The Women’s March on Seattle

The Women’s March on Seattle

By Sydney Friend Sifferman

 

The Women’s March on Seattle brought together people of every gender, race, and religion to show their passion for women’s rights. The march was expected to be the third largest Women’s March around the world, following the marches in D.C. and L.A. According to Q13 FOX, there were over 175,000 people at the march in Seattle, which greatly exceeded the number of people expected to march.

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At the march, we decided to ask people why they were marching. Here are what some fellow marchers said:

“The election of Trump was surprising. I stand for progressive politics and everything has been rolled back now. I want my kids to grow up in progressive society.”

“I have twin boys at age 13 and the choices that Trump has the potential to make will affect their future of going to war, and that is something that I am scared of and want to fight for.”

“I really don’t like Trump at all. He’s tearing down healthcare and women’s rights. My mom went down to the south to protest women’s rights all of her life and she passed away a little while back so now I am honoring her and her activism. Rights denied are rights denied. The time to do something is now.”

“I came to support my fellow women, and standing up for my gay rights as well. I want to exercise the right to silent protest against Trump.”

“I am really passionate about women’s rights and how the President will affect the world. We won’t be discriminated or be shut down. Our voices count. ”

“I am marching in support of my fellow women and to also protest Trump to show that I don’t agree with what’s going on.”

“I’m almost 50 and I’ve had luxury of standing on the generations before me, but now I must speak out that we are moving backwards in time. We must stand up for everything that we have worked so hard for.”

“I came today just because looking at the election and having Trump’s campaign based on racism, bigotry, and misogyny goes against American values, and I am not okay with that. There is a loud majority that will hold him accountable.”

“We came just because everything that is going on. We wanted to make the point that women’s rights are human rights. There is also so much hate in the world and we wanted to show that there is still love.”

“We believe there should be justice for everyone for every race, religion, and gender. We are speaking out against hate.”

“I am marching because I am genuinely scared and today is the first time that I feel safe because of all the strong women here today. Trump should be scared of all of us.”

“I’m out here because I don’t think our representatives are representing who we are and who I am, and I don’t think they have any right taking away the rights we already worked so hard for.”

I decided to come because while Trump is my president, he works for me, and I want him to know how I think he’s doing. I can’t just sit by and be silent.”

“I want to have my voice heard. Women can do whatever they want with their bodies and that needs to be something Trump understands.”

This is what it looks like to fight for fundamental rights. Women’s rights are human rights, and together, we rise. 

A Week of Scary Politics for Women’s Reproductive Rights

A Week of Scary Politics for Women’s Reproductive Rights

By Beth E. Rivin, M.D., M.P.H.

We are in for a scary ride, folks.  Trump’s nominations for cabinet positions make a reproductive rights advocate, like me, cringe.  And so, when Representative Tom Price of Georgia was nominated by President-Elect Trump to be Secretary of Health and Human Services this week, I felt sick and threatened.  Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence introduced him as, “someone who literally, for the last half a dozen years, has been in the forefront of efforts…… to repeal Obamacare…..The New York Times Editorial Board called Trump’s nomination of Tom Price, “A Radical Choice for Health Secretary”.  Like Mike Pence, Rep. Tom Price is strongly against women’s right to decide for themselves when and if to be pregnant.

Women’s improved access to contraception under Obamacare (Affordable Care Act or ACA) is severely threatened.  One of the highlights of Obamacare is the mandate for health plans to cover contraception at affordable prices.  Although there were some exceptions to contraception coverage, i.e., religious institutions, more and more women have used this feature to get contraception. Thanks to the ACA, at least 67% of insured women on the pill were projected to be paying $0 for it in 2014 (up from only 15% in 2012). For more information about this, visit: http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-birth-control/.

Trump’s nomination more clearly defines our future battle lines.  Tom Price is a staunch advocate of repealing Obamacare, which would roll back gains made in access to contraception under the ACA.  The legislation he most recently introduced in 2015 tells the story.  If he can gut the program and leave millions without healthcare, including access to contraception, he will.

Unfortunately, women do not have the right to reproductive health in the U.S.  We are not protected by the international human rights treaty CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women).  Obamacare was a step in the right direction to improve access to family planning, especially for poor women, non-urban populations, adolescents and other marginalized groups.

We are in scary times, but we can fight back.  We must be vigilant, organize and speak up with a unified voice – women’s right to family planning is at stake.   If Obamacare is repealed and replaced, it will put millions of women and girls at risk. Tell Trump what you like and don’t like about Obamacare so we may be able to influence the final outcome of an effort to take away better healthcare and better access to contraception—a woman’s right.