War on Women Report No. 12

The War on Women is in full force under the Trump administration. We refuse to go back, and we refuse to let the administration quietly dismantle the progress we’ve made. We are watching. 

This is the War on Women Report.

Monday, 1/15

+ Monday marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which President Trump—who has a record of discriminatory business practices as a real estate mogul and decades-long record of racist rhetoric—spent golfing. Of course, Trump is hardly the only member of his administration who’s demonstrated a clear hostility to people of color. Throughout Monday, Full Frontal‘s Samantha Bee set Twitter ablaze with tweets laying bear the hypocrisy of each member of the president’s entire administration, as well as other Republicans who enable Trump, in under 280 characters.

Tuesday, 1/16

+According to a report in the Huffington Post Tuesday, President Trump’s Department of Education is sweeping cases of discrimination of trans students under the rug. In the past several months, the Office for Civil Rights has closed at least three cases of trans students struggling to access campus restrooms, claiming such incidents don’t fall under its jurisdiction. According to the report, an internal memo within the office in June told employees they were free to dismiss complaints about bathroom access from students, a directive echoing the Trump administration’s move to rescind guidance from the Obama administration that mandated students have the right to use the restroom corresponding with their gender identity.

+Also on Tuesday, House Republicans added a six-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to its four-week spending bill proposed to keep the government from shutting down. In doing so, Republicans are using CHIP to shame Democratic lawmakers—who are likely to vote against the bill due to its failure to protect undocumented minors. That approach ignores that the Republican-dominated Congress allowed CHIP, through which 9 million low-income children access health care, to expire three months ago. Hypocrisy aside, the move reduces undocumented minors and low-income children to bargaining chips.

Wednesday, 1/17

+ On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced its intent to ban Haitian immigrants from applying for seasonal and farm work visas in the United States. Coming less than a week after the president allegedly used a slur to refer to Haiti and countries in Africa and Latin America, it’s difficult not to see the department’s decision as yet another racist insult on nonwhite-majority countries—and one that could have severe human rights and economic implications for Haitians seeking to work in the U.S.

+ Trump’s State Department announced it will withhold $65 million in funding meant for Palestinian refugees Wednesday as well. The department’s decision follows a Jan. 2 tweet from Trump in which the president expressed frustration with his perceived lack of gratitude from Palestinians for U.S. financial support. The decision will affect hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing terrorism, and will likely have disproportionate consequences for women who are fleeing from domestic violence.

Thursday, 1/18

+ On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new agency that will work to ensure healthcare workers have the right to discriminate against trans people and women seeking abortion services. Under a proposed new rule, doctors would not only have the right to refuse to provide transition-related or abortion care, but would also have the sweeping right to refuse to serve trans people at all or provide inaccurate information about abortion and other reproductive health options. This is just the latest example of the Trump administration’s use of so-called “religious freedom” to encourage discrimination and bigotry—a strategy they used last year to roll back birth control coverage under the ACA.

Friday, 1/19

+President Trump affirmed his support for the anti-abortion movement Friday morning as he gave a speech via satellite to address the March for Life. As the White House-endorsed march took place, maternal death rates, especially for women of color, are surging due to limited abortion access, and low-income children are being stripped of health care by the Republican Congress while undocumented children are being torn from their families. Nonetheless, Trump and those who marched for “life” on Friday focused almost solely on fetuses—and their determination to control women.

Kylie Cheung is an editorial intern at Ms. She writes about feminism in politics and pop culture with a focus on reproductive justice. Her work appeared in Rewire, Teen Vogue, The Mary Sue and Mediaite, among others.

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