Waking up every day under Trump’s presidency is kind of a weird experience. Even saying “Trump’s presidency” still doesn’t sound right to me at first, because I’ve basically spent the last few months waking up every morning wondering what he Tweeted overnight or what he said while I wasn’t paying attention that caused a new wave of international scorn because it’s just so incredibly ridiculous that it’s hard to believe that the actual, legitimate President of the United States would say that.
The past week, he somehow managed to outdo himself by allowing more employers to opt out of providing birth control for women on the grounds of moral or religious means. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), birth control was considered a preventive service that are supposed to be free to employees, but in a bold move that’s slowly unraveling decades of equality, any employer or university is now able to deny that basic right to women because the president said it was okay.
I’m honestly past the point of trying to be reasonable with Trump, in case you couldn’t tell.
Birth control isn’t just used to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but is also used to lower the risk of anemia, treat acne and endometriosis and regulate periods. The administration’s reasoning suggests that by giving women access to free or low-cost birth control, teenagers will engage in risky behavior and that morning-after pills cause “early abortions,” although both claims have been debunked as mere claims than backed up by any factual evidence.
A quick look at KSC’s website tells me that the Center for Health and Wellness “…[is] here to help you manage your contraceptive needs,” and provides links to resources such as Planned Parenthood, ranking us with the majority of companies and universities who have no problem with continuing to issue out birth control benefits. However, Time has reported that about 200 companies who voiced complaints about the ACA would be able to qualify, which would affect around 120,000 women.
That’s 120,000 women who will no longer have a say when it comes to their own bodies because a room full of men feel like they know best when it comes to our reproductive rights. That’s 120,000 women who would have to pay around $600 a year for birth control, and up to $1,000 for intrauterine devices (IUD) and other long-term methods.
In October of 2016, Donald Trump was being interviewed by Anderson Cooper when a man said to Trump, “Explain to me how I can look at my daughters and have them look up to a President Trump as a role model?”
Trump’s response (after chewing out CNN for allegedly setting him up)? “There’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do.” It’s something that’s been reiterated by him over and over again, such as March 26, 2016 when he Tweeted, “The media is so after me on women…Nobody has more respect for women than Donald Trump!” or October 12, 2015, when he said, “I respect women incredibly. I have had women working for me in positions that they’ve never worked…in terms of so many different jobs…I respect women, I love women, I cherish women.”
It might come as a surprise to some that Donald Trump is all bark and no bite. It’s one thing for him to go on a podium, slick back is combover and gush about how no one loves, cherishes and appreciates women as much as he does, but his rollbacks on birth control just prove that he absolutely doesn’t care about us. Saying it is one thing, and he’s letting his actions speak much louder than his words and false praises.
Izzy Manzo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org