It really doesn’t matter how you feel about this current political administration. As the saying goes, “We’re all entitled to our own opinions… but we’re not entitled to our own facts.”
As Americans, we can continue to argue and push our opinions on one another until every last one of us is blue in the face.
But when it boils down to it, actions speak louder than words…
Which begs the question — why did the organization behind the WomensHealth.gov website delete all of its breast cancer web pages?
When I got wind of this, I was appalled…
It turns out the site’s breast cancer content — which is under the purview of the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — has quietly disappeared.
They shamelessly scrubbed information from the site that served as a vital resource for vulnerable populations — low-income women in particular. And its disappearance points to an incredibly unsettling, insidious agenda at work.
Take this, for example: Breast cancer screening is free to all eligible women under the Affordable Care Act (which, for your information, has not been repealed — just significantly altered). But that information is now nowhere to be found on WomensHealth.gov.
Instead, you’d have to follow a link to the CDC’s website. And then click through to yet another link in order to access those details.
Does that sound like obstruction to health care access to you? Because it sure does to me. And that’s just one of several concerning changes to the WomensHealth.gov website.
At one time, this site consisted of seven pages of important information and yielded 700,000 hits per month. Now all that remains is one page with some rudimentary information on breast cancer and screening.
The dangerous consequences of censorship
Breast cancer is hands down the most common cancer affecting U.S. women today — impacting a good quarter million — and killing 40,000 — annually. Yet, critical information about risk factors, prevention strategies, and treatments has been deleted.
Information about federal programs designed to give women access to free or affordable cancer screenings — like breast exams or mammograms — has also completely disappeared from WomensHealth.gov.
This information was specifically designed to serve “low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women.” And while the HHS claims that the information can now be found elsewhere on its website, good luck tracking it down. There are no obvious links or instructions on where to locate it.
What a disgraceful disservice to women in this country…
The government is attempting to defend this egregious act by claiming that no one was using these pages, and that the content is simply “under review.” But I’m sorry — 700,000 hits per month does NOT constitute lack of use.
And even if it were simply a matter of making the content more “mobile-friendly” — another ridiculous excuse the HHS is throwing around — the pages were pulled in December 2017. This kind of update takes days — not months.
Let’s not forget — this isn’t the first time vital health information has gone missing on this administration’s watch. Resources with a focus on lesbian and bisexual health, and minority women’s health, among others, have also vanished.
Where is this administration’s commitment to public health? Why are they hiding critical resources from women in need?
I want to be clear about this: One out of every eight women is going to get breast cancer in her lifetime. And we know that communities of color suffer higher rates of uninsured and underinsured people.
Which means that, without this information, many women won’t know how to access affordable health care, or even that these resources are available to them. And they are going to die because of it.
Why are we allowing this to happen? And how about we just call it what it is?
The HHS can serve up all the half-baked explanations it wants. But this administration’s actions are loud and clear when it comes to its lack of commitment to American women — and especially the most vulnerable among them.