Dorothy Samuels

Dorothy Samuels, a former member of the New York Times Editorial Board, is a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Recent Articles

Trump’s Super-Sized Global Gag Rule

Donald Trump did not just reinstate a pre-Obama ban on U.S. assistance to overseas groups that perform or even talk about abortion, he vastly expanded its reach.

Doug Strickland/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP
Largely lost so far in the coverage of Trump’s order on Monday reviving the so-called global gag rule is its unprecedented sweep. Also known as the “Mexico City Policy,” after the location of the United Nations population conference where President Reagan first announced it in 1984, the gag rule bans U.S. funding for international groups that provide abortions, advocate politically for abortion rights, or even talk about abortion with patients. Reagan and subsequent GOP presidents have all imposed the gag rule, while Democratic presidents, including Obama, have rescinded it. But Trump, in re-imposing the funding ban this week—one day after the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling—went much further than his GOP predecessors. Until now, the gag rule has applied only to U.S. family planning assistance and reproductive health assistance to non-governmental groups overseas. Trump’s new gag rule applies to all “global...

For Women’s Reproductive Freedom, a Chill Wind Blows

Roe v. Wade will stand for now, but the essential right it protects is in Trump’s line of fire.

(Photo: AP/Alex Brandon)
Donald Trump’s plans for an extreme misogynistic makeover of reproductive health care received way too little scrutiny during his noxious, anti-woman campaign. Now, the damage a hard-right Trump administration could inflict on abortion rights and women’s health services more broadly has become impossible to ignore. Trump lost the popular vote and received no mandate to roll back or eliminate a fundamental right that the Supreme Court has recognized as integral to women’s autonomy and equality, but since Election Day, he has made even plainer his commitment to doing exactly that. In his first prime-time TV interview following the election, the president-elect doubled down on his campaign calls to destroy Planned Parenthood, pack federal trial and appellate courts with anti-abortion ideologues, and eventually appoint enough Supreme Court justices to do away with reproductive rights altogether. “Then some women won’t be able to get an abortion,”...

Trump’s Awful Behavior Drives Away Women, But So Does His Anti-Woman Platform

The Republican Party will never solve its woman problem until its leaders abandon candidates and policies that seek to rob women of their basic right to make their own child-bearing decisions.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
As we near the conclusion of this year’s bizarre and decidedly unpleasant presidential election, I find my thoughts turning to last month’s successful mass protest by Polish women to defeat that country’s plan to ban abortion completely, and to imprison for up to five years both women seeking the procedure and doctors who perform it. Specifically, I am struck by the resemblance between Poland’s draconian proposal to further restrict abortion—that country already permits the procedure only in extremely limited circumstances—and the radical rollback in women’s basic reproductive rights proposed by notorious misogynist and White House wannabe, Donald Trump, and his running mate/enabler Mike Pence. The two are pledging, among other things, to appoint Supreme Court justices who would consign Roe. v. Wade “to the ash heap of history, where it belongs,” as Pence has put it. It’s not the only time events in Poland have made me think...