This Week in Women: Activism + Optimism
Americans are so over 2016. The Boston Globe reported “disproportionate numbers of people reporting emotional distress over the election, with one poll indicating that 90 percent of those saying they’ve been stressed believe this election was more demoralizing than any other they’d experienced.” As we eat our emotions by way of Christmas cookies, there are thankfully some glimmers of hope going into 2017. Simply put, we’re here to share the optimism in what has been a dismal year of news. It’s time for this week in women!
President Obama Protects Planned Parenthood Funding
As President Obama winds down his historic presidency and enjoys his significant approval rating, he is taking measures to solidify his legacy. This week President Obama issued a final rule that requires state and local governments to distribute federal funds under the Title X program, effectively granting women’s reproductive healthcare organizations funding going into a Trump presidency. Under the rule, qualified healthcare providers that offer services for contraception, sexually transmitted infections, fertility, pregnancy care, and breast and cervical cancer screening are eligible for funds from the Title X program, regardless of whether or not the healthcare provider also offers abortion services. And yes, this rule protects Planned Parenthood.
“This rule will strengthen access to essential services like cancer screenings and contraception for some of the most vulnerable patients in this country,” said Chief Medical Officer, Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Public comments showed overwhelming support for finalizing the rule, which clarifies that all organizations able to provide these services should be eligible to compete for funds.”
Plans For a Women’s March on Washington Are Underway
On January 21, 2017—the day after Trump’s inauguration—hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are expected to gather at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW in Washington, D.C. The Women’s March on Washington organization’s mission is to “send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
The Women’s March on Washington has attracted the attention of women and men across the United States with over 147,000 RSVPs on the event’s Facebook page. The organization is working to organize a peaceful demonstration that is inclusive and encompasses progressive ideals.
Chelsea Handler Advocates for Women to Come Together
Comedy queen and media mogul Chelsea Handler wrote a bold, brutally honest essay for Thrive Global about women supporting women. In the piece she points to uncomfortable truths about voting trends, women’s attitudes towards a female presidential candidate (and each other), and setting aside jealousy and insecurities.
“We don’t just have a problem with men supporting women in this country; we have a problem with women supporting women,” said Handler. “I know I can do better, and I will. It starts now.”
Image via Getty Images
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.