Protestors all over the country are rallying to show support for the idea that doctors should be able to tell patients the truth, the whole truth, and everything including the truth about reproductive options. Dubbed the #NoGagRule rallies, events are being held in response President Trump’s intent to impose a rule forbidding doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers across the United States from discussing abortion with their patients, much less providing one or referring patients for safe, legal abortion if the agency want to continue to receive Title X funding. Basically they doctors would not be able to even mention abortion as an option when providing reproductive care and counsel.
Conservatives are using the “saving babies/family values” argument to appeal to their fundamentalist base. We could point out the absurdities in the planned proposal. For example, do supports of this rule believe that women have never heard about abortion and would not know to ask about it if it wasn’t mentioned as an option? Do these forced-birthers fear that just the mention of abortion would convince a patient to have one? Abortion is not like cake, where someone just mentions it and then you suddenly want some. It’s not a power-of-suggestion decision.
But this move by the administration is not about saving babies at all. It is about power and control. Deny a woman reproductive freedom and you control her, which, of course, allows you to keep power for yourself. It is simultaneously an attack on people of color and the poor; whom the rule would disproportionately affect. So if this move goes forward, its a double win for the right wing agenda.
Act.tv was live at the rally in NYC where we were able to hear from these powerful advocates:
It may help to remember that this is likely all a political ploy to keep Trump supporters happy through the mid-terms and beyond, even if women will be hurt. As we know, Trump was staunchly Pro-Choice, according to, well, Trump, when he appeared on Meet The Press in 1999. Apparently he has devolved on the issue.
Watch the entire coverage of the #NoGagRule rally from New York City on act.tv.
Julianna Forlano is Senior Correspondent, Protests and Political Activism for act.tv.