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Rights belong to the powerful and powerless both

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Rocky Mountain PBS News wonders what’s next after Colorado’s Women’s March, which, along with similar marches held across the country, took place the day after President Trump’s inauguration. On Jan. 21, hundreds of thousands marched in Denver and many other areas in Colorado, to protest what many citizens believe may come a trampling of rights – or an attempted trampling – under the Trump administration.

What the March’s organizers want is to turn this into a sustained movement.

Case in point: Trump’s executive order on women’s reproductive rights

On cue, on Monday after the Women’s March, Trump signed an executive order to reinstate a three-decades-old policy that bans federal funding to any international organization that provides abortion services or provides any information on abortion services. Regardless of one’s views on abortion, this order may stifle family planning services, in general, for many women worldwide, and may end up doing more harm than good.

To be fair, prior presidential administrations have either yanked it or reinstated it, depending on the given administration’s political position in either the GOP or DFL. Though Trump is a putative “independent,” his executive order is no surprise.

“As a result of Trump’s executive order,” Maggie Mallon wrote for Glamour, “millions of women will be denied necessary family planning services – either because these facilities will no longer provide them or they will have to shutter completely.”

The concept of ‘mother’s rights’

Commentators were quick to point out the picture of Trump in the Oval Office, surrounded by a cadre of men, as he signed an executive order that primarily affects women, insofar as it is women who get pregnant. Those currently in the Oval Office apparently have the “right” to shape policy as it relates to family planning (which often includes information on more than just abortion, such as adoption).

While we’re on the subject of family values, let’s look at the concept of mother’s rights, which came from that picture of men signing an executive order that affects women. It comes from the economic reality that there still are situations where the woman is the disadvantaged spouse, perhaps because she stayed home to raise the children, and in the process, was out of the workforce for a considerable period of time.

We’ve given voice to the needs of our women clients, who often face very difficult circumstances, just as any woman walking into Planned Parenthood faces very difficult circumstances, regardless of personal views on abortion.

Rights belong to everyone, those in power and those who aren’t, the powerful and the powerless.

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