January 24, 2017
Trump Abortion Order: Ban On International Abortion Funding Signed By Donald Trump During Ceremony At White House [Opinion]

According to KRIS, the Trump abortion order signed yesterday in the Oval Office by the newly installed president brings to an end United States funding for any international birth control programs that might also include abortion as one possible option. In a signing ceremony in which he was surrounded entirely by men, Trump unilaterally made this decision about women's reproductive rights around the world.

Trump abortion ban may lead to more protests like this.
Trump abortion ban may lead to more protests like this. [Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Abortion Ban Reinstitution by Trump

Abortion order bans regarding United States funding of such procedures internationally have been alternately instated and rescinded many times over the last three decades. The first time the ban was implemented was under the Reagan administration.

It was subsequently rescinded under the Clinton Administration, reinstated during the Bush presidency, and then rescinded again under President Obama. Now, Trump has once again instituted this ban for any birth control programs around the world receiving funding from the United States.

During his campaign, Trump often gave contradictory indications about his views regarding abortion within the United States itself. Depending on who he was talking to and what day it was, Trump might either say that abortion was a woman's right or that the law should be changed and women should be punished for having the procedure.

But this Trump abortion order regarding international funding of abortions is very much in keeping with the views of many of the conservatives in the Republican Party, members of Trump's own cabinet, and Vice President Mike Pence, so it's hardly surprising he signed this order.

As a congressman, Pence introduced a bill that, at the time, would have shut down all funding for Planned Parenthood because a small percentage of this organization's activities in promoting birth control and women's health involved abortions. According to the Associated Press, the Republican-controlled Congress will soon be making yet another attempt to defund Planned Parenthood inside the United States.

Impact of Trump Abortion Order

This blanket ban on international abortion funding means organizations that relied on United States funding when offering birth control to women in developing countries will now either have to find funding elsewhere or cut back on such programs.

The implications for women in these developing countries are significant. Birth control is one of the principal means for ensuring that women are able to join the economy and contribute to the growth of their family's income, health, and general prosperity. The Trump abortion order will make it more difficult for women to achieve equality economically and socially.

Future Plans of Donald Trump

It's safe to say that the conservatives in the Senate and House, as well as the Trump administration itself, aren't going to be satisfied with simply cutting off abortion funding outside of the United States. While legally, Roe v Wade guarantees a woman's right to an abortion in this country, defunding provides an effective means for Republicans to eliminate access to an abortion without technically eliminating the right to it.

Also, Republicans in control of governorships and state legislatures across the country have introduced other types of limitations designed to interfere with abortion rights. For instance, in Texas, an attempt was made by the state government to limit the number of abortion clinics that were actually available to only a handful. It's possible that similar limitations and restrictions will be attempted by the Trump administration on a national level.

There's also the fact that Trump will soon be installing, with a rubber stamp from the Republican-controlled Senate, a new Supreme Court justice. If over the next year or so he gets the chance to put in a second one – several of the current Supreme Court justices are after all octogenarians – there's always the possibility that the original Roe v Wade decision could be modified or even tossed out by a new court. So the recent Trump abortion order could only be the opening salvo of a wider war on abortion rights.

[Featured Image by Ron Sachs/Pool/Getty Images]