January 19, 2018

The Trump Administration’s announcement of a new office to support medical professionals who refuse to provide health care to women and all transgender people under the guise of moral or religious objections is the latest in a string of attacks on sexual and reproductive rights in the United States and around the world. The office would conduct audits and take other actions to punish health care organizations and providers who stand up for the rights of their patients and guarantee care without discrimination.

Health providers have a professional and ethical duty to provide care to all people who need it. They have no right to deny health care to women, girls and transgender people in the name of religious freedom. This action will result in deaths and injuries to people seeking health care.

Since taking office, President Trump has waged an unrelenting war aimed at restricting access sexual and reproductive health care both in the United States and around the world. Not surprisingly, Trump has surrounded himself with staunchly anti-choice and transphobic ideologues at all levels of government.

The Trump Administration has already given cover to employers to refuse to provide contraceptive coverage through health insurance plans, and has voiced support for legislative initiatives to further restrict abortion access in the United States and abroad. In his first week in office, Trump reinstated a massively expanded version of the Global Gag Rule barring foreign nongovernmental organizations that receive any US global health funding from providing counselling, referrals, or abortion services, or advocating to expand access to safe, legal abortion, even with their own funds.

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Photo: C-SPAN