On March 21, 2018, the Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project released two reports revealing how lesbian and bisexual health content has been removed from WomensHealth.gov, a website maintained by the HHS’s Office on Women’s Health. Among content removed was a webpage dedicated to answering questions specific to lesbian and bisexual health and a similar lesbian and bisexual health fact sheet. The fact sheet, which is still available online, but according to the report no longer accessible through other parts of WomensHealth.gov, includes additional resources, listing GLMA, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and other organizations where additional information is available.
HHS has claimed that the content was removed for routine updating and later integrated to other parts of their website. However, the Sunlight Foundation’s investigation found that this content has not been re-integrated into the website.
GLMA President Gal Mayer, MD, MS, released the following statement in response:
“The erasure of lesbian and bisexual health content from WomensHealth.gov is tantamount to discrimination against a vulnerable population that already suffers significant health disparities and discrimination in healthcare. In removing these resources, HHS restricts the ability of sexual minority women to access critical information designed to help them improve their health outcomes and get the quality care they deserve.
“The removal of lesbian and bisexual health materials from the Office on Women’s Health website is yet another step HHS has taken to dismantle LGBTQ health initiatives over the past year under the Trump Administration. GLMA calls on all health professionals to take action against the Administration’s assault on LGBTQ health by joining our efforts to oppose a proposed HHS regulation that could lead to widespread discrimination against LGBTQ patients.
“GLMA would like to thank the Sunlight Foundation for its efforts uncovering another targeted attempt by HHS to deprioritize LGBTQ health.“
For more information about the new regulation that would grant healthcare providers and institutions a license to discriminate against LGBTQ patients on the basis of religious and moral objections and how you can submit comments to oppose it, visit here.