For many of the speakers and marchers, including actress Scarlett Johansson, securing access to affordable healthcare for women was of primary concern.
“There are very real and devastating consequences to limiting access to what should be considered basic healthcare,” Johansson said. “I pledge my relentless devotion to support women’s healthcare initiatives. I will not stop fighting to make basic women’s healthcare available to all."
The same day as the Women’s March, President Trump signed an executive order to reinstate the Mexico City Policy (also known as the Global Gag Rule), which prohibits US funding to international NGOs that offer a wide variety of reproductive health options.
According to the Kaiser Foundation, the United States is the largest donor in the world for family planning and reproductive health services abroad, contributing over $600 million in 2016. None of that money goes towards funding abortions, as the Helms amendment banned the funding of abortions outside the US since 1973. Further, on his second day in office, President Trump and the House of Representatives passed the Hyde Amendment, a bill that permanently bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. These funds would have otherwise served primarily low-income women and women of color.
While the Mexico City Policy may not have a direct impact on women’s healthcare in the United States, the passage of the Hyde amendment promises to secure existing restrictions on abortions in the US. Many pro-choice advocates worry that these orders will be the first of many limiting access to safe and affordable healthcare for women. This worry is certainly not unfounded, as Trump has stated that he supports a US ban on abortion.
Evidence shows that “when abortion is made legal, safe, and easily accessible, women's health rapidly improves. By contrast, women's health deteriorates when access to safe abortion is made more difficult or illegal.”  Many fear that this restriction on legal abortion will result in an increased number of unsafe procedures. Complications due to unsafe abortions create an undue health burden across the world. In 2003, there were approximately 20 million unsafe abortions. As recently as 2008, deaths due to unsafe abortions amounted to an estimated 47,000 in one year. This data indicates that unsafe abortion is the cause of 1 out every 8 maternal deaths worldwide. These figures do not include the many women who suffer permanent health repercussions as a result of an unnecessarily dangerous procedure.
A 2006 article published in The Lancet outlined effective prevention measures emphasizing the importance of accessible contraceptives and the legalization of abortion. These studies demonstrate the real cause for concern regarding the Trump administration’s recent decisions and the consequences of his order may have on women across the globe.
The Women’s March was just one piece of America’s powerful history of men and women organizing peacefully to draw attention to important national issues. Demonstrators held a wide variety of political beliefs, came from diverse backgrounds, and had different priorities for social change. If nothing else, these marches showed that despite individual differences, millions of men and women around the world are devoted to securing human health, human rights, and environmental justice.
For Scarlett Johannson, the Women’s March represented a force of hope in the face of uncertainty surrounding the future of women’s healthcare.
“I realized that an opportunity has presented itself to make real, long-term change,” Johansson said. “Not just for future Americans, but in the way that we view our responsibility to get involved with, and stay active in, our communities."
In an interview several days after the Women’s March, political activist, scholar and author Angela Davis reflected on the power of organizing: “Demonstrations are really about impending or possible revolutions,” Davis said. “They’re not so much designed to convince the powers that be, that our causes are just. It’s about collectively experiencing our potential power.”
 Grimes, D. A., Benson, J., Singh, S., Romero, M., Ganatra, B., Okonofua, F. E., Shah, I. H. (2006). Unsafe abortion: the preventable pandemic. The Lancet, 368(9550), 1862.
 Shah, I. H., Ahman, E. (2007). Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of the incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality in 2003. 5th edition. World Health Organization, 47.
 Ahman, E., Shah, I.H., (2011). New estimates and trends regarding unsafe abortion mortality. International Journal of Gynecology and Obsetrics, 115(2), 121-126.