Ten days A.T. (after Trump), it’s still somewhat hard to grasp the enormity of what U.S. voters have done. The week and a half since Trump’s upset victory has been filled with think pieces and post mortems trying to dissect what went wrong, and who’s to blame. Is it white women, who voted for Trump at about the same rate they voted for Mitt Romney? Is it Latinx voters, who were “supposed to” turn out in much greater numbers? Is it vote suppression, racism, misogyny, the fact that no one believed this could really happen?
Right now, as far as we’re concerned, none of that matters* nearly as much as this question: What does the future look like under President Trump? This isn’t a rhetorical question anymore, or the headline for a think piece. This is real life, and Trump is starting to provide some answers. Since his election, the ex-reality TV show host has appointed a white nationalist anti-Semite as his strategic advisor, nominated an anti-immigration senator who believes “Islam is a political ideology” as attorney general, and indicated his commitment to overturn both the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade as quickly as possible. (Trump has promised to appoint “pro-life” justices who will ensure that repeal of Roe “will happen, automatically.”)
Post-Roe (we can’t believe we’re writing those words either), Trump suggested, people seeking abortion “will have to go to another state”–suggesting that abortion will merely become somewhat less convenient for women to obtain. Although many women already do cross state lines for abortion care thanks to state laws that make abortion much less accessible in places like Texas and Indiana (thanks, Mike Pence!), it’s disingenuous to suggest that traveling long distances for medical care is a solution to the problem of access. Trump may be able to hop in his gold-plated private plane (and, soon, Air Force One) to travel quickly across the country, but for most women, long-distance travel involves taking time off work, making arrangements for family obligations, and spending money they can’t afford on gas and motel rooms just to access a basic medical service.
Even if you happen to live in one of the states, like Washington, where the right to choose is protected by the state constitution, you can’t afford to be complacent. Trump and his virulently anti-choice vice president, Pence, have pledged to support nationwide legislationthat would ban all abortions after 20 weeks, and there is no reason not to take them at their word. If such legislation passes, and is upheld by the Supreme Court, no state–including Washington–is safe. A national personhood law, or even a 20-week ban, would put millions of women’s lives and health in danger. No one, not even those of us in comfortably blue states, will be exempt if that worst-case scenario comes to pass.
Here’s some more news on reproductive rights, and women’s rights, from Week 2 A.T.
The radical anti-choice group Operation Rescue “could not be happier” with Trump’s pick for attorney general, Jeff Sessions.
Trump’s election raises fears of increased violence against women.
Anti-abortion House panel seeks to double budget.
The only time AG nominee Jeff Sessions voted to expand health care: When he pushed to provide health care to fetuses at the expense of the women carrying them.
Fewer women of reproductive age were uninsured in 2015; that will change if Trump successfully repeals the Affordable Care Act.
* Although if you’re going to read one more election analysis from this week, make it this one.