January 18, 2018 Press Release

HHS Watch: Equity Forward Statement on Roger Severino’s Attack on Health Care Access

01.18.18 – The Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced a new division of the agency’s Office of Civil Rights that will focus on “conscience protections” and allow health care providers to discriminate against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, request for abortion, and more. The Trump Administration is choosing to go much further than any past administration by establishing a division and dedicating staff to support this allowed discrimination.

Equity Forward — a new, nonpartisan watchdog project committed to holding accountable groups and individuals that are limiting access to reproductive health care — today released an update to HHS Watch. HHS Watch is a project to promote transparency and accountability at HHS. Over the coming weeks, Equity Forward will continue to file FOIAs and conduct inquiries into changes and backgrounds of appointees at HHS.

Equity Forward executive director Mary Alice Carter issued the following statement:

“HHS should be ensuring that people can access quality reproductive health care wherever they are across our country, rather than allowing discrimination against individuals who seek care. Instead, political appointees at HHS are running roughshod over equitable access to care.

Roger Severino has a long history of advocating for overt discrimination against his fellow Americans on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. Today’s announcement is concerning because we are seeing our own government chip away access to reproductive health care, particularly for people of color, who are low income, or who live in rural areas. Through HHS Watch we will continue to push for greater transparency and accountability at this consequential agency.”

View the full profile of Roger Severino, Director, HHS Office of Civil Rights.