The above image is from President Donald Trump’s first day in the Oval Office, Monday January 23rd. In the image, President Trump is signing a ban that, according to a CNN article by Laura Koran, “bars international non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions from receiving US government funding.” The article goes on to explain that the ban will effect any NGO that offers or supports abortions, as the organizations will “be prevented from receiving any assistance from the US Agency for International Development, one of the largest contributors to international development assistance.” Marie Stopes International, an NGO that would be directly affected by the ban, estimated that Trump’s ban could cause up to 6.5 million unintended pregnancies, 2.2 million abortions, 2.1 million unsafe abortions, and 21,700 maternal deaths.
This picture sparked both national and international outrage, not only due to the fact that the president had enacted a ban that would cause detriment to women worldwide, but also that when he did so, he was only surrounded by others like himself: affluent white males. Not a single minority or woman was present when President Trump signed the law, which signified an even larger issue in our society than that of Trump’s ban. When women and others of diverse backgrounds are excluded from the conversation surrounding issues that directly affect them or others like them, the governmental system at hand becomes inherently unequal. In my opinion, without a variety of voices in our nation’s government, the tone of the conversation turns monochromatic; without diversity, our world becomes both dull and unjust.
As said by NARAL president, Ilyse Hogu, “Donald Trump has turned his anti-women rhetoric into policy, and made it more difficult for women and families all over the world to access vital reproductive care.” In banning the governmental funding of NGOs, President Trump is not only making it more difficult for women to find adequate abortion and contraceptive services, but is also making it that much harder for our nation to grow and develop ideas that will benefit a larger scope of Americans.