New report shines light on lesbian and bisexual content being removed by the Department of Health and Human Services on its women’s health website.
A new report from the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit government watchdog group, has discovered that lesbian and bisexual content was removed from a women’s health site, which is ran by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Women’s Health site is described as a news and advice portal for users to find information and resources on women’s health and has more than 700,000 visits each month.
According to the report, the “Lesbian and bisexual health” page was removed sometime between September and October 2017 and has remained unavailable on the site since. The page provided answers to a number of different questions, such as “What factors put lesbians’ and bisexual women’s health at risk?” and “What challenges do lesbian and bisexual women face in the health care system?”
The reason behind the removal, according to sources, is because the content was outdated (it hadn’t been updated since 2012) and that relevant information had been condensed into one fits-all page.
A spokesperson for the HHS said:
As OWH updates its site, the outdated lesbian and bisexual health pages were removed and the health content was integrated into the relevant health topics pages across the website. This aligns with how people search for content. You can now find lesbian and bisexual health content by searching for relevant health topics on the womenshealth.gov website.
Despite this, health advocates for the LGBTQ+ community still feel strongly about the removal and what it means for lesbian and bisexual women seeking out these resources.
The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) issued a statement saying:
The erasure of lesbian and bisexual health content from WomensHealth.gov is tantamount to discrimination against a vulnerable population that already suffers significant health disparities and discrimination in healthcare.
GLMA President Dr. Gal Mayer added that the removal of the pages was “yet another step HHS has taken to dismantle LGBTQ health initiatives over the past year under the Trump administration.”