For Immediate Release
May 5, 2017
Contact: Amy Lebowitz, Camino PR
212.255.2575 /

NEW YORK — Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order that eases political activity restrictions for religious and other tax-exempt organizations, as well as permits religious employers to discriminate against their employees. National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) Interim Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“This administration is not truly upholding freedom of religion — they have made that clear in their continued attacks against Muslim Americans. Trump’s campaign fueled anti-Muslim and Islamophobic rhetoric. A subsequent rise in anti-Muslim hate groups has been attributed to his campaign, and his election was followed by a rise in hate crimes, including assaults against Muslim women. Trump has transformed his hate speech into policy by attempting to pass two executive orders discriminating against immigrants from Muslim majority countries. We are not fooled by misleading language of ‘religious freedom’ — President Trump and his administration have been undermining that very right since day one. This executive order goes against our shared beliefs and values as a country to protect everyone’s freedom, and not impose one’s view at the cost of someone else.

“In addition to undermining the separation of church and state, the executive order enables religious organizations to evade contraception coverage mandates currently in place under the Affordable Care Act. Such exemptions do not reflect the opinions of Americans, who overwhelmingly support birth control and contraceptive access. More than 99 percent of sexually active women age 15-44 have used some contraceptive method during their lifetime. Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women already have low rates of contraceptive use— we need fewer barriers to access, not more. Restrictions to reproductive health care and contraceptive access affect low-income women and women of color the most. Those most vulnerable in the AAPI community will be further at risk for discrimination and hardship when trying to access basic reproductive health care. Our reproductive health decisions are not up for debate — not by our employers and not by our government.

“This executive order is yet another attempt to prioritize the freedoms of one group at the expense of those most vulnerable in our communities. We value freedom in its fullest — the right for each person to practice their religious and spiritual beliefs without imposition. We stand by Muslim Americans who are targets of Trump’s religious intolerance and continue to advocate for those most vulnerable in our communities who risk losing their basic human rights due to the intolerance of this administration.”


The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF): NAPAWF is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls.