*Image by Studio 15’s Jia Wertz *
On Saturday, just one day after Donald Trump became America’s new president, millions united all over the world to march for women’s rights, including the right to choose what happens with their bodies. Fighting for reproductive rights and funding Planned Parenthood was a reoccurring topic that many speakers discussed including Michael Moore, Scarlet Johansson, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and many more.
Richards warned the crowd: “You need to know that starting this week, Congress is going to be moving quickly to try to pass restrictions on reproductive access and we cannot let them. You call your member of Congress, call your Senator and say we will not go back. One of us can be dismissed, two of us can be ignored but together, we are a movement and we are unstoppable.”
Her warning was right on point as one of Trump’s first order of business in office included signing three referendums including signing an executive order blocking foreign aid or federal funding for international nongovernmental organizations that provide or “promote” abortions.
The Mexico City policy, or as critics call it, “the global gag rule”, was established by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984 to block funding for international family planning charities that provide abortions or provide referrals for the procedure by providing patients with information about it.
President Obama rescinded it in 2009 when he took office. On Saturday, Richards had made a pledge to the crowd.
“For the majority of people in this country, Planned Parenthood is not the problem, we are the solution,” she told the crowd. “We have been a part of the fabric of America for a 100 years and my pledge today is our doors stay open.”
No matter what and you better believe it, we are here to fight for reproductive rights including access to safe and legal abortion because to expand on a historic quote by my heroine and friend Hillary Clinton, a woman who knows a little something about never giving up, “reproductive rights are human rights,”” Richards added.
Scarlett Johansson also joined the march to share her stance on the importance of Planned Parenthood.
“For the more than 2.5 million patients a year that rely on Planned Parenthood services for cancer and STD screenings, birth control, safe abortion, and pregnancy planning, these are uncertain and anxious times,” she told the crowd.
She also had a request for President Trump: “I ask you to support to all women in our fight for equality in all things including the fight to be recognized as individuals who know better for ourselves and what is right for our bodies, better than any elected official, popular or otherwise.”
In response to him signing this, Planned Parenthood released a statement on how the global gag rule hurts women worldwide and is undercutting years of progress.
“By reinstating the global gag rule as one of his first actions in office, Donald Trump has put politics over women’s lives — as a result, some of the world’s most vulnerable women will suffer,” it begins.
The organization has also joined nearly 140 diverse organizations on an open statement opposing the global gag rule.
Planned Parenthood is asking for everyone’s support. You can sign a petition to show support here.