Making America great again!
We’re five days into Donald Trump’s presidency, everyone. Congratulations to you all for making it this far. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling ill and anxious for weeks. I’ve also developed crippling insomnia, which marks an exciting new chapter in my personal life. But hey – this isn’t about me. Maybe things will be fine. What could really change now that a bunch of emotionally stunted conservatives are in charge of the U.S?
Unfortunately – if these first few days are anything to go by – a lot. After making a sharp reversal on Obama’s Affordable Care Act (a service that has helped around 20 million U.S citizens get healthcare), Trump’s team have now decided to take on women’s rights. In an effort to ruin the lives of females across the world, the president signed a brutal anti-abortion order on Monday.
The policy, known as the ‘Mexico City policy or the ‘global gag rule’, was introduced by Ronald Reagan in 1984. It aims to ban all U.S funding to international organisations that offer or advise on family planning and reproductive care. While the funding doesn’t directly pay for abortions, it covers vital guidance and education on the procedure.
“President Donald J. Trump signed a series of Presidential Memoranda to fulfil his promise to make America Great Again on trade and other issues,” read a White House statement shared yesterday. “Under this initiative, the United States will end the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund abortions overseas, along with coercive abortion and sterilisation practices.”
To make it worse, all the people present for the signing were white, male Republicans – because who better to make choices that directly affect women’s lives than a bunch of fleshy, hyper-privileged men?
“President Trump is continuing Ronald Reagan’s legacy by taking immediate action on day one to stop the promotion of abortion through our tax dollars overseas,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion political advocacy group Susan B Anthony List, told the Guardian. “President Trump’s immediate action to promote respect for all human life, including vulnerable unborn children abroad, as well as conscience rights, sends a strong signal about his administration’s pro-life priorities.”
Currently, the U.S spends around $600 million a year on international family planning assistance, giving an estimated 27 million women the chance to access these services. If Trump takes them away, it will only increase the number of illegal, unsafe abortions around the world – something that public health advocates warn will lead to the deaths of thousands of women.
Amu Singh Sijapati, president of the Family Planning Association of Nepal, stressed that the reinstation of the global gag order would be “devastating.”
“Funding cuts would mean we can’t support… the government of Nepal’s effort on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Additionally we would not be able to run community clinics or mobile health days or train healthcare workers. The impact also means we would lose essential medical staff like nurses, doctors and health experts.”