We need to talk about Donald Trump’s global gag rule

President Trump does not understand the implications of his global gag rule, so it’s up to us to make him

With a stroke of his pen and no consideration of its implications, President Trump has subjected millions of women to unwanted pregnancies and dangerous abortions.

Donald Trump’s anti-abortion policy a.k.a the global gag rule, halts US federal funding to any NGOs overseas offering or advocating abortion services and advice. This includes all services such as essential contraception and healthcare provision.

Donald Trump is punishing women for their right to choose. Setting aside for the moment the fact that he cannot even begin to empathise with the women he’s affecting, why is it even up to him what women do with their bodies? To take their ability to make choices he would never have to make? Why is it that a room full of men have the power to control women’s reproductive decisions?

President Trump is unable to empathise with the women he’s so recklessly endangered. Firstly as someone without a uterus, secondly as someone who has never experienced poverty, hardship or societal oppression. The worst thing is that not for a moment has he tried to walk in the shoes of these vulnerable women. Criminalising abortions does not reduce the amount carried out, but increases the number of unsafe abortions. Likewise, decreasing access to contraceptive information and healthcare increases the incidence of unwanted pregnancies. As a representative of Marie Stopes International put it: “Attempts to stop abortion through restrictive laws — or by withholding family planning aid — will never work, because they do not eliminate women’s need for abortion”. So President Trump is increasing the occurrence of women experiencing unwanted pregnancies and then punishing them for it.

There was no opportunity for discussion, disagreement or petitions. The new President has carried out this act with zero accountability. This came just two days after the Women’s Marches, the largest protest in the history of the US, representing women everywhere. Continuing these protests can make him understand that we will not submit to his repression, that he is accountable to the people he governs and all those his policies affect. In the long run his government is only as effective as we allow it to be.

The Dutch government has promised to provide the funding that the US has rescinded. What has Theresa May promised? Nothing. I don’t know about you, but I’m not happy being part of a country that does not stand up to bullies, however powerful, because that is all Donald Trump is: a bully. We need Theresa May to stand up and say no, a Love Actually prime minister moment, on our behalf. It’s just as important as protesting Trump himself that we make Theresa May understand the opinion of the country she represents. Otherwise as a country we are validating and enabling Trump’s actions.

If we don’t protest, this is only the beginning. You may think that it can’t happen here, not in this day and age. Well Trump is already trying to replicate the Berlin Wall and enforcing disturbing similarities to Hitler’s Germany. I’m pretty sure people back then never thought it would get that far or happen to them. The fact is most people thought Trump wouldn’t get into power, that he couldn’t, but look what happened. Here he is as the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world, doling out repression as naturally as breathing.

He should be challenged at every turn, made to justify his actions to the people he affects, that is the foundation of democracy. Question and challenge every idea that even begins to restrict yours or anyone’s rights. I’m sure as hell not going to forget my right to do so, and neither should you.

If you would like to support this, see the petition link below  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/727/120/941/trump-reverse-the-global-gag-rule/

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