Last week, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Trump administration’s domestic “gag rule” could take effect, and within days, the Health and Human Services Department announced its intent to implement and enforce the policy. This tends to be the sort of news that gets buried in a news cycle that’s seen a sitting U.S. president tell four congresswomen of coloration to “go back where they came from,” but it’s essential nonetheless. Thousands of low-income, disproportionately women of color, could lose access to critical reproductive healthcare because of this policy, with an estimated 40 percent of all women on Medicaid reliant on Planned Parenthood for preventive care.
Despite ongoing lawsuits filed in response to the Ninth Circuit’s decision, there is presently no legal obstacle to prevent the Trump administration from enforcing this policy, and this week, reproductive health providers across the nation were formally put on notice. Unfortunately, none of this should come as a surprise. Right through, the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump (and nearly all Republican candidates) vowed to defund Planned Parenthood, which has been one of the most salient conservative talking points for years.
And that’s because it works: The majority of their base foams at the mouth at the thought of women forced to be pregnant and give birth—generally women who are unable to afford the most basic healthcare they
Need to restrain pregnancy in the first place. What’s frustrating about the gag rule and the minimal coverage it has received is, like the ongoing wave of state-degree abortion bans, the appointment of anti-abortion Supreme Courtroom justices, and all the other horrors that were promised by this administration from day one, ladies and activists warned of what was at stake, only to be ignored but ultimately proven right.