Women have rejected and rebuked Donald Trump at every turn, so on the anniversary of the "Access Hollywood" of him bragging about sexual assault, he signed a decree to deny their access to health care.
Donald Trump was rejected at the ballot box by a strong majority of American women in the 2016 presidential election. Almost all of them were repulsed by the "Access Hollywood" tape of him bragging that he would "grab them by the pussy" because "when you're a star, they let you do it."
One year later, almost to the day, Trump has issued a decree that gives companies a green light to discriminate against women. The rule, which goes into effect almost immediately, lets companies exclude contraception coverage from their health care plans simply by asserting a religious or moral objection.
Trump administration official Roger Severino, head of the HHS Office of Civil Rights, defended the discrimination green light as giving "space for organizations to live out their religious identity."
The Trump rule comes after he suffered yet another humiliating setback, when he and congressional Republicans failed in their latest attempt at repealing Obamacare. What he once promised as a quick and easy task if elected has turned out to be another instance of legislative impotence.
The move is yet another instance of Trump rolling back and attempting to undo policies put in place by President Barack Obama. He has been obsessed with Obama, and has adopted a raft of policies and positions in direct opposition to his far more popular predecessor.
Trump benefitted from the largest election gender gap since 1972. The difference between the men who voted for Clinton and women who did the same was 13 percent.
Washing Democrat Patty Murray — ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee — slammed Trump for punishing women with this new rule.
"Nine months after women across the country marched together to reject President Trump’s anti-woman agenda, he has rolled out a tax on their health care," she said in a statement. "This is wrong, it’s outrageous, and I will be pushing every Republican who claims to care about women’s health and economic security to join me in fighting back against it."
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood — which has been targeted by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence since before they were even sworn in — also blasted the discrimination order.
"This is an unacceptable attack on basic health care that the vast majority of women rely on," she said in a statement. "With this rule in place, any employer could decide that their employees no longer have health insurance coverage for birth control."
The ACLU said the decree showed Trump "attacking the civil rights of vulnerable communities instead of standing up for them."
The Center for Reproductive Rights has already said it is "prepared to fight these unconstitutional restrictions in court."
Fatima Goss Graves, head of the The National Women’s Law Center said in a statement, "By taking away women’s access to no-cost birth control coverage, the rules give employers a license to discriminate against women."
As NARAL noted on Twitter, "This rule & Trump's support for a 20-wk ban is a perfect blend of his passions: controlling women & robbing them of healthcare."
Further evidence that Trump is motivated by envy is data showing contraceptive coverage is extremely popular: 86 percent of Americans say that women should have access to a full range of birth control.
The provision that requires insurers to cover birth control at no additional cost has been one of the most effective parts of Obamacare and benefits millions of women and their families.
Before the provision went into effect, one in three women voters had struggled to afford prescription birth control. Given that nearly 90 percent of women will use contraception at some point in their lives — for contraception or other medical reasons — making birth control more accessible and affordable affects nearly every woman in America.
And the savings are real. The provision saved women an estimated $1.4 billion on birth control pills in its first year alone.
The Trump administration is determined to undo all of that.
Trump isn't liked or trusted by most Americans, but especially women. There is very little he can do to win their support, so he has chosen to attack them again and again. Now he is telling employers to discriminate against them.
He can't stand the thought that so many women have the sense to know how wrong he is for the job.