POSTED BY MARTIN KICH
President Trump has signed an executive order reinstating President Reagan’s so-called “Mexico City Policy.” Writing for Huffington Post, Amanda Terkel summarizes the order as follows: “[It] is also known as the global gag rule, which was first put in place by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It prohibits giving U.S. funding to international nongovernmental organizations that offer or advise on a wide range of family planning and reproductive health options if they include abortion―even if U.S. dollars are not specifically used for abortion-related services.”
The signing ceremony was so male-dominated that in itself it reinforced the charge that women’s interests and women’s rights were being casually dismissed as irrelevant. In fact, I have been able to find only one press photo that includes even a single woman, and she is so on the periphery of the shot that she has been cropped out of many of the published versions of the photo:
I would be tempted to say that it is simply another illustration of the new administration’s pattern of seemingly not being able to avoid “bad optics,” but (1) it is very possible that the administration set this tableau very deliberately and (2) I am not sure in this instance if it ultimately matters very much whether the “bad optics” were deliberate or unthinking.