The Trump administration has reportedly banned the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using terms such as "transgender," "fetus," and "science-based" in their 2018 budget documents.
In a briefing on Thursday, the nation's leading public health institute were presented with seven words they were no longer allowed to use, reports The Washington Post. The list of banned terms are: fetus, transgender, entitlement, vulnerable, science-based, evidence-based, and diversity.
"You cannot fight against the Zika virus, or improve women’s and fetal health, if you are unable to use the word 'fetus,'" reads the statement written by Dana Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "You must be able to talk about science and evidence if you are to research cures for infectious diseases such as Ebola. You must be able to acknowledge the humanity of transgender people in order to address their health care needs. You cannot erase health inequities faced by people of color simply by forbidding the use of the words 'vulnerable' or 'diversity.'"
On Sunday however, CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald tweeted that the agency would not be banning words and that "science is and will remain the foundation of our work."
NARAL Pro-Choice America's national communications director Kaylie Hanson Long shared a statement comparing the edict to The Handmaid's Tale:
"Donald Trump and Mike Pence are clearly using Margaret Atwood's fiction as a playbook rather than reading for pleasure," she stated. "Forbidding scientists and researchers from using medically accurate terminology in order to push an extreme, ideological agenda is more 'dystopia' than 'United States of America.' This latest move from the Trump administration amounts to yet another backdoor tactic to curtail Americans' basic rights and freedoms, including the right to access abortion, and will put lives in real danger."
This isn't the first time that the Trump administration reportedly tried to prevent specific words from being used by government organizations. According to CNN, the Trump administration removed the words "climate change" and all references to it from the Environmental Protection Agency's website.
This story was originally published on Dec. 16, 2017 at 3:10 p.m. It has since been updated to reflect comments from the CDC.
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