RICHMOND, VA — Vice President Joe Biden rolled out his comprehensive agenda for women today, laying out a plan that will improve economic security, expand access to health care, tackle health inequities, help women navigate work and family lives, end violence against women, and empower women around the world. While Vice President Biden continued to pave the path forward, DPVA slammed Donald Trump’s disastrous record and broken promises to Virginia women.
“It’s no surprise that Donald Trump has created such a hostile environment for women in this country. He dismissed pregnancy as being inconvenient to businesses, posited that mothers make for absent workers, and his blatant sexism was clear to anyone who followed 2016’s election. We need a president who will be active in the fight against inequities in health care, the workplace, and all other aspects of life, and Trump has shown time and again he’ll only make things worse,” said DPVA Chair Susan Swecker.
All along the campaign trail, Trump talked a big game about how great his presidency would be for women, promising “nobody’s going to be better on women’s health issues than Donald Trump.” He also promised to “solve” the “big problem” of child care, and so much more.
Trump’s big talk around helping women has not translated into any concrete policy or action. In fact, it’s the opposite. His administration has made this world more dangerous and less welcoming to women again and again.
Here are 5 ways the Trump administration has failed women in Virginia:
- Health Care: His administration has been a disaster for reproductive rights. In 2016, Trump said “there has to be some form of punishment” for women having abortions. His administration rescinded Obama-era rules to protect medical providers whose services include access to abortions, cheered his ability to name anti-abortion justices to the bench, and has supported legislation to block insurance plans from covering abortion. The New York Times summed it up here: “In its continuing assault on reproductive rights, the Trump administration has issued potentially devastating changes to the nation’s nearly 50-year-old family planning program, Title X, which allows millions of women each year to afford contraception, cancer screenings and other critical health services,” including letting employers opt out of health coverage for contraception. And even in the midst of a global pandemic in which 268,000 Virginia women are already uninsured, Trump and Republicans have continued their campaign to make things even worse by overturning the Affordable Care Act.
- LGBTQ+ Rights: From his selection of Mike Pence as his running mate through every day of his presidency, Donald Trump has been waging relentless attacks on the rights of LGBTQ+ Virginians, supporting workplace discrimination, appointing right-wing judges, and banning trans servicemembers from the military.
- Safety: The Trump administration revoked protections against workplace sexual harassment and pay disparities. A U.S. district judge in D.C had to order the administration to reinstate the rule that allows the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect pay data by race and gender from large companies. The Trump administration also actively scrapped Obama-era campus sexual assault guidelines that required colleges to take allegations more seriously and hold perpetrators accountable. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos edited Title IX to narrow the definition of sexual harassment and alter standards of evidence.
- Pay Disparity: Trump denied years of research by claiming on the campaign trail that women would make as much as men “if you do as good a job,” justifying his opposition to laws that require equal pay for equal work. In 2018, Virginia women were still facing a 21 cent wage gap.
- Child Care and Family Leave: Trump’s tax scam helped the wealthy at the expense of working parents, reducing the value of the child and dependent care tax credit for many working families while handing massive giveaways to billionaires and corporations. Even after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration scaled back paid leave requirements for employers, allowing many companies to decline to provide sick leave for child care. Some 17.7 million health care workers were excluded from emergency paid leave, 75% of whom are women.