Letter to the Department of Health and Human Services in response to banned words

A letter to the Department of Health and Human Services signed by 478 health professionals in response to HHS officials banning staff from using particular language including the words “science-based,” “evidence-based,” “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “entitlement,” and “vulnerable.”

In December 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) guided staff not to use the following words when preparing for the President’s fiscal year 2019 budget:

  • Science-based 
  • Evidence-based
  • Diversity
  • Fetus
  • Transgender
  • Entitlement
  • Vulnerable

Public Health Awakened wrote a sign-on letter, expressing our concern with these restrictions and what it meant for the ability for HHS to carry out its mission to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all.

This open letter was circulated among our Public Health Awakened network and other public health audiences. 478 health and public health professionals signed on to the letter which was sent to then Acting Secretary of HHS, Eric Hargan, on December 22, 2017.