Rallies Across the Country in Support of Women’s Rights, LGBT rights and Health Care
More than 500,000 people took to the streets of Los Angeles on Saturday, January 21, the day after Donald Trump was sworn into office as President of the United States to make their concerns know. These were pulled together as Women’s Marches but members from many different causes also joined in to push support for their positions.
On his first day in office, President Trump signed an executive order calling for a roll back in all aspects of the ACA within the current authority of the federal government and state. This is viewed largely as a symbolic act to please his voters. Essentially what the action does is direct the Health and Human Services secretary and the heads of other agencies to minimize the financial burden of Obamacare on Americans, states, insurers, health care providers and others to the maximum extent permitted by law.
What is concerning is the positions of the current leadership on healthcare although these have not been acted upon yet. Positions such as potentially rolling back coverage for poor people under the Medicaid program. This is couched carefully within the Ryan health plan and calls for block grants to the states for Medicaid. Currently, Medicaid is an entitlement program and block granting the program would potentially change that and leave that decision up to the states.
The defunding of Planned Parenthood is very concerning. Hundreds of thousands of women and their partners receive basic health services, cancer and HIV/STD testing and treatment. These are primarily poor and working class people receiving care from Planned Parenthood. We can not get to a place where we eliminate healthcare disparities when services are cut back and limited to the poor. Some republicans don’t like the fact that PP does a small number of abortions and therefore want to defund the entire agency of federal support. Federal dollars are not used to support this service now so this makes no sense and is only a political statement and action.
Right after Trump took office, the White House Page took down all references to LGBT communities. The page used to have links to positions on our community about discrimination and equal rights. Now that’s gone. Gone are also the links to the National HIV strategy as well as marriage equality. Maybe they will put these back soon so we can see their positions on our issues.
Activists all around are concerned about LGBT rights, healthcare access, women’s issues, the environment, HIV programs and a whole host of other social issues which we have worked on for years. The marches across the country sent one basic message. That we are here and our concerns remain very important.
The power of the people is very strong. What hurts our message is when people don’t speak up. There are many ways today to make your voice heard.
Trump campaigned on the message of make America great again. We as activists must hold him and his party to that promise. We might have differing opinions on how to get there, but ultimately we would all agree that more people with guaranteed health care coverage is better; more programs which fight poverty are better; less HIV transmission is better; more better paying jobs are better; higher salaries for all are better.
So when it comes to what you can do, stay educated and informed. Join organizations that can get you information you can trust on issues which you care about. When necessary, call your member of congress or send them an email, tweet or post to their Facebook page. Register to vote and tell your friends to also.
Finally, support those that deliver results to issues you care about. Adelante will continue to keep our community informed as the new administration takes shape. We will also report on the good that will potentially be accomplished as well.
Please join our mailing list if you are not currently getting our emails. Also join our Facebook page. Www. Adelante magazine.com. Facebook/Adelante Magazine