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Donald Trump's Anti-Abortion Agenda Shows How Far Short The Women's March Fell

25/01/2017 11:58

The President holds the pen in his hand and signs the documents that change the world - not the women and men who held picket signs across the world's major cities. It is a sick truth but one we must adapt to during Donald Trump's tenure as the head of the US Government. I happened to be shopping in London on the day of the march and watched hundreds of proud, smiling women reassert themselves as global citizens with voices, opinions, and pussies that don't want to be groped (their words on a sign, not mine).

Alas, the person by whom these women don't want to be groped is the same man who has now dictated that any overseas body with US funding may not discuss (or advise) abortions - notice the similarity in words and actions; it's some guy who believes that every woman's body is subject to his own views of what should be done with them.

This is a sad turn of events, but hardly an unexpected one. There was a strong anti-Trump agenda during the marches in Britain, Canada, Australia, Mexico and the USA (where more people marched against Trump than turned out to watch his inauguration) - and it was an understandable and fairly unobjectionable message. Indeed, Trump's rise to the top is so dubious that I needn't even point out any of the controversy surrounding him, you can just take your pick.

What is troubling, though, is that the united the voices of millions of women across cities, countries and continents paled in significance to the scratching of a pen held by the President when he finalised his decision to take bodily independence from those who need it the most. How sad that this is probably one of the few policies in which he has any political or personal conviction.

Where does this leave us, and I'm not just talking about women? Right where the hell we already are - subject to the whims of the democratically voted.

Here is my gripe, and it is twofold. The first is that Donald Trump has a responsibility to do the right thing regardless of his personal views (ie. not blacklisting abortion because he doesn't agree with it). As the President he must separate personal bias from policy. This isn't The Apprentice anymore; reality TV is about as far from reality as we can pretend.

The second is aimed at the electorate. This is what happens when we screw up. In exactly the same way that President Trump must limit his personal balance, we as citizens must also do the right thing regardless of our own personal views. I'm looking at you, Trump voting women who wanted change but actually that change meant your sisters relinquishing ownership over their own flesh and blood because some guy in another country doesn't like the idea of feminine independence.

Which brings me back to the march, and the sad conclusion we must all draw from it. It was the right thing to do, and we all had a responsibility to support it. However, we must also understand that doing the right thing doesn't always mean getting the right result, and this has been demonstrated by the fact that millions of women with billions of eggs in their millions of ovaries couldn't hold a candle to one man with zero eggs in his zero ovaries. Talk about a representative for the masses.

As an aside, this is where Ms Clinton would have been a welcome change - a woman making decisions about, and for, women. I'm sure she wouldn't have gagged overseas organisations from providing information about abortions. But that's not the case, so we should ignore the hypothetical present in favour of the real one.

And the real present is a genuine worry, one in which no large-scale walk will change it. We could have a global march and it wouldn't change the minds of those in power, especially if the driving force behind their policies are personal opinion over social good. We could relax if we believed President Trump's cabinet was more forward-thinking and slightly less "old white conservative man" - but they're not, so our fear should be that the share of policy is going to reflect their opinions more than it does from a desire to bring about positive social change.

Unfortunately, we just have to have faith that the new-look US government will do the right thing for all of us. Four days into his term at its helm, Donald Trump has already set out his stall - and we all know it isn't selling progressive politics. No amount of marching is going to cure that.

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