Jessica Flanagan: What This Election Means For Women’s Rights


Jessica Flanagan, Contributor

Jessica Flanagan, Contributor

With the state of America today, it is no secret that the President has failed our nation. Between his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or lack thereof, condoning white supremacy, and trying to eliminate affordable care, it should be very clear that re-electing Donald Trump would end in nothing but despair for anyone other than wealthy white men. Not only has Trump failed to move our country forward, but I would also go as far as to say he is sending America back in time, and not in a good way.

In a country that prides itself so much on giving all people freedom, it is shocking how oblivious people are to the fact that women are losing theirs. Not only did Trump start his presidency after audio surfaced of him stating, and I quote, “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything,” he also had twenty-six allegations of sexual misconduct against him. All this considered, is it really surprising that this man has been chipping away at our already limited freedoms?

In less than four years as President, Trump has managed to make it as difficult as possible for women to get abortions, without directly violating the constitutional right for women to make this decision on their own. In an article on the Center of American Progress websiteauthor Shilpa Phadke stated that Donald Trump’s proposed American Health Care Act, “would deny Planned Parenthood clinics Medicaid reimbursements for serving low-income patients” ultimately making it incredibly difficult for Planned Parenthood to help women facing difficult financial situations. Without help from the government, this organization that not only helps women get abortions, but also aids by providing birth control, STD testing, and cancer screening, would struggle to remain open. If policies this detrimental to women’s rights were proposed by Trump in just his first 100 days in office, imagine how much he can damage women’s rights if we give him 1,461 more.

While Trump’s proposed policies could be seriously detrimental to women’s rights if he is re-elected, he has already made a lasting negative contribution to women’s rights through his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the empty Supreme Court chair. The Senates’ confirmation of Barrett on Monday the 26th of October has

Judge Barrett with President Trump. (shealah_craighead)

left the Supreme Court with six Republican judges and only three Democratic ones. What does this mean for women in America? It means our right to chose what we do with our own bodies under the ruling of Roe vs. Wade is on the path to extinction.

In an article by NBC News titled “Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation Jeopardizes More than Just Abortion,” both the possibility of abortion rights and the right to birth control are discussed. The article discusses the arguments of many groups in relation to birth control and abortion but emphasizes the point of “blurred lines” between the two by stating, “The Family Research Council insists that birth control is abortion in disguise. The bottom line is that Americans don’t agree on what abortion is.” Due to uncertainty on who in power believes what when it comes to abortion and birth control, it is hard to say whether American women will have as many rights in a year as we do today if Trump is re-elected.

SARAH CROSBY/Gazette Staff (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

As a young woman in America, it is incredibly difficult to face the possibility of losing control over my own body. My only hope, and what should be the hope of many women who want to keep their rights, is that Donald Trump loses the 2020 presidential election. If not, nowhere does the Constitution prevent the next President of the United States from “packing the Supreme Court.”

Phadke, Shilpa. “100 Days, 100 Ways the Trump Administration is Harming Women and Families”. American Progress. April.25, 2017. Organization.
Zeigler, Mary. “Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation Jeopardizes More Than Abortion”. NBC News. October. 26, 2020.


Jessica Flanagan is a junior at The Morgan School.  She is treasurer of the junior class.