All three branches of the federal government can have a huge impact on reproductive freedom nationwide. While 7 in 10 Americans support the right to abortion, our government doesn’t reflect our views. We’ll be fighting with everything we’ve got to block attacks on reproductive freedom from the anti-choice Congress and president.
Donald Trump’s presidency poses a clear and present danger to reproductive freedom. Trump has said that women should be punished for choosing abortion, and he has filled his executive Cabinet with anti-choice extremists. Here are some of the ways Trump is expected to threaten reproductive rights:
- Trump repeatedly promised he would nominate anti-choice justices to the Supreme Court. He has followed through on that promise by nominating Neil Gorsuch, an anti-choice circuit court judge, to fill the vacancy on the court. Gorsuch ruled against reproductive freedom in multiple cases throughout his career, and must not be confirmed. Read more about our work opposing Neil Gorsuch here.
- Trump is also poised to nominate judges to lower-level federal courts who could gut reproductive rights by upholding dangerous anti-choice state laws.
- The president also nominates the attorney general and the heads of departments that affect health services nationwide. His pick for attorney general, former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, is a racist, sexist, anti-choice extremist who voted to defund Planned Parenthood, ban abortion at 20 weeks and wanted to make it easier for anti-choice domestic terrorists to escape punishment for attacking clinics.
- The president’s annual budget contains proposed funding amounts for federal health services, such as the Title X family planning program and sex education programs.
Congress—the House of Representatives and the Senate—creates laws and determines the budget for the federal government. The Senate also approves the president’s nominees for the courts and for federal agencies. With extreme anti-choice politicians running both the House and Senate, and an anti-choice president, we expect constant attacks on our reproductive freedom. We’ll never stop fighting to make sure the voices of the 7 in 10 pro-choice Americans are heard.
Find out how your members of Congress have voted on legislation that affects reproductive freedom.
Pro-choice organizations often challenge extreme anti-choice laws in the court system. These cases can make their way through the federal court system all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has the final say on whether a law violates the Constitution.
We had a huge victory in the Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The court ruled that a Texas TRAP law designed to shut down reproductive-health clinics was unconstitutional. Because of this ruling, other states have been forced to roll back similar laws.
Trump’s selections for federal courts, including the Supreme Court, could swing the outcomes of court cases for decades to come. His January 2017 selection of the anti-choice Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court shows that Trump is intent on rolling back reproductive rights in the judiciary. The anti-choice agenda is ultimately to overturn Roe v. Wade, and Gorsuch could be the first step toward making that possible.