In December 2019, we all watched as the United States House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump after months of investigations and hearings. Now we wait for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, where Trump will face a trial that will either acquit him of the charges or convict and remove him from office.
Considering the countless ways that Trump has relentlessly attacked sexual and reproductive rights since his first full day in office, has implemented policies that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, and has sexually harassed and assaulted multiple women throughout his career, impeachment—and possible removal from office—feels like a victory, even if the charges he faces are unrelated to these egregious actions. Presidents should use their power to champion the rights of all, which Trump has repeatedly failed to do.
But what exactly does impeachment mean for reproductive freedom? It might not end up meaning much if the Republican-controlled Senate votes along party lines and acquits Trump of any wrongdoing. Even if Rep. Pelosi is able to ensure a fair trial and Trump is removed from office, he will be succeeded by Mike Pence, who has an even worse record on reproductive rights.
That’s why, even as we all wait for the Senate trial and keep our fingers crossed that Trump is removed from office, we must continue our work to elect pro-choice candidates who respect human rights, including reproductive rights. Impeachment doesn’t change the fact that 2020 will be a critical year for filling congressional, judicial, and executive-level seats with those who support reproductive freedom in the U.S. and worldwide.