Louise Line: Protecting the Rights Our Mother’s Won
Just over 100 days ago, women, men, and families across the country and around the globe came together in support of women’s equality. In my Washington office alone, I welcomed hundreds of Rochesterians who traveled down to our nation’s capital to make their voices heard. Fear of growing attacks on women’s fundamental rights led to these unprecedented marches. Sadly, it has been just over 100 days since the president took office and many of these fears have already become a reality.
In the short time since the inauguration, decades of progress on women’s reproductive and health rights have been rolled back. The Congressional Majority’s anti-woman agenda has been taken to an entirely new and devastating extreme. As the co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I was proud to lead more than 140 of my colleagues in denouncing the president’s policies toward women’s health rights.
One of the many short-sighted and ideologically motivated policies includes the conservatives’ attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, which services 2.5 million men and women each year. Thankfully, these defunding efforts have failed so far. I believe the administration has also shown its callous attitude toward women and children by reinstating and expanding the global gag rule, which bans U.S.-funded global health programs from receiving federal funding if they also happen to provide counseling, referrals, or advocate for safe and legal abortions.
And sadly, the list goes on. The president and Congressional Majority have also eliminated funding for the United Nations Population Fund, a global resource for maternal health and contraceptive care. In my opinion, the president also nominated extreme, anti-choice leaders to some of the highest offices in our country. This includes the appointment of a Supreme Court Justice with legal views outside the mainstream legal precedent on civils rights.
This awful list also includes the signing of a resolution behind closed doors that decimates protections under federal family planning programs and the advancement of a health care repeal bill that would make it virtually impossible for private insurers to cover comprehensive reproductive health care and that would gut maternity care.
I am proud to say that I’ve fought each and every one of these awful attacks along the way. Men in blue suits and red ties have no business determining what a woman can and should do when it comes to her own body. I’ve said this for years. Sadly, it rings true today louder than ever before.
Today and every day under the Trump Administration, I will make my voice heard on women’s health issues because I refuse to give back the laws our mothers fought and won for us.