The contrast couldn’t have been greater: a soulless inauguration ceremony, full of foreboding and lacking in poetry, followed by an outpouring of spirited protesters, most of them women, into the streets of cities and towns across the United States and throughout the world. Millions of them.
That the Women’s March on Washington drew far more people to the nation’s capital on Saturday than did Friday’s inauguration of Donald J. Trump clearly irked the new president, who sent his press secretary to the White House press room to issue a statement condemning the media for stating the simple fact that a modest numbers of Trump supporters made the trek to Washington for the showman’s swearing-in, especially when compared with the two inaugurations that preceded his.
If Trump hoped to deflect attention from the women’s marches taking place nationwide, he failed. But he did throw yet another shiny object before the media, one they had no choice but to chase, the object having been pitched from the White House podium.
On Tuesday, Trump lashed out at the women of the world by issuing an executive order that will likely have the effect of depriving women in developing countries of access to birth control. While the order is framed as a denial of U.S. funding to groups that provide information on abortion, Mark Leon Goldberg of UN Dispatch reports the effect of that order as impacting a portion of U.S. aid estimated to be 15 times greater than the Bush administration’s gag-order policy on abortion, the Trump order being designed to target a broader range of humanitarian groups that provide information on reproductive health care to the people they serve. The photo of Trump signing the order shows the president surrounded by white men and no women.