Thursday, February 16, 2017


Combine a couple of concepts and see how they relate. First, look at an unpopular president (the most unpopular at the beginning of his term since polls have been taken) who just might be baiting terrorists to attack us. Could Trump’s advisors be looking at the value of a down-and-dirty “war” directly against the United States? George W Bush’s popularity was in the toilet until he rallied the United States after the 9/11/01 attacks… but at least W. did not provoke those attacks. The resulting fear and anger continued and were the very basis for his campaign for a second term. It worked brilliantly. Are Trumpists drooling?
They picked seven countries with heavy Muslim populations – including our ally in the battle against ISIS, Iraq – with whom Trump, Inc. has no serious business interests for that travel ban. Seven countries that have not had a single national from their shores mounting an attack on anything or anyone in the United States. Including refugees who have undergone extreme vetting through multiple interviews and research over a period of a year and a half to two years.
But ISIS, Iran and al Qaeda are quite content pointing out that Trump is showing the “real face” of America, encouraging resistance if not outright terrorism directed at the United States itself. The United States, they have clearly stated, has declared war on Islam and Muslims, who are honor-bound to defend the faith and attack the attacker. Donald Trump appears to be a terrorist recruiter’s dream. ISIS loves Donald Trump, particularly his travel ban: They call it: الحظر المبارك — or “The Blessed Ban.”
The Donald is busy rewriting his travel ban to pass judicial muster, but his efforts do indeed seem to be directed at provoking terrorists to his own political advantage. He’s created a problem that didn’t exist and is hell-bent on making sure it becomes real. The United States just might have become a vastly more dangerous place to live, a challenge to those thinking about what life would be life for bringing young children living in this dangerous new world.
Second, speaking of young children, Mr. Trump (and especially his Evangelical Vice-President, Mike Pence) have made it abundantly clear that they will do everything in their power to reverse Roe vs. Wade, and if not a complete reversal, to make the freedom of women to opt for abortions extremely difficult and limited.
The nomination of uber-conservative Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court was a first step, but legislation introduced in Congress to ban an abortion if there is a detectable heartbeat, however faint, appears to be the second step (perhaps to generate challenge to go to the Supreme Court). The GOP efforts to defund Planned Parenthood appear to be step three (the GAO tells us that 34% of that organization’s efforts are directed at family planning).
Killing the Affordable Care Act and making sure that nothing that replaces it will allow coverage for abortions or abortion or even birth control advice seems to be step four. “If [the ACA] dismantled, it would retract no co-pay fees for birth control for over 55 million American women., February 11th.  The confirmation of abortion-foe, Tom Price, as the new head of Health and Human Services is a clear step five. I won’t even delve into Betsy DeVos’, the new Education Secretary, assault on federal funding for public education as it might impact the cost of having children.
Third, there appears to be a serious uptick in Americans accessing birth control. To avoid bringing children into Trump-world? To get prescriptions as long as Planned Parenthood is able to survive? To avoid criminal legal risks or even to find willing and competent doctors in the event of an expected abortion ban? To afford medical coverage for family planning? Is there even really an uptick in birth control?
“Nurx is a niche telemedicine service focused on improving access to preventative medicine. That includes consultations and prescriptions for birth control pills, patches, rings, and emergency contraception. It also offers the HIV prevention medication Truvada. Patients submit a medical questionnaire, which is reviewed by a NURX health care provider who then submits the prescription to partner pharmacies for quick fulfillment and delivery. It’s been called ‘Uber for the uterus.’
"Our founders [Hans Gangeskar and Edvard Engesaeth] felt that these medications are basic, safe preventive medication that people should be able to access really easily and our medical system, as is, usually makes it somewhat challenging to get," explains Knox. Many young women don’t have the time, flexibility, or desire to visit a doctor annually, which, says Knox, is not a necessity for most healthy women. Currently, 15% of women aged 15-44 depend on the pill, while 7.2% use long-acting reversible contraception, like IUDs, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.” And Nurx has seen a major increase in traffic as consumers pursue birth control alternatives through their service, a trend that is mirrored elsewhere as well.
“Planned Parenthood has also seen an ‘unprecedented surge’ in visitors, both online and at health centers, reports Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of reproductive health services in the country, with over 650 affiliate health centers. These centers saw a significant increase in appointments for birth control, with a nearly ten-fold increase in people seeking IUDs.
“‘These spikes illustrate just how important the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit has been for women to access the birth control method of their choice,’ said McDonald-Mosley in a statement. ‘The Affordable Care Act has had a huge impact on millions of people, particularly people of color, who often face systemic barriers to health care.’” I’ll let you ferret out the reasons for so many women rushing to get birth control advice and methods… but there most certainly are lots of reasons I can think of. You may think of a few more.
I’m Peter Dekom, and knowing that life under Donald Trump will be very different, it is most interesting to watch how Americans react to what they expect to happen under his reign.

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