Six Ways President Trump’s New Executive Order Could Jeopardize the Health and Safety of Millions
News outlets have reported that tomorrow President Trump will sign an Executive Order on “religious liberty.” We know what that means: a license to discriminate. If the final EO is anything like the draft version leaked from the White House in February, we the Resistance will have our work even more clearly cut out for us. The EO would be an extreme and unprecedented action that goes far beyond any religious exemptions that currently exist, undermining decades of antidiscrimination law and endangering the health and safety of millions. It would target women, LGBQ individuals, trans individuals, individuals having sex outside of marriage, individuals with disabilities, and individuals making decisions about using birth control or having an abortion. In other words, it would target anyone who doesn’t fit into a narrow worldview of how people should live their lives.
Here are just six things that could happen under an EO that looks like the leaked February draft:
1. A woman could be fired for using birth control, having an abortion, or using in vitro fertilization to start a family.
2. A health care provider could refuse to provide a woman prenatal care because she is pregnant and unmarried.
3. Adoption and foster care agencies could refuse to place children in same-sex households and could refuse to place LGBTQ youth anywhere at all.
4. Homeless shelters and job centers could turn trans individuals away, putting their personal safety and ability to sustain themselves at risk.
5. An employer could refuse to provide insurance coverage for essential preventive services like birth control or STI/HIV screenings.
6. An employer could claim a right to refuse to allow family medical leave for an LGBTQ employee to take care of a seriously ill spouse.
This is only a small sampling of the kinds of discrimination that could take place. And if that isn’t bad enough, taxpayer funding will support this discrimination because the EO allows entities that get federal money, like hospitals, adoption agencies, social service agencies, and federal contractors, to discriminate.
To make matters worse, the leaked EO would require all federal agencies to review existing regulations and rescind any that don’t currently allow for religious discrimination. This upends legal precedent and hamstrings the ability of federal agencies, including offices for civil rights, to enforce federal civil rights law. That means, victims of discrimination may lose the ability to enforce their constitutional and civil rights.
This kind of discrimination masquerading as “religious liberty” is unacceptable. And we will not stand for it.