The midterm elections might be over, but there’s still a lot at stake for women’s health in 2019. Trump has made his views on abortion, sexual assault, and women in general very clear, and that could have some serious implications for several important policies.
More than four million people rely on Title X, which provides affordable reproductive health care for low-income individuals. Title X provides things like birth control, STI treatment, and cervical or breast cancer treatments. Though many might not know Title X even exists, it’s responsible for up to 720,000 pap smears, four million STD tests, and birth control services that prevent up to one million unintended pregnancies each year. The Trump administration is now trying to change the rules and make it so health centers that provide or refer people to abortion services would no longer be eligible for Title X funding, even when an abortion is medically necessary. This would be America’s first ever gag rule
Under Title IX, schools must ensure that all students have equal access to education and prohibit discrimination — including sexual harassment and sexual violence. Under President Obama’s administration, assault that occurred between two students had to be investigated even if it was off campus. Also his “preponderance of the evidence” standard allowed for less evidence to be needed to in order for an alleged victim to prove their case. But education secretary Betsy DeVos and the DOE have proposed new rules for Title IX that would make universities less responsible for off-campus incidents, and evidence involving sexual misconduct would have to be “clear and convincing” in order to be proven.