Turns out, their anxiety over Trump's future policies was not exactly unfounded.
"This year has proved that the Trump administration has no interest in protecting women’s health and our basic freedoms, and if there was a way to give them anything below an F, I would," Kaylie Hanson-Long, the national communications director for NARAL Pro-Choice America, told Refinery29. "Just this week, Trump released an executive order that gives medical practitioners the license to discriminate against patients and turn a person in need of care away. From ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans, to attacking our essential birth control, Trump’s attacks on women’s health are actually putting people’s health, rights, and lives in real danger."
And even though some the worst fears have not become true (
, same-sex marriage is still legal, not all anti-discrimination protections for women have been rolled back) it's been a tough year all-around.
Roe v. Wade hasn't been overturned
We might not be Gilead yet (from the
Handmaid's Tale), but the Trump administration is setting us back by generations. Ahead, a look at why President Trump's first year in office has been a disaster for women in the U.S. and abroad.
Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images.
JANUARY Reinstated the Global Gag Rule:
reinstated the Global Gag Rule
, also known as the Mexico City Policy. The Reagan-era rule blocks international organizations that offer abortions from receiving federal funding. The 1977
already blocks the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. What the policy does is force organizations between dropping abortion-related care (including offering the procedure, counseling, and referrals) in order to receive the funds, or refusing to do so and seeking other sources of funding to continue providing a wide range of women's health services. The policy is expected to
drive up abortion rate
s, as it happened when the policy was reinstated under Bush.
Nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
: One of Trump's main campaign promises was to
appoint Supreme Court justices
who would overturn
Roe v. Wade
. In late January Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the seat left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Like his predecessor, Gorsuch is a conservative justice and
which means he interprets the U.S. Constitution almost exactly as it's written. Gorsuch is the
most conservative justice on the bench
Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images.
produced by Erin Yamagata; modeled by Hoku Gepp; photographed by Nicolas Bloise; modeled by Steve Doss.
MARCH Revoked an Obama-era fair pay policy:
signed an executive order
rolling back the
2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces
order. The policy, created by President Obama, required all companies with federal contracts to comply with 14 wage, labor, or workplace safety laws. The measure also included two specific rules meant to protect women: It required companies to observe paycheck transparency and to get rid of forced arbitration clauses when it came to allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or gender discrimination. Advocates said that by rolling back the order, Trump went on an "attack against workers and taxpayers."
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images.
APRIL Defunded the United Nations population fund:
The State Department stopped offering
federal funding to the United Nations Population Fund
. The organization provides reproductive healthcare in over 150 countries and its main goal is to help ensure healthy and planned pregnancies. The UNPFA does not offer or promote abortions.
Allowed states to defund clinics that offer abortions:
Trump signed a bill allowing states to
withhold Title X family planning funds
from health care providers that offer abortion-related care. Thirteen states used to withhold the Title X money from abortion providers before the Obama administration blocked them. (Because of the
, federal funds can't be used to pay for abortions, so the Title X money went to other health services at those clinics.) The legislation allows them to withhold the funds again and redirect them to providers that don't offer abortion services.
Budget proposal slashed foreign aid
: In his proposal for the 2018 budget, Trump suggested
merging USAID with the State Department
and cutting its funding by about a third. USAID operates in about 100 countries. The cuts would force the organization to eliminate about 30 of its field missions and also slash global health funding in at least 40 countries. Those funds go to programs supporting maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and other crucial healthcare initiatives. Trump's budget proposal also completely
eliminated the Office of Global Women's Issues
, which worked to "
promote the rights and empowerment of women
and girls through U.S. foreign policy."
Anti-abortion activist is appointed to the Health and Human Services Department: Trump tapped Charmaine Yeost
, former president and CEO of Americans United for Life, for a senior communications position at the Department of Health and Human Services. Americans United for Life is
an anti-abortion organization
that has been crucial in helping advance
legislation at the state level
that restrict access to safe and legal abortions.
Photo: Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto/Getty Images.
MAY Supported the House version of the Obamacare repeal:
the American Health Care Act (AHCA)
— the first Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. About
23 million more people would be uninsured
by 2026 if the bill became law. Among other things, the legislation allowed states to choose whether insurers should cover essential health benefits and charge more for preexisting conditions. The bill also
defunded Planned Parenthood for a year
and blocked federally subsidized health plans from offering abortion coverage.
Expanded the Global Gag Rule:
The Trump administration widely
expanded the reach of the Global Gag Rule
. Under the Reagan and Bush administrations, the ban applied to $60 million in programming. But Trump decided to apply the policy to a total of $8.8 billion in existing foreign aid provided by the State Department, USAid, and the Department of Defense.
Longer budget proposal defunded abortion providers:
Trump's budget proposal expressly
withheld funds from Planned Parenthood
or any health provider that
— except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life.
photographed by Ashley Armitage; modeled by Caitlin Engler; produced by Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez; produced by Megan Madden.
Photo: Getty Images.
AUGUST Eliminated policy aimed at helping close the gender wage gap
: The Trump administration
scrapped an Obama-era policy
that would make businesses collect pay data by gender, race, and ethnic groups. The purpose was to identify which employers have pay inequality issues, but the administration argued that it posed a burden to businesses.
Banned transgender people from joining the military:
One month after tweeting that
transgender individuals shouldn't serve
in the military, Trump banned trans recruits from enlisting
through an executive order
. The policy was
met with several lawsuits
, brought by several groups representing both transgender men and women. (Several federal courts ruled against the Trump administration and
the Justice Department dropped its appeal
, so trans recruits were able to enlist starting in early January.)
Photo: David McNew/Getty Images.
SEPTEMBER Ended DACA:
The Trump administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Obama-era policy
protected about 800,000 Dreamers
or undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. About 1 in 4 DACA recipients have kids who are
, according to recent studies. That means
about 200,000 children
currently have a parent who is at risk of deportation because of the Trump administration's decision to end DACA.
Rescinded the Obama-era Title IX guidance
: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos formally
scrapped the Title IX
guidance established by the Obama administration on how colleges should deal with
sexual violence allegations on campus
, a move that was a clear setback for sexual assault survivors.
Supported Obamacare repeal:
Republicans made a last-ditch effort
to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act before
some procedural rules expired
. The Graham-Cassidy bill, supported by the president, was rushed so abruptly that it was unknown how many more people
would become uninsured
if it passed.
photographed by Ashley Armitage; produced by Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez; produced by Megan Madden; modeled by Sebastian Rosemarie.
OCTOBER Issued a new religious liberty guidance
: Attorney General Jeff Sessions
issued a sweeping religious liberty guidance
, instructing agencies to prioritize claims of a violation of religious freedom over the concerns for the rights and anti-discrimination protections of LGBTQ+ individuals, women, and other minorities.
Rolled back civil rights protections for transgender individuals
: Sessions also issued a memo to federal prosecutors, in which he said that the 1964 Title VII civil rights law banning workplace discrimination on basis of sex is not
applicable to transgender or gender non-conforming workers. Partially rolled back the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate
: The Health and Human Services Department issued a new regulation partially
rolling back the Obamacare birth control mandate
. The move made it for employers to claim they have religious or moral-based objections to contraception, in order to drop coverage of co-pay free birth control from their health plans.
Blocked undocumented teen from obtaining an abortion:
The Trump administration tried to stop an undocumented teenager, known as Jane Doe in court documents,
from getting an abortion
. Even though the teenager obtained a state court order in late September allowing her to go forward with the procedure, federal officials refused to transport her or temporarily release her so her attorney could take her to a clinic. A federal appeals court ended up ruling in her favor and she was able to obtain the procedure.
Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
produced by Erin Yamagata; modeled by Khalea Underwood; modeled by Melerie Uribe; photographed by Rachel Cabitt.
produced by Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez; photographed by Tayler Smith.
JANUARY Established conscience-based protections for health workers:
The Health and Human Services Department introduced a new rule that would allow health workers to opt out of performing procedures or providing services
if they have religious or moral objections
. Advocates fear that
the rule would allow health workers
to deny care to LGBTQ+ patients, refuse to perform abortions or provide birth control, and opt out of providing services like end-of-life care.