In “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Belligerent” (January 26, 2017) by Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick, the Glicks wrote about their reaction to the post-inaugural “women’s march.” They stated “there is nothing normal about this protest,” and went on to compare the US presidential election to a student council election. If only that were the case, then Hillary Clinton would be president since she had a plurality of over 2.9 million more votes than Donald Trump.
While I did not attend the “women’s march,” I think I have a pretty good idea about the reasons for it. One very important issue is health care. President Trump said he would repeal Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act), which has successfully given health insurance to millions of people who could not otherwise afford it. Obamacare provisions provide primary health care and access to contraception for women under its plans.
President Trump has so far provided no alternatives to the Affordable Care Act. Trump’s appointees are also going to reinstate the Mexico City “gag” rule that prohibits organizations at home and abroad from even discussing the option of abortion. (Federal funds have not paid for abortions for many years.) Women were marching for their right to make choices. These choices are personal and very difficult. A current example is a woman who has contracted the Zika virus during her pregnancy and is found to be carrying a fetus with microcephaly. That family’s decision might not be your decision, but they should be informed of their options.
Women were marching for rights for young undocumented immigrants brought to this country by their parents as very young children. The United States is the only country they have known. Other issues include quality public schools, decreasing racial bias by police departments and equal and fair pay.
The Glicks go on to question why women (and everyone else) are not protesting the assault on an Afghan girl for going to school, against women being refused a divorce, in support of women who are being abused. I agree that these are important issues. Teaneck women (and men) filled the Keter Torah social hall in support of Project Sarah, which helps abused women. Many years ago, I did join a protest the one time my rabbi called on his congregants to stand in front of a home of a recalcitrant husband. I do not know if protests are the best method to help agunot, so I support an organization that prepares women advocates to go to the rabbinical courts to help women receive a get.
The Glicks asked their readers to give President Trump a chance to make our lives better. I, and millions of others, have listened carefully to his campaign promises and are fearful that if Trump acts on them, our lives, our health, our economy and our standing among the nations of the world will suffer greatly.