Inequality and Abortion

by jennifercote on March 15, 2017 - 1:57pm

On January 23rd 2017, president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, signed an anti-abortion executive order that has far-reaching consequences for women’s reproductive health access worldwide. “Trump reinstated the Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule, which was first put in place by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It prohibits giving U.S. funding to international nongovernmental organizations that offer or advise on a wide range of family planning and reproductive health options if they include abortion ― even if U.S. dollars are not specifically used for abortion-related services” (Terkel). The United States spends about 600 million dollars a year on international assistance for family planning and reproductive health programs, making it possible for 27 million women to access contraceptive services and supplies.

While President Trump was signing the executive order, images circulated and a lot of people noticed that in that room, was standing only white males. No females. A group of men making decisions about women’s bodies. Martin Belam, editor for the Guardian in London wrote a post that said it all; “As long as you live, you’ll never see a photograph of 7 women signing legislation about what men can do with their reproductive organs”. This post says a lot about the reality we live in and I think that it is really sad that an advanced society like ours is still not an equal one. I find it infuriating that men like Donald Trump think that they have the right to decide what women can and can’t do with their body. I can’t even contain my anger when I think that men who don’t even have a uterus have the decency to shut down an operation that helps women worldwide. Women who can’t afford contraceptive methods or abortions, obviously can’t afford raising a baby and I can’t even begin to explain how unbelievable it is for me to think that this man who thinks he has every right to ruin women’s lives, is still doing his thing and taking this entire country backwards with every single one of his new laws.

Humanists “support every woman’s unequivocal moral and legal right to autonomy over her own body and reproductive choices” (American Humanist Association). Humanists also believe in equal rights for both women and men and I think that more people should be inspired by that. Even though more and more people work for equality of rights and for women to be responsible of their body and decide what is good for them without anyone having to say anything about it, are we going to achieve what we work for in our lifetime? My opinion is that with people like Donald Trump the task will certainly be more difficult and since the majority of the United States voted for him, there are a lot of people that believe in the same things that he does and that it is a shame.

In conclusion, I believe that education is key to help people having a more humanistic point of view, and that if we keep trying to open people’s eyes about equal rights, we will certainly achieve something big and we will be proud of everything that we will have done.



American Humanist Association. “Reproductive freedom”. American humanist association: good without a god, 2017,


Terkel, Amanda. “Donald Trump signs anti-abortion executive order surrounded by men”. The Huffington post, January 23rd 2017,


Abortion is a much contested concept, but I think, as you said, that it is unthinkable abortion as illegal and even more when only men decide of it. I find that contradictory that people think young parents as irresponsible and not present enough for their children but are against abortion. Indeed, if abortion is illegal, girls who haven't finish high school yet and become suddenly pregnant will have to sacrifice their future to try to take care for their child. Then, some people find that horrible that a child doesn't eat enough and has her mom working all the time because she needs money. How can that teenage girl be able to raise a child with no money when even adults have difficulty raising children? Women should have the right to decide if they will be able to raise their own child.

A very interesting article! I like how you incorporate your opinion with a humanist world view regarding this controversial issue. As you mentioned, I agree that education can raise awareness on this issue as a whole. In addition, the picture you described can display how gender roles are problematic within society. Of course, abortion is a woman’s issue considering how this decision adds to the gender wage gap, the generalization of women, and more. Although, by having a group of privileged, white, heterosexual men deciding for a woman’s body, there is also a man’s issue regarding the reinforcement of masculinity within society.
A patriarchal society defines masculinity in terms of the “man box,” which applauds power, control, intimidation, and more. By demonstrating power over women by choosing for them, these men are not just oppressing a woman’s right to choose for herself but are instead over-conforming to these patriarchal roles. If men are not active or virile within society, they will be policed with feminine or homophobic slurs until they do so. Therefore, by choosing for women, men are reinforcing dominance over women and will be applauded (according to the patriarchy). If men allow women to choose for themselves, men will lack power over women, lack masculinity and will be punished. Viewing how this situation you described is an issue for both genders, one can look further onto the psychological consequences men face within the patriarchy or onto how this affects the gender wage gap. Again, your article’s passion on such a controversial issue made this a great read.

Vocabulary References:
“man box”:
Patriarchal society:
Virility: ;
Gender Wage Gap:

Great article about the new law imposed by Trump. I would like to answer to your critical question. I do not think that we can achieve what we work for in our lifetime, meaning that women will never have the full control of their own body. This question has a direct link with gender equality, and I do no think that women and men will ever be equal because people like Trump are stopping us from achieving this goal. First, I think that we need gender equality before getting to the goal where women can be responsible for their body because without gender equality we cannot achieve that. However, our world today did make some huge improvements concerning this issue. It will get better and better. For examples, new laws have been imposed in countries to respect human rights (ex: legalizing same-sex marriages in some countries). We are getting there, but there will always be an obstacle I think.

Great article, I love how your passion and emotion bleeds through with every point you add! Your frustration and fury is well justified in your post, it is absolutely outrageous that a right pertaining specifically to women is being stripped away by a bunch of… well Donalds. The oppression of women's voices is one of society's greatest flaws, in a world where 51 percent of the population is female, it is down right stupid that our governments are not equal parts male and female. Your description of this image has been burned into my mind and i'm sure as you can see your frustration towards this problem has been passed on to me through your article. Through a gendered lense it would seem that the root of this issue is the “Man Box”. I believe that the oppression of women can be directly associated with men's obsession with the ‘’Man Box’’. The ‘’Man Box” is a collection of terms and ideas that men must conform to in order to “fit in” with society. The “Man Box’’ includes ideas that men must hold power over women so when it comes to politics and our modern day society it is not surprising that men have blocked women out of major decision making, such as the abortion law that was recently passed. As I said earlier I believe that the oppression of women’s voices is society's greatest flaw, when women are locked out of government positions the decisions made do not always answer to women's issues and can often be heavily male sided. Attached is a link that you can use for more information regarding the man box.