100 Days, 100 Ways the Trump Administration Is Harming Women and Families

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Over the past four years, the Women’s Initiative has tracked the Trump administration’s harms to women and their families. Click here to view an updated catalog of these harms. 

See also: Interactive: The 100 Ways Trump’s Policy Harms Progress for Women and Families

On January 21, 2017, millions of women took to the streets in cities across America to demonstrate their opposition to President Donald Trump and the values and policies he represents.1 After a campaign season filled with derogatory language about women and sexist rhetoric about women’s roles in the home and workplace, people of all genders united in opposition to Trump’s anti-women agenda. From immigration and environmental justice to defending the rights of women, workers, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities, women marched to highlight the complexity and interconnectedness in women’s lives and the need for policies that are responsive to those diverse needs.

This renewed activism comes at a critical time. Nearly 100 days into the Trump administration, there has been little talk of concrete policy actions that will help women and families. Despite repeated promises that President Trump and his administration would invest in and empower women, President Trump’s actions have made it clear that he and his team are completely out of touch with the needs of today’s working families.2

This issue brief highlights 100 ways in which Trump’s policy actions and proposals fall short of—and often harm—the comprehensive progress that millions of women and their families need. From attacking health care and undermining women’s legal rights to elevating out-of-touch, regressive nominees to key positions, President Trump reveals his fundamental lack of understanding of the myriad challenges women face and how they are interrelated. When taken together, the actions highlighted in this issue brief reveal an aggressive assault on women’s rights and equality. It has only been 100 days, and millions of women are already feeling the negative impacts of the Trump administration and its misguided agenda. Women and families have never had more to lose.

This issue brief separates the 100 ways the Trump administration harms women and families into the following themes: eroding family economic security; putting children at risk; attacking reproductive rights; undermining women’s legal rights; weakening protections against gender-based violence; undermining women’s leadership; tearing families apart; and slashing health benefits. Each section is headed by a statement President Trump made in his joint address to Congress on February 28, 2017. The order of the actions is not a ranking—the goal is to highlight the depth and breadth of the Trump administration’s attacks on women’s health, economic security, reproductive autonomy, and constitutional rights.

Eroding family economic security

“Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing and hope.”
— President Trump3

  1. Delayed increases in overtime: Trump delayed the Obama administration’s overtime rule, which would have given 3.2 million women the right to overtime pay. Single mothers and women of color—who experience some of the largest pay disparities—would have seen the greatest benefit from the rule.4
  2. Slashed support for military caregivers: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is cutting caregiver support—even for veterans who have not experienced any improvement in their condition and depend on a full-time caregiver for their daily needs. These caregivers are often female, and the reduction in support will place more economic hardships on military families.5
  3. Blocked pay transparency protections: By undoing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, Trump eliminated a requirement for federal contractors to provide employees with basic information about their pay, including hours worked, overtime earnings, and any pay deductions. Such information is critical for all workers—particularly women, who are more likely to work in hourly jobs—to ensure that they are being paid what they have earned.6
  4. Helped bad employers who repeatedly violate the law: By undoing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, Trump also made it easier for federal contractors with chronic violations of sex discrimination and other employment laws to keep getting federal funding.7
  5. Eliminated child care for military families: Trump’s federal hiring freeze forced at least two military bases to suspend enrollment at military child care facilities when they were unable to hire child care providers. Service members depend on high-quality child care to perform their duties each day.8
  6. Endangered women’s retirement security: Trump instructed the U.S. Labor Department to delay implementing an Obama-era rule requiring retirement advisers to put clients first. Women live longer and make less income over their lifetimes, which make them more vulnerable to poverty in retirement.9
  7. Failed to advance equal pay: Trump’s administration made no movement on equal pay in the first 100 days, despite referencing support for equal pay occasionally throughout his campaign. Trump offered no concrete action to strengthen equal pay protections.10
  8. Threatens child care assistance: Child care assistance currently reaches just 1 in 6 eligible children, but the Trump budget would cut it further, which could mean even fewer children served and lead low-income families to leave the workforce.11
  9. Stalled paid family and medical leave: Despite Trump’s campaign promises and some fleeting general references to paid family leave, there has been no concrete action on advancing a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program. Nothing in the Trump budget includes a serious commitment to any form of paid family and medical leave, such as continuing funding for state grants to explore paid leave options.12
  10. Impairs FMLA enforcement: The Trump budget would cut the U.S. Department of Labor by 21 percent, or $2.5 billion. If implemented, these cuts would seriously impair robust enforcement of critical labor and work-family protections, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.13
  11. Cuts nurse training: The Trump budget would cut $403 million in health profession and nurse training programs, jobs that are disproportionately held by women workers.14
  12. Drops LGBTQ seniors and people with disabilities from data collection: The Trump administration is proposing to end vital data collection programs about LGBTQ seniors and people with disabilities, erasing evidence of disparities and potential discrimination in federal programs. Lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to live in poverty than heterosexual women, and transgender women are 3.8 times more likely to live in poverty than the general population.15
  13. Made student debt harder to pay off: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded an Obama-era rule that limited the fees that loan companies can charge struggling borrowers. Student debt is more burdensome for women, who join the workforce with a pay gap.16
  14. Impedes workforce access for people with disabilities: Trump’s policies would make it harder for people with disabilities to stay in the workforce by slashing Medicaid, cutting vocational rehabilitation programs, and opposing the increases to the minimum wage applied to workers with disabilities. Women are more likely to live with disabilities, partially because they live longer.17

Putting children at risk

“But to achieve this future, we must enrich the mind and the souls of every American child. Education is the civil rights issue of our time.”
— President Trump18

  1. Slashes nutrition assistance for WIC: The Trump budget would slash $200 million from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, and threaten other nutrition initiatives with a 21 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.19
  2. Sparked an increase in bullying and anxiety: Per the Southern Poverty Law Center, Trump’s hateful rhetoric has led to increased bullying in public schools and increased anxiety rates among children of color.20
  3. Cuts after-school programs: Despite his campaign rhetoric on child care, Trump’s budget would eliminate $1.2 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers and summer programs, which provide before- and after-school care for 1.6 million children nationwide and make it possible for parents go to work.21
  4. Slashes Head Start funding and jobs: Trump’s budget proposes an 18 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which would kick 160,000 children out of Head Start programs and kill jobs for 40,000 people, mostly women, if applied to Head Start.22
  5. Harmed transgender students: The Trump administration rescinded Obama-era guidance to keep transgender students in schools, including equal access to bathrooms and other school facilities and programs.23
  6. Strips public school funding: Trump and Education Secretary DeVos want to use vouchers to channel funds away from public schools toward private schools—which are not held to same quality, equity, anti-discrimination, and accommodation standards. In addition, voucher programs can discriminate against students in admissions based on gender, religion, race, and income.24
  7. Promotes vouchers that are especially harmful for kids with disabilities: Children with disabilities often must sign away their rights as guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, to receive a voucher. In Florida, a similar system left mothers fighting with school systems to get the children access to services and combat discrimination.25
  8. Eliminates Boys and Girls Clubs: The Trump budget proposes eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds programs such as AmeriCorps, Teach For America, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Boys and Girls Clubs serve approximately 1.8 million girls every year.26
  9. Abandons efforts to tackle sexual assault and harassment in education: Appointee Candice Jackson will be acting secretary in the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights until there is a nominee for that position, which requires Senate confirmation. Her appointment raises serious concerns about how the department will address sexual assault and harassment in education, and she has criticized programs designed to help people of color.27
  10. Endangers homeless youth: Youth often become homeless after fleeing family conflict and abuse or after being forced out of their homes because of rejection of their LGBTQ identity. With anti-LGBTQ Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, it is unlikely that the Trump administration will take comprehensive action to help some of the most vulnerable young people.28
  11. Threatens safety of LGBTQ students in schools: Secretary DeVos’ troubling history signals that the U.S. Department of Education may not fulfill its duty to protect the rights of LGBTQ students. Her family’s foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-gay groups that push conversion therapy.29
  12. Makes college more expensive: Trump’s budget would undermine opportunities for low-income students and students of color to complete college degrees by cutting Pell Grants, work-study, and other programs that make college accessible. Pell Grant recipients are more likely to be women than men.30
  13. Eliminates pediatric services: The Trump-championed American Health Care Act, or AHCA, proposed the elimination of essential health benefits, which include pediatric services—meaning that a family’s insurance might not cover vaccines, eye exams, and well-child visits. This would disproportionately affect women, who often take on the primary responsibility for ensuring their family gets the heath care it needs.31

Attacking reproductive rights

“My administration wants to work with members of both parties to make childcare accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave, to invest in women’s health, and to promote clean air and clean water, and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure.”
—President Trump32

  1. Denies women reproductive, educational, and counseling services by limiting Title X availability: Trump signed a bill to overturn Obama-era protections for Title X grantees, allowing states to block Title X funding for providers that also offer abortion with nonfederal funds, including Planned Parenthood. Title X funding provides critical reproductive, educational, and counseling services related to family planning and contraception to 4 million clients each year.33
  2. Attacks Planned Parenthood: The American Health Care Act would deny Planned Parenthood clinics Medicaid reimbursements for serving low-income patients. Planned Parenthood is a front-line provider for underserved communities, serving approximately 2.5 million patients in 2014.34
  3. Endangers funds for Zika research: While the Trump budget would set aside funds for a new Federal Emergency Response Fund that would support rapid response needs to emerging public health threats such as the Zika virus, it would cut funding to the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, by $5.8 billion. Cuts to the NIH could undermine long-term efforts to adequately address public health concerns by affecting research in key areas of women’s health, including vaccine and treatment discovery efforts related to Zika virus transmission.35
  4. Brought back the Global Gag Rule: One of Trump’s first actions as president reinstated and expanded the Global Gag Rule, which prevents recipients of U.S. foreign aid from offering any information, referrals, services, or advocacy regarding abortion care—even if they do so with separate funding sources. The Global Gag Rule will lead to more maternal deaths, more unintended pregnancies, and higher rates of unsafe abortion.36
  5. Halted family planning funds abroad: Trump administration cut U.S. funding to the U.N. Population Fund, which works on women’s rights worldwide, maternal health, family planning, and gender equity programs.37
  6. Interferes with abortion care: Trump’s health care bill, the American Health Care Act, would interfere with the patient-provider relationship and restrict women’s choices by denying abortion coverage through the private insurance market.38
  7. Threatened maternity coverage by nominating Seema Verma: Trump’s pick to run Medicare and Medicaid, Seema Verma, has argued that maternity coverage should be optional for insurers. And the American Health Care Act would make that happen.39
  8. Cuts funding for teen pregnancy prevention: The Trump budget proposes a $50 million reduction in funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, which works with organizations across the United States to implement evidence-based, proven programming.40
  9. Limits coverage of abortion by calling for the Hyde Amendment to become permanent: Both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have promised the make the Hyde Amendment permanent. The Hyde Amendment is a restriction on Medicaid coverage of abortion, renewed annually by the federal appropriations process. Exceptions are permitted in the limited cases of rape, incest, and life of the woman. Codifying the amendment would set a dangerous precedent and permanently subject women who receive Medicaid to the restrictions without a regular review of their impact.41
  10. Expands religious exemptions: A leaked draft executive order of the Trump administration included sweeping religious exemptions to allow federal contractors to deny services based on religion, permitting religiously affiliated federal contractors to fire LGBTQ employees, sanction workplace discrimination, and restrict access to preventive health services, including contraception, for women. Furthermore, this executive order would impose restrictions on adoption for LGBTQ families, deny access to abortion, interfere with doctor-patient relationships, and promote misinformation about reproductive health care.42
  11. Slashes health and human services: The Trump budget proposes a $15 billion reduction in funding for the office responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, and ensuring that women and families have access to vital health services. Such cuts would limit access to reproductive health care under Medicaid and Medicare, as well as strip funding for the NIH, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.43

Undermining women’s legal rights

“We will have made America greater than ever before—for all Americans. This is our vision. This is our mission.”
— President Trump44

  1. Politicizes the judiciary: When courts disagree with Trump’s policies, he lashes out and attempts to intimidate judges. This troubling trend, along with Trump’s statements about only appointing judges with certain views on policy, threatens to undermine the independent nature of the judiciary, which could impair women’s ability to access and defend their constitutional rights.45
  2. Seeks to stack the courts with anti-choice judges: Trump released a short list of anti-choice judges during the Supreme Court nomination process—including one who called Roe v. Wade an “abomination”—which signals that he intends to follow through on his campaign promise to stack the courts with anti-choice judges. Such actions raise serious questions about whether Trump-appointed judges would consider each case without bias and interpret and apply the law in a fair manner.46
  3. Threatens civil rights enforcement: Trump’s budget seeks cuts to the U.S. Justice Department, which would likely affect the Civil Rights Division’s mission to fight discrimination and protect Americans.47
  4. Refused to fight voter suppression: The Trump Justice Department dropped its opposition to a Texas voter ID bill that has been found to discriminate against black and Latino voters. Legislation like this is especially burdensome for older women, who may not have the proper ID or face difficulty tracking down identity documents with their birth names.48
  5. Attacks abortion rights: Trump ran on the promise to nominate a Supreme Court justice who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade. Neil Gorsuch—his eventual nominee and now Supreme Court justice—has a history of arguing against Roe’s legal foundation, refused to state a clear position on Roe in his confirmation hearing, and admitted that he and Trump discussed abortion in his prenomination interview.49
  6. Puts religious views of employers before workers: Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation risks weakening the rights of working women. As an appellate judge, he ruled that a corporation was a person who has the First Amendment right to freedom of religion. Therefore, an employer’s religious beliefs can trump employees’ religious beliefs, and an employer can prevent an employee from using health insurance to cover contraception because of the employer’s religious beliefs.50
  7. Threatens the legal rights of LGBTQ people: Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is a blow to the rights of LGBTQ workers and families. He criticized the court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality and refuses to say whether he believes that LGBTQ people should be a protected class. In addition, Gorsuch has argued that the religious beliefs of employers should come before employees, and overly broad religious exemptions mean his appointment could significantly erode the rights of LGBTQ people in employment, housing, health care, and other key areas of life. 51
  8. Defended lies about Planned Parenthood: While Gorsuch was on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, he defended the governor of Utah’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood because of false accusations that the organization was selling fetal tissue.52
  9. Undermined pregnancy discrimination protections: Gorsuch’s former law students said he told the class that employers should ask female job applicants if they plan to have children and went on to argue that women manipulate employer-provided maternity leave policies. Gorsuch denied this in his hearing but failed to affirm legal protections against pregnancy discrimination—which are critical for working women.53

Weakening protections against gender-based violence

“And we must support the victims of crime.”
— President Trump54

  1. Cuts the National Domestic Violence Hotline: Trump’s budget proposes cutting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services budget by 18 percent. If that cut is applied to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, it would mean that more than 200,000 calls for help would go unanswered.55
  2. Failed to oppose sexual assault: Jeff Sessions was confirmed as attorney general despite refusing to say that nonconsensual groping constitutes sexual assault, contrary to the U.S. Justice Department’s definition.56
  3. Refused to fight sexual assault in schools: In her nomination hearing, now-Secretary of Education DeVos said it would be “premature” to commit to maintaining the department’s guidance aimed at combating sexual assault in schools.57
  4. Defended accused sexual harassers: In an Oval Office interview, Trump defended conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly from sexual harassment allegations despite evidence that Fox has already paid more than $13 million to settle five claims against O’Reilly. Trump’s assumption that the complaints were false reveals his instinct to doubt women who experience harassment and assault and mirrors the attitudes that make it hard for victims to come forward. Sadly, this is only the latest example of Trump defending harassers and echoes his support of former Fox executive Roger Ailes.58
  5. Cuts violence against women programs: Trump proposed Justice Department cuts that could affect Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, program funding and civil rights enforcement. VAWA serves survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence, supports efforts to reduce sexual assault, and helps indigenous and tribal communities affected by violence. In addition to the proposed cuts, there are reports that Trump may be considering eliminating the Office on Violence Against Women entirely.59
  6. Endangered Muslim women: After the election, news outlets reported a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry and attacks—many targeting women wearing hijabs. The Council on American-Islamic Relations reports “tremendous levels of fear” among American Muslims due to Trump.60
  7. Silences victims of domestic abuse: Amid Trump’s immigration crackdown, unauthorized immigrant women experiencing intimate partner violence face the impossible choice of seeking protection and risking deportation or enduring continued abuse. In February, a Border Patrol agent arrested a woman who came to an El Paso courthouse seeking a protective order. Police in several major cities say reports of domestic violence and sexual abuse by Latinos have already dropped precipitously, and prosecutors have been forced to drop domestic violence prosecutions because victims are afraid to cooperate.61
  8. Cuts requirement that insurers cover domestic violence screenings: Under the American Health Care Act, insurers would have the option to stop covering preventive care, including access to birth control, breast-feeding support, and domestic violence screening and counseling.62
  9. Allowed contracting with companies with sexual assault violations: By undoing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, Trump eliminated a ban that kept federal contractors from using forced arbitration clauses for sexual assault, sexual harassment, or discrimination allegations. The clauses can help employers hide claims from the public, limit remedies for victims, and make it harder to ensure claims are fairly considered.63

Undermining women’s leadership

“The challenges we face as a nation are great, but our people are even greater.”
— President Trump64

  1. Failed to elevate women and people of color in leadership: Trump’s Cabinet has just four women. It is more white and more male than any first Cabinet since President Ronald Reagan’s, and the women and people of color in his Cabinet occupy lower-ranking positions than the white men.65
  2. Appointed three men for every woman: Per an analysis of the appointees for jobs that do not need Senate confirmation, Trump has hired three men for every woman.66
  3. Sidelined the White House Council on Women and Girls: President Barack Obama established the council to coordinate work across agencies on issues that affect women and girls, especially women of color and women with disabilities. During Trump’s first 100 days, the council has largely sat dormant with little specificity about what steps individual agencies are taking to address the diverse needs of women and girls.67
  4. Left key women’s leadership posts vacant: Trump has neglected to fill important women’s leadership roles across the federal government, including the global women’s issues ambassador at the U.S. State Department and the Office on Violence Against Women director at the U.S. Department of Justice.68
  5. Allows Pence to push his extreme agenda: Vice President Pence has a long history of completely disregarding women’s autonomy, including attacking Planned Parenthood, attempting to redefine forcible rape, opposing women’s military service, and using taxpayer funding for anti-abortion propaganda. Now, Pence can advance his agenda by using his position as vice president to break Senate ties on women’s issues—such as endangering Title X funding.69
  6. Slashes the DOL Women’s Bureau: The Trump budget proposes a 21 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Labor, or DOL, which could limit the Women’s Bureau’s ability to safeguard the interests of working women.70
  7. Nominated an anti-worker labor secretary: Trump’s first choice, Andrew Puzder, would have been a disastrous labor secretary—he is against the minimum wage, his franchises have repeatedly violated wage and hour laws, and a shocking two-thirds of women at his franchises say that they have experienced sexual harassment on the job.71
  8. Nominated a second anti-worker labor secretary: Trump’s second attempt for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, also has a troubling anti-worker and anti-women history. When he oversaw the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, it violated federal law by blacklisting progressive applicants and attorneys, brought significantly fewer sex and race employment discrimination cases than past administrations, and defended voter suppression. He also oversaw the offer of a lenient plea deal to a billionaire accused of sex crimes with underage girls.72
  9. Nominated a health secretary who threatens women’s health: Tom Price’s nomination as secretary of health and human services is a huge step backward for women and families. In addition to his repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood, Price supports allowing insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, supports major cuts to Medicaid, and does not believe that any women struggle with access to contraceptive coverage.73
  10. Nominated an attorney general who won’t defend women’s rights: Trump nominated Jeff Sessions as attorney general, despite his troubling record on civil rights and women’s rights, including opposition to the Violence Against Women Act and his role in prosecuting activists for helping black communities vote. Installing an extremist as attorney general puts the civil rights of millions of women at risk.74
  11. Elevated staff who espouse extreme anti-woman views: Similarly, Trump’s staffer reportedly helping drive women’s issues, Senior White House Adviser Stephen Miller, has spoken out against equal pay and affirmative action and even wrote a column defending former Education Secretary Bill Bennett’s comment that one could reduce crime by aborting “every black baby in this country.” Miller argued that the statement was not racist.75 Trump’s chief strategist is Steve Bannon—former CEO of notoriously misogynist Breitbart News, which published articles such as “Does Feminism Make Women Ugly?” and “There’s No Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews.” When Bannon’s ex-wife accused him of domestic violence, she decided not to press charges, reporting that he threatened her. Bannon is beloved by white nationalists from the alt-right to the KKK.76

Tearing families apart

“True love for our people requires us to find common ground, to advance the common good, and to cooperate on behalf of every American child who deserves a much brighter future.”
— President Trump77

  1. Broke promise not to deport DACA recipients: Despite repeated statements that his administration would not target immigrants who gained legal status through President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, about a dozen DACA recipients are currently in federal custody. And in April, Juan Manuel Montes became the first known DACA recipient with active status to be deported by Trump.78
  2. Carried out immigration raids, causing prenatal stress: The immigration raids carried out by the Trump administration could have harmful effects on birth outcomes. A study found that stress created by immigration raids is linked to an increase in premature births and low birth weights.79
  3. Threatened to separate families seeking asylum: Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly has at times threatened to split up families at the border—families fleeing extreme violence in nations with some of the highest rates of violence against women and girls. In addition to being morally wrong, the plan would be incredibly costly.80
  4. Banned Muslims, twice: After his first Muslim ban was put on hold by multiple federal courts, the administration rewrote it, but the discriminatory intent remains. Part of the order justifies added surveillance of immigrants to supposedly target gender-based violence—even as it shuts out women and girls fleeing violence.81
  5. Attacked sanctuary cities: The Trump administration is threatening to pull funding from sanctuary cities—despite evidence that counties with sanctuary policies have less crime and stronger economies. Pulling funding could mean that working families in sanctuary jurisdictions lose access to critical programs supported by Community Development Block Grants.82
  6. Banned refugees: Trump has twice issued executive orders banning refugee admissions for 120 days and dramatically cutting the number of refugees the United States will resettle in 2017. Neither order has taken effect due of court intervention, but shutting down and slashing the refugee admissions program would leave women and children who have already gone through every step of the process in dangerous situations with no way forward.83

Endangering healthy communities

“Every American child should be able to grow up in a safe community, to attend a great school, and to have access to a high-paying job.”
— President Trump84

  1. Cuts Meals on Wheels: Trump’s budget would cut Meals on Wheels, which serves more than 2 million seniors every year.85
  2. Eliminates a program that helps prevent lead poisoning: Trump’s budget would eliminate the Lead Risk Reduction Program, which spends $2.5 million every year to train workers how to renovate buildings that contain lead paint and provide public education. Lead exposure can cause irreversible brain damage in kids and disproportionately affects families of color.86
  3. Slashes program that tests dangerous chemicals: Trump’s budget would cut the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention budget from $7.5 million to just $445,000, making it impossible for the department to continue to test endocrine disruptors—chemicals that threaten reproductive health and development.87
  4. Kept a dangerous pesticide on the market: In 2016, Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, scientists concluded that the agency should ban chlorpyrifos, a common pesticide that causes neurological damage, after finding unsafe levels of the chemical on fruit. But after Dow Chemical, one of the largest producers of products using the chemical that has actively fought EPA limits on the chemical’s use, gave $1 million to President Trump’s inaugural committee, the Trump administration rejected the EPA’s findings, denied a petition to ban the chemical, and delayed further action until 2022.88
  5. Exacerbates the opioid crisis: Repealing the Affordable Care Act would cause 222,000 people with an opioid addiction to lose insurance. Women are more likely to be prescribed prescription pain relievers and may become dependent on them more quickly than men.89
  6. Added barriers to homeownership: One of Trump’s first actions as president ended the Obama-era rule that required the Federal Housing Administration to decrease insurance costs for homeowners. The rule would have made homeownership affordable for 250,000 homebuyers in the next three years. This would especially affect single women, who are the second-largest group of homebuyers and are charged more for home loans than men despite having stronger repayment performance.90
  7. Guts rural infrastructure: The Trump budget would eliminate programs such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, which funds investments in some of the most vulnerable rural communities in the United States. The ARC has helped cut Appalachian poverty almost in half since 1960, but Appalachian families still see higher poverty rates, higher unemployment, and higher infant mortality rates than the rest of the country.91
  8. Turns off the heat: Trump proposed a $372 million cut to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps families afford heat in the winter months.92
  9. Worsens air pollution: Trump’s budget would cut funding for the Clean Air Act in half—despite evidence in favor of the economic and health benefits of the rule. Children who grow up in areas with air pollution are more likely to develop asthma, and research shows that pregnant women living with elevated levels of air pollution are “up to twice as likely” to have a child with autism compared to pregnant women living in areas without much air pollution.93

Slashing health benefits

“We move to create a better healthcare system for all Americans.”
— President Trump94

  1. Guts Medicaid: The Trump-championed American Health Care Act would cut the Medicaid program by $880 billion, even though 19 million women rely on Medicaid for health insurance coverage. The cuts would especially affect pregnant women, mothers, and children.95
  2. Shifts tax credits: The American Health Care Act would shift refundable tax credits away from the low-income families that need them the most.96
  3. Adds work requirement for new moms: The American Health Care Act allows states to impose a requirement for new moms receiving Medicaid, mandating that they must find work within 60 days of giving birth or risk their losing insurance.97
  4. Expands HSAs: The American Health Care Act would encourage the use of health savings accounts, or HSAs—which benefit the wealthy significantly more than low-income people—at the expense of credits for low-income families.98
  5. Leaves 24 million uninsured: Under the American Health Care Act, 24 million Americans would lose health insurance by 2026.99
  6. Sets up high-risk pools to fail: The American Health Care Act would give states funding they could use to create high-risk pools for people who cannot afford coverage—even though these systems have consistently failed in the past.100
  7. Causes costs to rise: In 2020, the American Health Care Act would cause annual health care costs to spike—by $3,174 for the average enrollee and by $8,510 for older enrollees, including senior women. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, insurers may be allowed to go back to charging women more for their health insurance.101
  8. Allows plans to cover less: The American Health Care Act would eliminate the requirement that plans cover a certain percentage of costs—sparking a race to the bottom for insurance coverage, leaving women and families with fewer options.102
  9. Drives up copays: The American Health Care Act would eliminate cost-sharing subsidies, which lower out-of-pocket costs for copays. A change in copays could disparately affect women since they are more likely to go to the doctor than men.103
  10. Hurts low-income women and women of color the most: All the above problems with the American Health Care Act would disproportionately affect low-income women and women of color.104
  11. Enables insurers to skimp on maternity and prenatal care: Nine million women gained maternity and newborn coverage thanks to the ACA, but the American Health Care Act would make coverage optional for insurers. Before the ACA, 62 percent of plans in the individual market did not cover maternity care. Between slashing benefits, rising premiums, and rising out-of-pocket costs, Trump’s plan would place a so-called pregnancy tax on women of childbearing age.105
  12. Lets insurers stop covering mental health care: Women are 40 percent more likely to have mental health needs than men due to a variety of factors, including higher risks of experiencing poverty, increased prevalence of sexual violence, disparate lack of autonomy, and stress from juggling work and caregiving responsibilities.106 But they could lose mental health coverage under the American Health Care Act. Before the ACA, 18 percent of people in the individual market had plans that did not cover mental health.107
  13. Ends requirement that insurers cover prescription drugs: Women are more likely than men to need prescription drugs to meet their daily health care needs, but the American Health Care Act would stop requiring insurers to cover them. In 2011, 9 percent of people who got their plans in the individual market did not have prescription drug coverage.108
  14. Enables insurers to stop covering rehabilitative services: Rehabilitative services help ensure that people can adapt and re-learn day-to-day skills after serious health event such as a stroke—which women are more likely to experience. The American Health Care Act would let insurers decide whether to cover these services.109
  15. Makes covering lab tests optional for insurers: The American Health Care Act would allow insurers to stop covering lab tests—which means that women could be forced to gamble with their health if their insurer decides not to cover cancer-catching Pap smears and mammograms.110
  16. Allows insurers to stop coverage of doctor visits: Women make up approximately 60 percent of outpatient visits, which include going to the doctor’s office, a clinic, or a same-day surgery center. But the American Health Care Act would allow insurance companies to stop covering them.111
  17. Lets insurers refuse to cover emergency room visits: Women account for 6 in 10 visits to the emergency room. In an emergency, no one should have to worry about whether their insurance will cover lifesaving care. But Trump does not think insurers should have to provide this coverage.112
  18. Permits insurers to slash hospitalization coverage: The threat of losing guarantees of coverage for hospitalizations, as seen under the American Health Care Act, would have a disproportionate effect on women, who are 70 percent more likely than men to have had an inpatient hospital stay.113


The first 100 days of the Trump administration has revealed not only a lack of understanding about the interconnected challenges that women face but also a comprehensive assault on women’s progress. These misguided actions are creating damaging consequences for women and their families and further demonstrate how out of touch this administration is with women’s lives. If the first 100 days are any indication of what is in store, women’s progress is in peril.

Sunny Frothingham is a Senior Researcher at the Center for American Progress. Shilpa Phadke is the Senior Director of the Women’s Initiative at the Center.

The authors would like to thank Maura Calsyn, Laura E. Durso, Jocelyn Frye, Katie Hamm, Thomas Huelskoetter, Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Tom Jawetz, Jamila Taylor, and Heidi Williamson.


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  2. Ryan Koronowski, “Trump made a lot of promises about what he will do as president. We’ve documented 663 of them,” ThinkProgress, January 19, 2017, available at https://thinkprogress.org/trump-made-a-lot-of-promises-about-what-he-will-do-as-president-weve-documented-663-of-them-3d28f0131e7f.
  3. The White House, “Remarks by President Trump in Joint Address to Congress,” Press release, February 28, 2017, available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/02/28/remarks-president-trump-joint-address-congress.
  4. Heidi Hartman and others, “How the New Overtime Rule Will Help Women & Families” (Washington: Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2015), available at https://iwpr.org/wp-content/uploads/wpallimport/files/iwpr-export/publications/Women%20and%20Overtime%20(Final).pdf; Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “Nearly Half of Currently Exempt Single Mothers and Black and Hispanic Women Workers Will Gain Coverage Under DOL’s New Proposed Overtime Salary Threshold,” Press release, August 11, 2015, available at https://iwpr.org/nearly-half-of-currently-exempt-single-mothers-and-black-and-hispanic-women-workers-will-gain-coverage-under-dols-new-proposed-overtime-salary-threshold.
  5. Quil Lawrence “Some VAs Are Dropping Veteran Caregivers From Their Rolls,” NPR, April 7, 2017, available http://www.npr.org/2017/04/05/522690583/caregivers-for-veterans-dropped-from-va-plan?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20170405.
  6. David Madland and Karla Walter, “Congressional Vote Threatens Paychecks and Workplace Safety for Millions of Federal Contractors,” Center for American Progress Action Fund, January 31, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/economy/news/2017/01/31/165875/congressional-vote-threatens-paychecks-and-workplace-safety-for-millions-of-federal-contractors; David Madland and Karla Walter, “For Workers Who Supported Trump, Their Loyalty Has Been Repaid With Betrayal,” Inside Sources, March 29, 2017, available at http://www.insidesources.com/workers-supported-trump-loyalty-repaid-betrayal.
  7. Madland and Walter, “Congressional Vote Threatens Paychecks”; Hannah Levintova, “In One Executive Order, Trump Revoked Years of Workplace Protections for Women,” Mother Jones, April 5, 2017, available at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/04/trump-just-revoked-protections-women-workplace; Women in the World Staff, “Trump quietly revoked Fair Pay Order, leaving women vulnerable to workplace abuse,” The New York Times, April 7, 2017, available at http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/04/04/trumps-revocation-of-fair-pay-order-leaves-women-vulnerable-to-workplace-abuse.
  8. Judd Legum, “Trump hiring freeze forces suspension of military child care programs,” ThinkProgress, February 21, 2017, available at https://thinkprogress.org/trump-hiring-freeze-forces-suspension-of-military-child-care-programs-3dbd6a7b7fa3.
  9. Joe Valenti and Marcus Stanley, “Another day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs,” The Hill, March 3, 2017, available at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/finance/322251-another-day-another-dollar-for-retirement-advice-rip-offs; Sarah Jane Glynn and Christian Weller, “The Gender Wage Gap and Women’s Retirement Security Go Hand in Hand,” The Huffington Post, April 11, 2016, available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-jane-glynn/gender-wage-gap-retirement-security_b_9661748.html?1460396335; Joe Valenti, “The Fiduciary Rule Would Put Savers’ and Retirees’ Best Interests First: Testimony before the U.S. Department of Labor” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2015), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2015/08/12/119299/the-fiduciary-rule-would-put-savers-and-retirees-best-interests-first.
  10. Madland and Walter, “Congressional Vote Threatens Paychecks”; Levintova, “In One Executive Order, Trump Revoked Years of Workplace Protections for Women.”
  11. Office of Management and Budget, America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again (Executive Office of the President, 2017), available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Sejal Singh, Laura E. Durso, and Aaron Tax, “The Trump Administration Is Rolling Back Data Collection on LGBT Older Adults,” Center for American Progress, March 20, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2017/03/20/428623/trump-administration-rolling-back-data-collection-lgbt-older-adults; Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project, “Paying An Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for LGBT Women in America” (2015), available at http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/paying-an-unfair-price-lgbt-women.pdf.
  16. Antoinette Flores, “The Big Difference Between Women and Men’s Earnings After College” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2016), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/reports/2016/09/13/143412/the-big-difference-between-women-and-mens-earnings-after-college/; Shahien Nasiripour, “Betsy DeVos Hands Victory to Loan Firm Tied to Adviser Who Just Quit,” Bloomberg, March 20, 2017, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-20/betsy-devos-hands-victory-to-loan-firm-tied-to-adviser-who-just-quit.
  17. Rebecca Vallas, Katherine Gallagher Robbins, and Jackie Odum, “5 Ways President Trump’s Agenda Is a Disaster for People with Disabilities,” Center for American Progress, March 8, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/news/2017/03/08/427629/5-ways-president-trumps-agenda-disaster-people-disabilities; Vicki A. Freedman, Douglas A. Wolf, and Brenda C. Spillman, “Disability-Free Life Expectancy Over 30 Years: A Growing Female Disadvantage in the US Population,” American Journal of Public Health 106 (6) (2016): 1079–1085, available at http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303089; Wage and Hour Division, Fact Sheet #39: The Employment of Workers with Disabilities at Subminimum Wages (U.S. Department of Labor, 2008), available at https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs39.htm.
  18. The White House, “Remarks by President Trump in Joint Address to Congress.”
  19. Office of Management and Budget, America First.
  20. Rebecca Ullrich and Leila Schochet, “When President Trump Speaks, Our Children Are Listening,” Center for American Progress, January 27, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/news/2017/01/27/297352/when-president-trump-speaks-our-children-are-listening; Maureen B. Costello, “The Trump Effect: The Impact of The 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools” (Atlanta: Southern Poverty Law Center, 2016), available at https://www.splcenter.org/20161128/trump-effect-impact-2016-presidential-election-our-nations-schools.
  21. Office of Management and Budget, America First.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Jeremy W. Peter, Jo Becker, and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, “Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students,” The New York Times, February 22, 2017, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/us/politics/devos-sessions-transgender-students-rights.html.
  24. Stephenie Johnson and others, “The Trump-DeVos Budget Would Dismantle Public Education, Hurting Vulnerable Kids, Working Families, and Teachers,” Center for American Progress, March 17, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/news/2017/03/17/428598/trump-devos-budget-dismantle-public-education-hurting-vulnerable-kids-working-families-teachers; Erin Prangley, “School Vouchers Discriminate — Don’t Do the Voucher Hustle,” AAUW, January 26, 2015, available at http://www.aauw.org/2015/01/26/voucher-hustle/.
  25. Meg Benner and Rebecca Ullrich, “Betsy DeVos’ Threat to Children with Disabilities” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2017), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/reports/2017/02/02/298010/betsy-devos-threat-to-children-with-disabilities; Dana Goldstein, “Special Ed School Vouchers May Come With Hidden Costs,” The New York Times, April 11, 2017, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/us/school-vouchers-disability.html?smid=tw-nytnational&smtyp=cur&_r=0.
  26. Johnson and others, “The Trump-DeVos Budget”; Boys and Girls Clubs of America, “Measuring the Impact of the Boys and Girls Clubs: 2016 National Outcomes Report” (2016), available at https://www.bgca.org/about-us/club-impact.
  27. Erica L. Green, “2 Education Dept. Picks Raise Fears on Civil Rights Enforcement,” The New York Times, April 4, 2017, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/us/politics/carlos-muniz-candace-jackson-education.html?_r=0; Annie Waldman, “DeVos Pick to Head Civil Rights Office Once Said She Faced Discrimination for Being White,” ProPublica, April 14, 2017, available at https://www.propublica.org/article/devos-candice-jackson-civil-rights-office-education-department.
  28. Lara Burt, “Youth Homelessness and the Uncertain Future in the Trump Administration,” New America, February 2, 2017, available at https://www.newamerica.org/family-centered-social-policy/blog/youth-homelessness-and-uncertain-future-trump-administration; Shabab Ahmed Mirza, “Housing is an LGBTQ issue and #CarsonCant protect us,” Medium, January 12, 2017, available at https://medium.com/@ohaiShabab/housing-is-an-lgbtq-issue-and-carsoncant-protect-us-10430ecc5f68.
  29. Benjamin Wermund and Kimberly Hefling, “Trump’s education secretary pick supported anti-gay causes,” Politico, November 25, 2016, available at http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/betsy-devos-education-secretary-civil-rights-gay-transgender-students-231837; Scott Jaschik, “Who Are Pell Grant Recipients?”, Inside Higher Ed, July 22, 2009, available at https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/22/pell.
  30. Office of Management and Budget, America First.
  31. Jamila K. Taylor and Maura Calsyn, “The American Health Care Act is a disaster for women. But it may get even worse,” Medium, March 23, 2017, available at https://medium.com/@amprog/the-american-health-care-act-is-a-disaster-for-women-but-it-may-get-even-worse-756b4513f6c0; Planned Parenthood Federation of America, “Rolling Back the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Will Hurt Women,” Press release, March 24, 2017, available at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/rolling-back-the-acas-essential-health-benefits-will-hurt-women.
  32. The White House, “Remarks by President Trump in Joint Address to Congress.”
  33. Center for American Progress, “Statement: By Eliminating Title X Protections, Anti-Choice Politicians Continue Attack on Women’s Access to Health Care,” Press release, March 30, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/press/statement/2017/03/30/429603/statement-eliminating-title-x-protections-anti-choice-politicians-continue-attack-womens-access-health-care/; Kiersten Gillette-Pierce and Jamila Taylor, “The Threat to Title X Family Planning: Why It Matters and What’s at Stake for Women” (Washington: Center for American Progress, 2017), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2017/02/09/414773/the-threat-to-title-x-family-planning/.
  34. Jamila Taylor, “5 Ways the Republican ACA Repeal Bill Would Roll Back Progress on Health Insurance Coverage for Low-Income Women,” Center for American Progress, March 20, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2017/03/20/428706/5-ways-republican-aca-repeal-bill-roll-back-progress-health-insurance-coverage-low-income-women/.
  35. Dan Diamond, “Trump budget cuts NIH by $6 billion, consolidates AHRQ,” Politico, March 16, 2017, available at http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/politico-pulse/2017/03/trump-budget-cuts-nih-by-6-billion-consolidates-ahrq-219257.
  36. Center for American Progress, “Release: Global Gag Rule Would Mean More Maternal Deaths, Unintended Pregnancies, and Higher Rates of Unsafe Abortion,” Press release, January 23, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/press/release/2017/01/23/296969/release-global-gag-rule-would-mean-more-maternal-deaths-unintended-pregnancies-and-higher-rates-of-unsafe-abortion/.
  37. Chloe Cooney, “How the Trump Administration Is Defunding Women and Girls Worldwide,” Planned Parenthood, April 4 2017, available at https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/blog/how-the-trump-administration-is-defunding-women-and-girls-worldwide; Human Rights Watch, “US Ends Funding for Global Women’s Health Agency,” April 5, 2017, available at https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/05/us-ends-funding-global-womens-health-agency.
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  39. Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Trump health pick Seema Verma says maternity coverage should be optional,” Chicago Tribune, February 16, 2017, available at http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-trump-health-pick-says-maternity-coverage-should-be-optional-20170216-story.html.
  40. Hannah Albarazi, “White House Proposes Immediate Cuts To Pell Grants, HIV Research, Food Assistance,” CBS San Francisco, March 29, 2017, available at http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/03/29/congresswoman-rebukes-white-house-proposal-to-cut-2017-pell-grants-hiv-research/; Office of Management and Budget, America First.
  41. Ally Boguhn, “Trump Vows to Make Hyde ‘Permanent,’ Asks Anti-Choice Leaders to Join ‘Pro-Life’ Coalition,” Rewire, September 16, 2017, available at https://rewire.news/article/2016/09/16/trump-vows-make-hyde-permanent-calls-anti-choice-leaders-join-pro-life-coalition.
  42. Sarah Posner, “Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination,” The Nation, February 1, 2017, available at https://www.thenation.com/article/leaked-draft-of-trumps-religious-freedom-order-reveals-sweeping-plans-to-legalize-discrimination/.
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  44. The White House, “Remarks by President Trump in Joint Address to Congress.”
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  50. Ibid.
  51. Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza, “Judge Gorsuch Threatens the Dignity of LGBT People,” Center for American Progress, March 20, 2017, available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2017/03/20/428585/judge-gorsuch-threatens-dignity-lgbt-people/; Frye and Jawando, “5 Ways the Nomination of Neil Gorsuch Threatens Women’s Rights.”
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  53. Ibid.
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  97. Taylor and Calsyn, “The American Health Care Act is a disaster for women.”
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  103. Ibid.; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “New Study Profiles Women’s Use of Health Care,” Press release, July 26, 2001, available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/01news/newstudy.htm.
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  107. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, “Rolling Back the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Will Hurt Women”; James Ball, “Women 40% more likely than men to develop mental illness, study finds,” The Guardian, May 22, 2013, available at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/22/women-men-mental-illness-study.  
  108. Taylor and Calsyn, “The American Health Care Act is a disaster for women”; Planned Parenthood Federation of America, “Rolling Back the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Will Hurt Women”; Usha Ranji and others, “Ten Ways That Repealing and Replacing the Affordable Care Act Could Affect Women” (Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2017), available at http://files.kff.org/attachment/Issue-Brief-Ten-Ways-That-Repealing-and-Replacing-the-Affordable-Care-Act-Could-Affect-Women.
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  111. Centers for Disease Control, “National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2011 Outpatient Department Summary Tables” (2011), available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ahcd/nhamcs_outpatient/2011_opd_web_tables.pdf; Taylor and Calsyn, “The American Health Care Act is a disaster for women”; Planned Parenthood Federation of America, “Rolling Back the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Will Hurt Women.”
  112. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Center for Health Services, “Health, United States, 2015 with Special Feature on Racial and Ethnic Disparities” (2015), available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf#074; Planned Parenthood Federation of America, “Rolling Back the ACA’s Essential Health Benefits Will Hurt Women.”
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