All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one)

By Juan Cole | – –

About 1 million women and their supporters demonstrated in Washington, D. C. on Saturday, but many millions more rallied in cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta and in small towns like Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as in cities around the world. The target of their ire? Predator-in-chief Donald J. Trump.

Women are right to be extremely worried about what the new administration intends to do to them (quite apart from what the president says he does to them all the time). The Hill reports that the Trump budget may well slash Federal funding for the 25 programs that grew out of the Violence against Women Act.

Claire Landsbaum, writing in New York Magazine, pointed out that in the decade after the act was passed in the early 1990s, the rate of domestic violence in the US plummeted by 64 percent. So Trump may in essence be arranging to allow thousands of women to be beaten with impunity every year.

While it has been widely noted that on his first day in office Trump signed an executive order that could stop enforcement of the health insurance mandate (which fines healthy young people if they don’t buy insurance, since if they don’t, it becomes crushingly expensive for the middle-aged and elderly).

But what is not often noted is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provisions that eliminated differences in premiums between what was charged to women (more) and to men (less) in “the individual and small-group insurance markets.” It also “required coverage of recommended preventive services and maternity care.” It mandated that employers pay for birth control for women, a provision that evangelical and Catholic employers strongly resented, and which would be repealed along with the rest of the law. That is, repealing the ACA could injure the health of millions of women in an unfair way, hurting them more than the repeal hurts men. Not to mention that millions of women will lose their health care insurance entirely.

Although, as Bridgette Dunlap writing in The Rolling Stone correctly points out, it is a little unlikely that Trump through his Supreme Court picks could overturn Roe v. Wade entirely, he could so water it down as to make it almost impossible to get an abortion in some states. Texas attempted to place undue burdens on abortion clinics, an attempt that was struck down. But if Trump gets three or so nominations to the court, the justices could decide instead to allow what Texas did. Texas was down to a handful of clinics in the whole state that perform the procedure, and most working class women couldn’t afford to travel to a clinic. For them, Roe v. Wade was de facto overturned, and they faced a choice of bearing a child they did not want (some 17,000 cases of pregnancy by rape are reported annually in the US) or of having a coat hanger illegal abortion that threatened their lives. A SCOTUS dominated by Trump-Pence nominees could reverse itself and let Texas and other states violate women’s 5th and 14th amendment rights.

Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, indicated in his testimony before the Senate that he would not let the Federal government get involved in prosecuting hate crimes against women or gays, where these crimes were already being prosecuted in local jurisdictions. Sessions actually said, “I am not sure women or people with different sexual orientations face that kind of discrimination. I just don’t see it.”

These administrative and legal changes proposed by Trump or his cabinet nominees will inflict harm on millions of American women. But Trump’s own behavior toward women demeans them, and a president has enormous powers to influence people. The status of American women has fallen just because Trump was elected.

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16 Responses

  1. I was proud and excited to be among the marchers today. It was heartening to see so many people from so many different stratas walking together, united in favor of civil rights, dignity, and progress. One caveat to this article. With two appointees to SCOTUS, Roe vs. Wade could be overturned. Les we forget, Citizens United was about just one section of the McCain Feingold Act which regulated campaign financing. Yet, the Court basically threw out the whole law, which wasn’t even being contested, and overturned 100 years of precedence in just about eliminating the possibility for any limitations on campaign financing. Today’s conservatives don’t care much about the rule of law when it conflicts with their beliefs and it would be very possible, if not likely, that they could overturn Roe vs. Wade.

    • Roe v Wade will be overturned as soon as the Republicans get a chance to do so. If Trump gets to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it’ll happen – they’ll claim that “life begins at conception”, and use that as the basis.

      Even if they don’t flat out overturn Roe, the Roberts Court would be fine with an incremental approach under which the Court upholds national laws making it impossible for anyone to actually exercise a right to an abortion. Say, a detectable fetal heartbeat law made national. If the Supremes make it impossible to get an abortion, what difference does it make if they leave Roe technically intact?

  2. It is hard to fathom any mother/sister/daughter wanting to vote for man who has had 5 children from 3 women, and who has boasted he gropes and attacks them. That goes for any father/brother/son too.
    Trump is so arrogant that he will dismiss huge protest against him.

    • “Trump is so arrogant that he will dismiss huge protest against him.”

      Hello Marianna – I think that if you look at the response of the administration to the crowd estimates of the March v. the Inauguration the day before, that it’s hard not to conclude that the Orange Menace took yesterday’s protests pretty personally. The stats on DC Metro ridership show a very stark contrast that prompted Sean Spicer to call an impromptu presser, complete with blown up images from the inauguration that I suspect were from the one in 09. Spicer’s language was that of his thuggish boss, since he asserted basically that the inauguration the day before had the largest on the ground and global audience in the history of the universe. In short, the protestors elicited a bald face lie from the administration, the first of an endless flood of them.

      Take heart – the Orange Menace is so petty and distracted by any show of disapproval that who knows, maybe protests will once again have some use, if only to piss off the OM.

      • I hope you are right. He is so thin skinned he cannot bear the thought that he is the least welcome President with poor poll numbers. It is ironic that Kelly Anne his spokeswoman used the words “alternate facts” when questioned about the low percentage of attendees for his inauguration. They are living in a alternated reality.

    • It is hard to fathom any mother/sister/daughter wanting to vote for man who has had 5 children from 3 women, and who has boasted he gropes and attacks them.

      Marianna: I’m an octogenarian and I’m still trying to divine what makes some women tick, so I’m not surprised that lots of them voted for Trump. Loathing of the Queen of Chaos and her putative consort might have had something to do with it.

      • “…and who has boasted he gropes and attacks them”.

        Even after hearing this statement & knowing his action & habits, the women those still voted for him show the general moral character of them. They did not felt any insult or degradation not to vote for him.

        The big crowds of lady marchers those came out after the Trump inauguration would not do any good now. They should have come out on the streets, after it was came into light what he thinks about ladies in general. It may have made the difference then.

  3. Anyone who has made a serious attempt to balance a budget knows the first thing is list all expenditures. Then go through them considering the consequences of cutting or eliminating each in turn. It’s also normal to seek input and invite discussion and discussion papers. Time and again some media gets hold of such a list or discussion paper and publishes the details as if they had already been decided, or even discussing an item was some kind of heinous activity, which is either to misunderstand the process or deliberately misrepresent it. Attempting to cut the US budget must be a fraught and unenviable task, particularly with the need to put aside nigh on 600 billion to cover dropping bombs on seven countries with which you are not actually at war. Would it not be better to wait and see what is finally proposed and then demonstrate for the reinstatement of specific elements?

    • It is the ideology behind the cuts that normalizes the harm that they cause. The demonstrations are ultimately against the ideology.

      We’ve been living with these bastards in America since Reagan took office, and they have learned nothing and opened their hearts to nothing. Their proposals grow more extreme every year, because they have had a master plan all along for dragging America back to the 19th century. This now includes racially-targeted voter suppression (the foundation of Jim Crow), the claim that gender discrimination does not exist (as Mr. Sessions claimed), and the appointment of a radical theocrat with a long history of pushing Christian supremacy over democracy (Betsy DeVos) to sabotage the public school system.

      This is not about cutting or balancing the US budget. Have you not heard? The budget just submitted to the Senate proposes an increased deficit every year for the next eight so as to give giant tax cuts to the rich. This is about Making America Victorian Again, in all the worst ways.

    • Sorry, no, Nicholas. We demonstrate now, AND we demonstrate then. If you didn’t gain some energy and enthusiasm from yesterday’s marches, energy and enthusiasm that will carry forward to when the specific expenditures are announced, then I feel sorry for you.

      • Madonna appears to have used the occasion to recommend blowing up the White House. Is that an adult response to a fait accompli or just demagogic rhetoric?

        • Obviously Mr. Wibberley is not your friend, Mr. Jones. Any criticism of Trump is now dissected to brand all dissenters as demagogues. But any horrible things Trump says are excused as being “just talk,” even though he’s the one who derides any Constitutional restraint on his power.

          Just tell us, Mr. Wibberley, which of us Americans are you willing to sacrifice in the name of “peace”?

  4. Let’s wait & see. Maybe he’ll only break up a few hundred thousand Latina’s families. Maybe the number of Muslim women banned will be fairly small. Maybe it’ll only be a few million women who lose healthcare. Maybe having huge conflicts of interest doesn’t matter. Maybe the free press should be attacked by the POTUS. Authoritarianism is becoming normalized all over the world. Let’s wait and see. Maybe… HELL NO

  5. Trump enjoys the concept of the law he will overturn, Roe v. Wade, (Trump taking credit) will be enabling the long-arm of HIS law to reach into every woman and girl in HIS country. Sort of a mass pussy-grab by proxy.

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