Jodi Magee, president of Physicians for Reproductive Health, issued the following statement on the plan to nominate Tom Price as Secretary of HHS:
“President-elect Trump’s plan to nominate Representative Tom Price (R-GA) to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) signals an alarming direction for reproductive health. Price has been a staunch opponent of women’s health and the Affordable Care Act during his time in Congress.
Although Price has insisted that “patients, families and doctors should be making health decisions, not Washington DC,” he has directly contradicted that by supporting legislative efforts that interfere in the patient-doctor relationship. For example, Price has voted for anti-choice legislation that would harm our doctor’s patients, including bans on abortion, defunding Planned Parenthood, and repealing the Affordable Care Act. We are deeply troubled that Price, though he is a physician, seems to disregard the strong medical evidence that access to safe and legal abortion and contraception protects not just a woman’s health, but that of her family and community.
As an organization of doctors, we are keenly aware that legislative attacks on access to reproductive care disproportionately target low-income women, women of color, young women, and immigrant women, communities that already suffer from health disparities and inequalities. Should Price be confirmed as HHS secretary, he will be in a position to create even more barriers to comprehensive reproductive health care for these communities. The leader of HHS needs to understand and apply evidence-based medicine to improve health outcomes, not worsen them.
The plan to nominate Price is part of a disturbing pattern of appointments in the weeks since the election. Trump has also:
- Announced plans to nominate Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to become U.S. Attorney General. Sessions has opposed Roe v. Wade, cutting funding from family planning clinics, protections against clinic violence, and supports bans on insurance coverage for abortion.
- Named Betsy DeVos, a proponent of so-called crisis pregnancy centers that deliberately mislead women about their pregnancy options including abortion, as his choice for Secretary of Education.
- Named Steve Bannon of Breitbart News as his chief strategist. Breitbart News has published racist, misogynistic, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant pieces and has repeatedly attacked Planned Parenthood.
- Called on Ken Blackwell of the Family Research Council to serve as the transition team’s leader on domestic policy issues. Blackwell has called abortion a “black holocaust” and is against marriage equality and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.
We ask the Senate to fully vet cabinet appointees and closely examine their records. We hope that Senators will thoughtfully consider the impact of cabinet level positions on our doctors and their patients’ health before confirming any of President-Elect Trump’s nominees.”