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Mike Pence and This Roomful of White Men Tried to Take on Reproductive Rights

Mike Pence

A photo of the vice president and 30 white male Republican representatives deciding what women should do with their bodies is already eerily reminiscent of another image from the Trump administration. 

The country is a mere two months into the Trump administration and history already appears to be repeating itself, at least when it comes to frightful images of white men deciding the fate of women and their bodies. A picture of Vice President Mike Pence -- who previously signed a bill that would force women who had abortions to bury or cremate fetal remains and who voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act three times -- surrounded by dozens of white men as they discuss maternity leave under the now-stalled and likely dead "Trumpcare" bill (American Health Care Act) went viral on Thursday.

The photo of Pence is eerily reminiscent of a picture of Trump signing an executive order banning U.S. aid to overseas nongovernmental organizations that provide or advise on abortions -- just two days after the record-breaking Women's March protests in January.

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While Trump asked Speaker Paul Ryan to pull the bill on Friday, it doesn't look as though the problem of white men governing over women's bodies will not go away anytime soon.

The photo of Pence was taken at a meeting with the Freedom Caucus, a group of 30 all-male Republican representatives who convened to discuss an amendment to AHCA that, among other things, would allow states to revoke Medicaid coverage from new mothers who haven't found a job within two months after giving birth, according toSlate.

That amendment, should AHCA miraculously pass, piles more restrictions on women under the "health care" bill that already calls for dismantling insurance coverage for abortion and defunding Planned Parenthood.

While Trumpcare has been pulled for now, these photos of men making decisions about women's reproductive health are part and parcel of Trump, Pence, and the GOP's attempts to wrest women's rights from them. The photos may make for good memes, but they're also a sign to remain vigilant.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.
Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.