How Trump's Policies Will Affect Women Worldwide

It has been impossible to go on social media lately and not see posts about President Trump’s executive orders, which have created a travel ban on seven major Muslim countries, imposed restrictions on women’s bodies, and disrupted the Environmental Protection Agency.

One executive order that in particular affects women is the ban on federal funding for groups to perform and give information on abortions internationally. The order has been criticized by many global organizations and has been dubbed “the global gag law.” The law puts global organizations in an uncomfortable position because they cannot give women all the information on family planning without fear of having their funding cut. The impacts of this ban could mean organizations that provide contraceptives and other vital reproductive health services could lose funding.

 

The law was originally passed by Ronald Reagan in 1984 and has been repealed and reinstated several times. According to the World Health Organization in 2001, women in Sub-Saharan Africa had more abortions during the gag rule. This was linked to law’s restrictions which made it harder to access contraceptives. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International plan to continue to provide abortions even if it means not being funded being by the U.S. Many of these organizations feel that the gag law will do more harm than good, leading women to get unsafe abortions and could prevent women from getting medical services they desperately need.

 

Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the President “wants to stand up for All Americans, including the unborn, and I think this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects the taxpayer’s funding as well.” Many Pro-Life groups agree with the executive order and resonate with Spicer’s statements. Majorie Dannenfelser, the president of US Pro-Life Organization felt that Trump’s decision “promoted respect for all human life, including vulnerable unborn children abroad.”

However, whether you support Trump’s decision or not, you have to admit that the picture that was released when the order was signed showed the real problem with this recent executive order. The photo depicts Donald Trump signing the bill with only white men huddled around his desk. Not one single woman was shown to be involved in the signing of a bill that dictated funding for WOMEN’S reproductive health! Whether you are a Pro-Choice or Pro-Life woman I feel that should get under your skin. Women on social media were rightfully angry about this picture.

I know the administration cares deeply about saving the lives of the unborn but these are issues that also involve the lives of the women carrying the unborn.  You'd think they could at least have one woman in the room when that big decision was being made. 

The picture did not go completely unnoticed by world leaders. Sweden deputy Prime Minister, Isabella Lovin signed a climate change bill and released a photo on twitter with her signing the bill in a room full of women. This was a response to the photo and according to the internet was pretty solid comeback. Isabella Lovin reminds us that women should be involved in a country’s monumental decisions, especially those that affect our bodies.