A few months ago, I posted about the Women’s March and why it was a day that changed everything. My teenage daughter and I made the trek from NYC to Washington, DC, along with thousands of other women. As soon as we boarded the train, it felt monumental. After two months of literally crying over the outcome of the election, I felt like I had found my people at the march. I was surrounded by like-minded people both on and off the stage. In my blog post I wrote that were “women who want a future like the one I want for my daughter –”where abortion is forever legal, immigrants are welcome and affordable healthcare is available for all. There was at least a million people who agree with me in a fierce, powerful way. There was a sea of pussy hats and posters that that said everything from “#Resist” to “Women’s rights are human’s rights” to “This is what democracy looks like”. Seeing these signs, hearing people yell – it just all felt so right.”
Oh, to be in that sea of pussy hats again.
I was in DC during Trump’s inauguration, but that fact meant very little to me. As we walked by people who had come to the city to be a part of the festivities, we were mystified. Living in New York, we were strangers to people who voted for him, a bit oblivious to be honest. But, upon reflection, I think that seeing these people lit a fire inside me. I knew that when I would get home, I could not sit idle. I would have to become a more active member of my community to further and advance the rights of women.
So I did. I joined a group called Indivisible, a group that shares my common values of nonviolence, justice and inclusion, where hundreds of women showed up for our first meeting. We then divided into smaller groups to tackle various causes. I also joined the core committee of a coalition of eight congregations of all faiths to help refugees gain entry to the U.S. To date, we have successfully brought over one person from Pakistan and we continue to advocate and fight for the rights of all refugees.
But the fight can’t stop with these efforts, it must carry on. It has been 100 days since Trump came into office. Since then, there has been an attack on women’s health and rights that is nothing like we have ever seen in history – from undermining maternity care, to attacking Planned Parenthood, to setting up cruel barriers to immigrants. Examine the timeline below – it will give you a good sense of what is happening. Or look at it here: http://bit.ly/2pzW0eU.
These first 100 days have made it clear that the Trump administration has a clear disregard for women’s health and safety, and the health and safety of their families. Everyday we are waking up to policies that are an attack on our basic rights. Even my teenage daughter is outraged and seems to possess an understanding of the attack on society better than I ever did when I was her age. The current administration is cutting access to family planning, maternity coverage, and new mother assistance and these things are not okay.
All people should have equal access to reproductive health care. We must continue to fight for abortion access, birth control and health care equity.
There is more good news. The world has never seen this kind of response. There have been protests virtually every weekend. There are Indivisible meetings taking place all over the country. More women are running for local office than ever. The women behind the Women’s March are keeping the cause alive and are pushing out motivational messaging daily. It has never been so easy to be proactive about the causes we care about. Sign up for daily action newsletters via Daily Kos or the Women’s March.
Need more inspiration? EMILY’s List has heard from 11,000 women since the election who are considering running for public office. The new administration may be creating policies that harm women, but women are getting active and fighting for what we need.
What should you do? Keep showing up. Don’t hide. Don’t sit idle. DO SOMETHING. Keep Hillary Clinton’s words in your mind:
More than anything, help keep the pressure on Congress.
This post is made possible by support from Planned Parenthood Action Fund. All opinions are my own.