The Washington Post—along with several other reputable news outlets—recently reported that federal government administrators banned the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from using certain words and phrases in 2019 budgeting documents.
The article lists the seven forbidden words and phrases: “evidence-based,” “science-based,” “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “entitlement” and “vulnerable.”
ASHA issued an official statement in response to the word ban, expressing concern about the action and the resulting effects on health care and on the supporting research. ASHA’s statement says these prohibitions “mark a serious step backward in the pursuit of providing health care that is based in scientific evidence, effective and equitable.”
HHS oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will be one of many agencies required to remove these words from 2019 budgeting requests and other documents. The Post article explains that the ban will change the way researchers and health care professionals write reports—particularly in certain areas, such as research on how the Zika virus affects a developing fetus to predict possible birth defects, including hearing loss.
In addition to the banning these seven words, HHS also removed LGBT information from its website, according to the article.
Shelley D. Hutchins is content editor/producer for the ASHA Leader. firstname.lastname@example.org.