Tell the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to change the draft Strategic Plan for FY 2018-2022! The mission of HHS is “to enhance the health and well-being of Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.” And yet, the Strategic Plan is based more heavily in religion than anything else, particularly science.
The plan has removed any mention of LGBT even though LGBTQIA individuals face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of their civil & human rights. The plan also minimizes racial disparities, all but removing the experiences of Black and Latinx Americans who face greater rates of disease and preventable death.
Finally, the HHS plan is just another tool being used by the anti-woman, anti-choice Trump Administration to limit women’s access to the full range of reproductive health care options. Using language of the anti-choice lobby that life begins at conception, the HHS draft Strategic Plan has the potential to legitimize abstinence-only education and prevent women from accessing birth control.
Provide your feedback on the HHS draft Strategic Plan by this Friday, October 27th. HHS claims that public comment will be used to assist in refining and strengthening the plan. Let’s provide them with so much feedback that they have to change the plan! Click here for Talking Points and information on how to provide comment! Also, be on the lookout for ways to take action @womensmarchct via Facebook & twitter! Finally, we have included some draft comment language for your review.
SAMPLE COMMENT TO HHS: The HHS draft Strategic Plan prioritizes certain religious beliefs over the healthcare of all Americans. I urge HHS to prioritize the experiences of LGBTQIA, Black, and Latinx individuals who experience grave health inequities in this plan. I also request that HHS remove anti-choice language that states that life begins at conception. Finally, I find it problematic that this plan includes faith based organizations as appropriate messengers to deliver information on healthier choices. Some faith based organizations, like those who run Crisis Pregnancy Centers, have been known to lie to women and I fear that this plan might divert funding needed to provide comprehensive healthcare to organizations like theirs.