Republicans shift strategy on abortion opposition following Trump’s directive

Republicans shift strategy on abortion opposition following Trump’s directive

In a significant shift, Republicans are recalibrating their approach to abortion opposition following a directive from former President Donald Trump. This strategic pivot comes as the GOP grapples with the evolving political landscape and the need to align with Trump’s influence within the party.

Since Trump took office in January 2017, his administration aggressively pursued policies that rolled back various civil and human rights protections. This included a series of executive orders and regulatory changes that targeted issues ranging from immigration to LGBTQ rights. However, it is Trump’s recent directive on abortion that has prompted a notable shift in Republican strategy.

On January 27, 2017, Trump signed an executive order that was the first version of his controversial Muslim ban, which discriminated against Muslims and banned refugees. This move set the tone for an administration that would frequently clash with civil rights organizations. Under the leadership of Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) refused to defend critical components of its prison phone rate rules, which were ultimately struck down in June 2017.

Trump’s administration also took aim at consumer protection laws. On February 3, 2017, he signed an executive order calling for a review of existing financial regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This was seen as an opening attack on consumer protection laws. The FCC, under Pai, rescinded its 2014 Joint Sales Agreement guidance, which had led to an increase in television diversity.

The administration’s actions extended to education and immigration. On February 7, 2017, the White House supported a resolution to overturn a Department of Education accountability rule, which civil rights organizations opposed. On February 21, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo updating immigration enforcement guidance, massively expanding the number of people subject to detention and deportation.

One of the most controversial moves came on February 22, 2017, when the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights jointly rescinded Title IX guidance that clarified protections for transgender students. This was followed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrawing a memo that aimed to reduce the use of private prisons.

The administration’s stance on healthcare also drew significant attention. On March 6, 2017, Trump signed a revised executive order restricting travel to the U.S. from several predominantly Muslim countries and drastically cutting back refugee admissions. On the same day, House Republicans released a proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, which included defunding Planned Parenthood.

The Department of Health and Human Services proposed ending the collection of data on LGBTQ individuals with disabilities, removing questions on LGBTQ demographics from a key survey. This move was met with public outcry, leading to the eventual reinstatement of the assessment survey.

Trump’s budget blueprint, released on March 16, 2017, proposed a $54 billion increase in military spending, funded by direct cuts to non-defense programs. This included $4.1 billion for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Department of Housing and Urban Development removed key resource documents from its website, which informed emergency shelters on best practices for serving transgender people facing homelessness.

The administration’s actions continued to impact various sectors. On March 27, 2017, Trump signed resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, repealing a Department of Education accountability rule and the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. The U.S. Census Bureau also removed references to sexual orientation and gender identity from its data collection plans.

In the realm of law enforcement, Sessions ordered a sweeping review of consent decrees with law enforcement agencies, a crucial tool in ensuring constitutional and accountable policing. The Department of Justice also tried to block a federal court in Baltimore from approving a consent decree to address discriminatory police practices.

The administration’s stance on civil rights extended to the military. On July 26, 2017, Trump declared in a series of tweets that he was barring transgender people from serving in the military, a decision that was later formalized in a presidential memo.

The Justice Department’s actions further reflected the administration’s priorities. On August 1, 2017, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants.

Trump’s support for Republican-backed legislation aimed at slashing legal immigration and making it easier for states to purge registered voters from their rolls also drew significant attention. On September 5, 2017, Sessions announced the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The administration’s actions continued to impact various sectors, including education, healthcare, and civil rights. On October 2, 2017, DeVos rescinded 72 guidance documents outlining the rights of students with disabilities. The Department of Justice also filed a brief asking the court to dismiss a lawsuit against the president’s transgender military ban.

As the administration’s actions continued to unfold, the impact on civil and human rights became increasingly evident. The shift in Republican strategy on abortion opposition, following Trump’s directive, is a reflection of the broader changes within the party and its alignment with Trump’s influence.

Source: Various news sources

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