In just three days, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. He will be greeted in D.C. by a U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that are both controlled by Republicans, many of whom have worked tirelessly in Congress to defund women’s health clinics and limit access to abortion and birth control. For women and men who rely on services provided by clinics such as Planned Parenthood—which also offers sex education, Pap tests, breast exams and test and treatments for sexually-transmitted infections including HIV— they may very well be facing the fight of their lives. The Body Politic is here to chronicle that fight.
First, we aim to look at Trump’s record on reproductive services, which has been wishy-washy at best. He was openly pro-choice for many years, but stunned the audience at a February 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference by announcing that he was pro-life.
The president-elect said throughout his 2016 campaign that he was in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. He also said he believes abortion should be decided by the states, and that women who would receive illegal abortions should be subject to “some sort of punishment.” He later backtracked on that statement and said doctors who perform illegal abortions should be punished.
On the issue of birth control, the president-elect has not been as outspoken, but he has been adamant in his plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, under which millions of women receive birth control at no additional cost to their health insurance.
The Body Politic aims to deliver well-informed opinions on the state of reproductive justice in America, and take a look at how policies proposed by Trump and a Republican Congress will have a greater effect on millions of Americans. I will continually check in with Planned Parenthood‘s blog, the Pro-Life Action League Blog, Our Bodies, Our Blog, Every Saturday Morning, Feministing.com and Jessica Valenti’s column for The Guardian.