By Ellen Wulfhorst
The election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president raises questions about how his administration will affect women’s rights, abortion and gender equality, experts say.
During his campaign, Republican Trump was criticized for his views on women. On tape, he was heard talking about grabbing women by their genitalia, and he insulted female reporters and a female political rival over their looks.
He also said abortion should be largely banned, that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v Wade legalizing abortion should be overturned and that he would appoint an anti-abortion justice to the nation’s highest court.
He said women who had abortions should be punished, but later retracted this, saying that doctors who perform abortions should be punished.
Here are some expert views on what lies ahead:
MARCIA GREENBERGER, CO-PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTER
“We take with deadly seriousness the promise of President-elect Donald Trump to reshape the Supreme Court to overturn key protections for women like Roe v. Wade. We take with deadly seriousness his commitment to withdraw all Executive Orders issued by President Obama, like stronger equal pay protections and a higher minimum wage for millions of women and men working for federal contractors. And we take with deadly seriousness his vow to enact tax changes that will create huge windfalls for the richest among us and deepen inequality in America.
“We have fought these kinds of dangerous threats before – and won. We will again.”
ILYSE HOGUE, PRESIDENT, NARAL PRO-CHOICE AMERICA
“Donald Trump’s vision for America and the policies he has proposed are a clear and present danger to women, our bodies, and our freedoms. Our charge every day is to work to ensure President-elect Trump cannot strip away our freedoms, our rights, and our ability to chart our own destiny.
We know the fight for our values isn’t won or lost in a single election … seven in 10 Americans believe in legal abortion, and we’ll continue to be their voice and advocates.”
JULIE SUK, PROFESSOR OF LAW, CARDOZO LAW, YESHIVA UNIVERSITY
“Our nation has just elected a man who has notoriously groped, belittled, and disparaged women. Our compatriots chose him over the opportunity to inaugurate our first woman president. The Trump presidency will thus begin in a climate that feels misogynistic and hostile to gender equality.
“Candidate Trump did support six weeks of paid maternity leave for new mothers. This would be a step towards economic justice for women. It could open a path toward paid leave for parents of all genders, which is what true gender equality requires. Trump said: ‘Nobody respects women more than I do.’ If he delivers on paid maternity leave, we might start to believe him.
YAMANI HERNANDEZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL NETWORK OF ABORTION FUNDS
“We always knew racism, sexism, xenophobia, ableism, and other forms of hate were on the ballot … The destructive nature of this cultural and political moment is undeniable and heart-breaking.
“Our work to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion has never been more critical. Our work to organize in larger numbers around a shared agenda has never been more necessary. We must be the ones who make abortion more than legal – but truly possible.
“We know that the fight for reproductive justice is more than access to abortion. Our struggle must ensure that people across the nation, and around the world, are able to raise their children without fear of violence.”
LYNN PALTROW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ADVOCATES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
“…the United States elected a president who suggested during the campaign that women who have abortions should be punished. We also elected as vice president the current governor of Indiana, a state where Purvi Patel was arrested, tried, and convicted of feticide for attempting to have an abortion. Fortunately, that conviction was recently overturned, but only after Ms. Patel was incarcerated for more than a year.
“We hope that our country will reject punishment and instead come together to ensure the health and human rights of all people, including pregnant women.”
SONIA OSSORIO, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN, NEW YORK CITY
“Watching our country choose an inexperienced, unprepared man who incites sexism and racism over a deeply qualified and highly prepared woman, has been a painful shock for me. I am committed to not letting disillusionment sent in.
“As a dear friend and NOW colleague said to our team today: the grief you feel today is a direct reflection of the goodness that is in your heart, of the fact that you reject sexism, bigotry, intolerance and hate and you embrace inclusivity, integrity and empathy. All those who hold those values have just been dealt a blow.
“History has faced even darker moments than this, and good people have rallied to turn things back in the right direction. We will do that.”
CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA
“We will never back down and we will never stop fighting to ensure that Planned Parenthood patients have access to the care they need, people who come from communities that need our continued support in this new reality – immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, people of faith, and more.
Healthcare should not be political. Every morning, Planned Parenthood health center staff across the country wake up and open their doors, as they have this morning, to care for anyone who needs them, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, income, or country of origin. They will do so today, they will do so tomorrow, they will do so every day as they have for 100 years.”
LAURIE ADAMS, PRESIDENT, WOMEN FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL
“Since 1993, Women for Women International has helped more than 447,000 marginalized women in countries affected by war and conflict … to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.
“We connect people across cultures to increase understanding and common ground. The elections brought forth fear of ‘the other’ and our work strives to build bridges and common understanding. Whereas Hillary Clinton has been a champion of women’s rights since Beijing, we look forward to learning more about the Trump administration’s plans to assist the most vulnerable women in line with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.”
NANCY DUFF CAMPBELL, CO-PRESIDENT, NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTER
“We are fortified by the knowledge that for the first time in history tens of millions of Americans could – and did – vote for a woman presidential candidate from a major political party, that girls and boys could see a powerful woman have a real chance of becoming president, and that because of this breakthrough, we will see a woman occupy the highest office in the land one day.”