This post will be updated as the Trump administration continues to take actions (and inactions) that affect Americans’ health and their ability to raise healthy families.
Wednesday was the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that affirmed the right to abortion nationwide.
Also Wednesday: Donald Trump announced that he would appear at the March for Life in Washington, making him the first-ever President to speak in person at the anti-abortion event in its 46-year history. Trump, a thrice-married philanderer who is clinging to the Evangelical vote with a vice grip, and the first-ever President of the United States to be impeached in their first term, also officially declared the Roe anniversary to be “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.”
“Every person—the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly—has inherent value,” the presidential proclamation reads.
“Today, I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born,” he added. “I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care in a more meaningful way, so every child can have a loving home.”
Let’s be clear: Trump is not “pro-life,” he’s simply anti-abortion. Trump and his administration have proved time and time again that they don’t actually protect or value human life— especially not the lives of poor people or sick people or people of color. They do not support policies that would allow people with unintended pregnancies to choose to parent or raise healthy families. No, that would mean supporting things like guaranteed health insurance for everyone, making sure people have enough food to eat, and raising the minimum wage.
In fact, they seem to relish in enacting policies that put people’s health and lives at risk.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of Trump administration policies and actions that decidedly do not value or support life:
- Supported a failed 2017 bill that would have overturned the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) without a replacement, which would have left millions of people without health insurance
- Is supporting an active lawsuit to overturn Obamacare without a replacement; a top Trump healthcare appointee dodged lawmaker’s questions about whether there was an Obamacare backup plan should the law be struck down
- Is allowing states to make it harder for low-income people to keep their Medicaid health insurance; the changes have been blocked in court but the administration is appealing them
- Approved changes to the country’s only federal family planning program that limit people’s access to birth control, STI testing, and breast and cervical cancer screenings
- *Proposed a rule that would let doctors refuse medical care to transgender people
- Eliminated a program that lets migrants getting lifesaving medical care in the U.S. avoid deportation, then walked back the move after massive public outcry
Increasing the minimum wage
- *crickets* But, hey the stock market’s doing great for the 50 percent of Americans who own stock!
- Approved a rule that would remove almost 700,000 adults from the federal food-stamp program known as SNAP, which could increase hunger, poverty, and health problems for the families removed; Democratic attorneys general are suing to block the move
- Proposed two other changes to SNAP that would strip close to 3 million people from food benefits as well as make 1 million children lose automatic eligibility for free or reduced school lunches
Gender discrimination in housing
- Proposed a rule that would let federally funded shelters deny admission to transgender people
- Proposed a rule that would let adoption agencies that receive federal funding discriminate against LGBTQ couples who want to adopt, possibly keeping children in the foster system longer than necessary; there are an estimated 114,000 children in the U.S. foster care system who can’t be returned to their families and are waiting to be adopted
- In the days after the back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in August 2019, Trump supported universal background checks then backed off after a phone call with the CEO of the National Rifle Association. About 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks, including 85 percent of Republicans.
- Refuses to support the House-passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which includes a provision that would ban people convicted of abusing, assaulting, or stalking a dating partner from buying guns (this is known as “closing the boyfriend loophole“) as well as expand protections to include transgender women. Since the VAWA expired in April, an estimated 496 women were shot and killed by their partners and at least 22 transgender people have been murdered.
- Loosened parts of the Clean Air Act designed to curb toxic air pollution including asbestos and mercury
- Ended protections for waterways that supply drinking water for 117 million people; now people don’t need permits to dump pollutants in streams and wetlands
- Refused to provide flu shots to asylum-seekers in the custody of Customs and Border Protection; three migrant children died from the flu while in CBP custody in 2018
- Refused to allow independent doctors to give free flu shots to asylum-seekers
- Moved to re-instate executions of federal prisoners on death row after a 16-year hiatus on the use of the death penalty; a judge halted four planned executions in November, blocking the move
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