The extremely trafficked U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Women’s Health website not accommodates the pages particular to lesbian and bisexual women’s health.
A report launched this week from authorities watchdog company the Sunlight Foundation discovered that the pages not exist; moreover, different pages have been rerouted in ways in which make them almost inconceivable to entry. The removing of this info has not been publicly communicated on the website, as is required by federal tips.
When requested about this newly deleted materials, a spokesperson for HHS tells Yahoo Lifestyle in a press release, “The Office on Women’s Health strives to offer probably the most correct health info on the womenshealth.gov website. As OWH updates its website, the outdated lesbian and bisexual health pages have been removed and the health content material was built-in into the related health subjects pages throughout the website. This aligns with how individuals seek for content material.”
Those inside the administration say the deletion of those pages was half of a bigger initiative to make the Women’s Health website extra mobile-friendly.
But this erasure is vital and a part of a well-documented sample of erasure by the Trump administration, says Diana Thu-Thao Rhodes, director of public policy for Advocates for Youth, a nonpartisan group that champions packages that acknowledge younger individuals’s rights to trustworthy sexual health info and providers.
Thu-Thao Rhodes notes that lesbian and bisexual women of all ages have distinctive and particular health care and knowledge wants, on subjects from sexual schooling and psychological health to being pregnant and parenting, and that those that determine as lesbian or bisexual typically face added stigma that serves as a big barrier to care and to accessing the health info they want. Erasing a authorities web page with that health care info, she says, solely makes it more durable for these younger individuals to get the knowledge they require to remain wholesome and protected. This holds true even when the knowledge is built-in elsewhere all through the location.
According to evaluation achieved by the Centers for Disease Control on sexual id and health behaviors amongst excessive school-age college students, LGBT teenagers are more likely to interact in high-risk behaviors; as an example, 26.9 % of such teenagers reported trying suicide. LGBT women even have a better lifetime prevalence of cervical most cancers as in contrast with heterosexual women — and far decrease screening charges for most cancers. In essence, to be younger, feminine, and lesbian or bi already places younger individuals in danger — and in want of assets.
“Younger lesbians and bisexual women who may not have had access to a wide range of sexual health classes — and classes that address their needs specifically — are in special need of fact-based information,” Thu-Thao Rhodes says. “And for these younger women in particular, they are often dealing with bullying in school that further restricts their access to information. The fact that HHS has removed this information is troubling. The federal government should be more inclusive, not less inclusive. It should be supplying more information about populations that have special needs, not less. And yet that’s exactly what we’re seeing from the Trump administration.”
Thu-Thao Rhodes says this surreptitious removing of data is according to different actions taken by the Trump administration with regards to sexual and reproductive health and the marginalization of the LGBTQ group.
“We know that young people access information online from a wide range of sources — this could include legitimate sources, but not always. The government’s role should be in providing a wide range of fact-based research and statistics that would be helpful for those seeking information about their reproductive health online and looking for credible information,” she stresses.
She continues, “When the government is excluding, removing, and silencing particular communities and prioritizing particular communities’ health and well-being, they are promoting stigmatization of certain communities from those who take direction from and look towards the federal government as a model. Controlling what people can even Google and look up by limiting the information available through federal resources is this kind of behavior writ large. When people look to the federal government as the highest resource of leadership to provide those resources, young people will be hit the hardest.”
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