National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

Blogs comment on protecting reproductive, civil rights under new administration; changing depiction of abortion care in TV shows and more

Read the week's best commentary from bloggers at Huffington Post blogs, Bustle and more.

POST-ELECTION:

"The bottom drops out," Debra L. Ness, Huffington Post blogs: "We anticipated being able to spend the next few years making the progress America needs -- securing our right to choose abortion and access to contraception, making pay fair, giving all workers the right to earn paid sick days, enacting a national paid family and medical leave program, building on the Affordable Care Act [(ACA) (PL 111-148)] so we can all get quality health care and live in communities that help us thrive" -- but, following the election, "the bottom dropped out," Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, writes. Expressing empathy and concern for marginalized groups who feel threatened under the new administration, Ness continues, "We recognize that progress rarely comes in straight lines -- and we are absolutely determined to turn this pain into action. We have been facing down misogyny, racism, xenophobia, hatred and injustice for as long as we can remember and we will continue doing so, for as long as it takes." The election "was not a mandate" for the new administration to overturn Roe v. Wade, repeal the ACA or "slow the progress on paid family and medical leave," Ness writes. She concludes, "We are poised and ready to fight every single attempt to roll back the clock on our rights and our progress, every hour of every day, until the threats to every one of us are gone" (Ness, Huffington Post blogs, 11/11).

What others are saying post-election:

~ "If Donald Trump implements his proposed policies, we'll see him in court," Anthony D. Romero, American Civil Liberties Union's "Speak Freely."

~ "Wearing a safety pin isn't enough -- here are 8 concrete ways to be an ally following the 2016 election," Wendy Lu, Bustle.

ABORTION IN THE MEDIA:

"How television handled abortion in 2016 & why we need to keep talking about it," Allie Gemmill, Bustle: "In 2016, ... we've move[d] away from broad depiction of abortion on television into more nuanced territory," Gemmill writes, pointing out that "[o]lder women, married women, and women of color got a voice this year to understand how America is conceptualizing the abortion conversation," marking "a big step forward in television's ever-evolving understanding and portrayal of the myriad choices and major decisions that come with having an abortion for women in real life." For instance, the portrayal of abortion in "BoJack Horseman" "made it a point to not stigmatize the pregnant [character]," Gemmill writes, noting that "the removal of the shame and guilt that is so often heaped onto women seeking an abortion is refreshingly unseen." Meanwhile, depictions of abortion care on "Jane the Virgin" and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," "are filtered through the lens of motherhood," Gemmill writes. According to Gemmill, the affected women in both shows "are entering reinvigorated professional lives and are faced with the possibility of moving away from the confines of motherhood in [an] attempt to redefine themselves when they suddenly fall pregnant." In addition, Gemmill cites "Jane the Virgin," which presented "the first Latina character in American television history to have an abortion," marking "a major leap forward in acknowledging the scope of abortion as a topic, as it applies to all women." Gemmill also discusses a "radical" depiction of abortion care in "You're the Worst," which addressed the issue "matter-of-factly," leaving the viewer with the sense that the woman's choice "hasn't compromised her quality of life." Noting that "[t]elevision is a reflection of our society and our society is constantly in some form of debate about abortion," Gemmill concludes, "If television writers can find more ways to meaningfully explore the topic of abortion, there's no time like the present to usher in an era of greater understanding of the issue, and hopefully, empowerment" (Gemmill, Bustle, 11/14).

ACCESS TO CARE:

"Planned Parenthood and ACLU see spike in supporters after election," Christina Cauterucci, Slate's "XX Factor": "As Americans grapple with the anticipated effects of Donald Trump's impending presidency, some are taking action with their wallets," Cauterucci writes, citing reports that "Planned Parenthood Federation of America has seen a spike in donations since Election Day, with nearly 80,000 new gifts." According to Cauterucci, singer Katy Perry was one such supporter, who when she made her donation said that "'[t]here are so many steps to take, but my first vow is to support organizations that may have their funding support taken from them in the future by the government.'" Cauterucci also notes that Planned Parenthood is also "fielding surges of appointment requests from women eager to secure long-term birth control solutions," concerned that the new administration will curtail contraceptive access. Citing similar reports of increased donations to the American Civil Liberties Union, Cauterucci concludes, "By supporting Planned Parenthood and other advocates for reproductive health care, donors are doing what little they can to channel their post-election anxiety and fear into tangible efforts to resist" potential antiabortion-rights efforts under the new administration (Cauterucci, "XX Factor," Slate, 11/14).

What others are saying about access to care:

~ "What will reproductive health access look like under a new president?" Amie Newman, Our Bodies Ourselves' "Our Bodies, Our Blog."

~ "Trump says without Roe v. Wade, women could just visit other states for abortions," Cauterucci, Slate's "XX Factor."