• Nikki Vergakes

Trump's Gag Rule

When did it start? Did it start with “grab her by the pussy”? Did it start with Stormy Daniels? What about the several other sexual assault allegations that the current commander-in-chief of the United State has been met with? When did his intention to take away womxn’s rights begin?

It’s hard to tell. He had this intention even before he took office. It was evident on the campaign trail. We know for a fact, however, that since day 1 Trump has had his agenda set on stripping away the rights of female-identified U.S. citizens. In January 2017, he started his anti-womxn campaign strong by attacking the global gag rule. According to Vox, the global gag rule made US aid money to family planning providers contingent on a pledge not to “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.” This is even when these services are funded by other countries or private foundations.

This was announced in January 2017 – the same month as the inauguration. Just days into his term, he was already dead set on attacking womxn around the globe. Fast forward a year and a half, he’s still on this mission. If you haven’t heard past all of the distractions (Russia investigation, North Korea, the Supreme Court, Melania’s sudden fascination with dressing like a teenage girl…. you name it), Trump has recently teamed up with the Department of Health and Human Services to make the new U.S. Gag Rule a reality – making the stripping of womxn’s basic human rights a federal policy.

Under Title X, clinics will have to establish infertility services, breast and cervical cancer screenings, STI prevention and counselling, “highly effective contraception methods” and more. One important thing is missing, however… access to a safe abortion thanks to Trump’s gag rule. This new rule would block patients from receiving care at trusted sources like Planned Parenthood. It would also prohibit medical providers across the country from being able to refer them somewhere where they can access a safe and legal abortion.

The nickname of this new rule – the “gag rule” explains how annoyingly prohibiting it is. Patients can access many beneficial and important healthcare procedures – but not abortions. With the global gag rule, funding and resources can be provided to clinics that need it – but not from organizations that provide abortions. Talk about a loophole.

Abortions are just as important as receiving STI testing or breast cancer screenings, because abortion is health care. Funding and resources are much needed by many health care providers – as some are community and non-profit based. Blocking funding to these organizations can be financially detrimental.

Health care is a human right. Therefore, Trump’s gag rule is an attempt to take away basic rights. With this announcement, the Trump administration wants us to know that he wants to stop abortion on both a global and local level. How can you help? One way is to sign Planned Parenthood’s petition.

This post originally appeared in She Zine.