women have released stories about Trump making passes at them without their consent. Trump himself boasted to the media that he “can do anything … Grab [women] by the pussy” without them giving him the okay. If our president has bragged about sexually assaulting women, how can we hope he will promote policies that will prevent sexual assault on college campuses and elsewhere?
You Can: Complete Green Dot training. Green Dot is a program that trains individuals in how to prevent sexual violence as a proactive bystander.