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No, Ivanka Trump Is Not the Good Little Feminist Whispering in Her Father’s Ear

Throughout Donald Trump’s campaign and even into his presidency, his daughter Ivanka was supposed to serve as a moral compass, a clear and feminine voice protecting women. In theory, it sounds great, or at least as good as we can hope for at this point. The problem? Feminists aren’t buying it, nor should they.

The new GOP health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), contains some provisions that are pretty concerning to feminists. For starters, many of the defined pre-existing conditions under AHCA are conditions that are very much feminist problems: mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, conditions only affecting those with a uterus such as menstrual irregularities and pregnancies, and conditions affecting the LGBT+ (in this case emphasis on the “T”) like sex reassignment or transsexualism. These conditions are only a portion of what is a long list of pre-existing conditions. (You can see a list of premium hikes for specific pre-existing conditions as well as more information about the AHCA here.)

The AHCA also works to partially defund Planned Parenthood. Under Obamacare, federal funds could be used for Planned Parenthood and other family planning and women’s health centers, but could not be used for funding abortions (as per the Hyde Amendment which forbids it except in the cases of a pregnancy threatening the mother’s life or being the result of incest or rape). AHCA works towards the GOP’s longstanding goal of cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood. To give you a better idea of the magnitude of this, 43% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue (more than $550 million) came from the government in the form of grants of reimbursements as well as from Title X in 2015. 

Needless to say, feminists aren’t happy about the American Health Care Act or the people responsible for pushing it. And yes, that includes Ivanka Trump.

In regards to the above tweet, there is one clarification that needs to be made: the AHCA does not technically define sexual assault as a pre-existing condition. However, that does not mean it doesn’t affect the health care of sexual assault survivors. It may not specifically call sexual assault a pre-existing condition, but it does include many other pre-existing conditions that could be the result of a sexual assault: mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression, STDs such as HIV, or pregnancy. Having such a condition as a result of a sexual assault may make it considerably more difficult and expensive for a survivor to seek treatment, or worse, the cost of treatment may discourage them from seeking it in the first place.

So where does Ivanka Trump fit into the AHCA then? As someone that claims to be a women’s activist, she should be rightfully outraged at the GOPs health care bill. She has been advocating for women’s economic empowerment and policies that will benefit working mothers, but that seems to be the only women’s issues she cares about, the only thing remotely feminist about her. Her book, Women Who Workattempts to empower working women but falls flat to many as it only reaches women of immense privilege like her. Her continued compliance as her father and his party works to make decisions for other people’s uteruses is proof enough: Ivanka Trump will never be the feminist first daughter America needed.

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