War on Women Report No. 14

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.

David Lee / Creative Commons


+ On Monday, the Senate rejected a bill that would have placed a dangerous and unconstitutional ban on abortion at or past 20 weeks and criminalized women who seeks abortions and abortion providers. President Trump, who had previously announced his intention to sign such legislation into law, called the Senate’s decision “disappointing” in a statement. He went on to cite a junk science theory called “fetal pain” which lawmakers and anti-abortion organizations have used to justify attacks on abortion. About 90 percent of abortions take place in the first trimester, while late-term abortions are primarily sought by women facing health complications or severe fetal abnormalities.


+ Trump gave his first State of the Union address as president Tuesday. In his speech, Trump touted his policy “victories”—including the Senate’s repeal of a key Affordable Care Act mandate and the installment of conservative federal judges across the country—and took credit for many of the economic gains that came of Obama-era policies. While he neglected to say a word about women’s rights, he did boast about his administration’s commitment to so-called religious liberty, which has become a thinly-veiled attempt to legalize discrimination and limit women’s access to contraception and abortion.


+ In a Wednesday morning interview on CNN, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for not smiling at Trump’s State of the Union address. “I think Nancy Pelosi looks like that all the time,” Sanders said. “I think she should smile a lot more often. I think the country would be better for it.”


+ On Thursday, first lady Melania Trump and her stepdaughter Ivanka took to Twitter to call for the celebration of Black History month this February. In her tweet, Ivanka recognized Black History Month as a time to celebrate opportunity to “all Americans,” a comment that didn’t sit well with Twitter users who not only recognized the irony of her tweet considering her father’s racist policies and rhetoric, but also pointed out the colorblind ignorance of suggesting the month was a celebration of “all Americans.”

+ Also on Thursday, VICE News reported that a Trump administration official spoke to his staff about imposing an “abortion reversal” on an undocumented teen who had used medication abortion. In a deposition with the ACLU, Office of Refugee Resettlement head Scott Lloyd, known for his extreme stance on abortion, told an ACLU senior staff attorney he had talked about reversal “to save the life of the baby.” In recent months, the Trump administration has on multiple occasions attempted to bar detained immigrant women from access to the procedure, arguing non-citizens aren’t entitled to the right to an abortion. “Abortion reversal” is yet another junk science myth perpetuated by anti-abortion forces, who claim that someone can “reverse” a medication abortion if they interrupt the two-pill process with a third medication. The notion of “abortion reversal” goes hand-in-hand with the (also mythological) belief that women regret abortion.


+ On Friday morning, Trump released a memo backed by Congressional Republicans that is meant to discredit the ongoing investigation of the president’s relationship with Russia during the 2016 election. The release of the memo, written in collaboration with the White House by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in an attempt to claim that the FBI and other intelligence projects are purposefully undermining the president, marks Trump’s latest move to discredit and attack federal institutions for being guided by the Constitution rather than loyalty to his administration.



Kylie Cheung writes about reproductive and survivor justice, and is the author of Survivor Injustice: State-Sanctioned Abuse, Domestic Violence, and the Fight for Bodily Autonomy, available Aug. 15.