ASRM Joins Medical Societies in Calling Out Political Interference at the CDC

In response to widely circulated reports that federal employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been instructed to refrain from using certain specific terms in the drafting of policy at the agency, ASRM has signed on to a letter to President Trump and Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan requesting an immediate halt to this guidance.

While it is unclear whether this guidance was issued formally or informally, this tactic is an effort to curtail important scientific research at the nation's foremost health agency and an affront not only to those who work in the field of reproductive medicine, but to the public at large.

The letter reads as follows:

December 19, 2017

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Acting Secretary Eric D. Hargan
US Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Dear President Trump and Acting Secretary Hargan:

On behalf of nearly 60,000 obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns) nationwide who care for patients across the lifespan, including adolescent girls, transgender individuals, women with high-risk pregnancies, women experiencing infertility, and women with gynecologic cancer and other serious conditions, we write to express our deep concern with reports that your administration has directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remove several key words from its budget documents.

As physicians, we rely on the best medical evidence to inform our care for patients. As a Nation, we rely on the CDC, our preeminent public health agency, for sound scientific approaches to dealing with public health issues. We firmly reject any political interference in the CDC’s ability to fulfill its critical mission.

“Vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based" are widely accepted words used in scientific and medical research, knowledge, and clinical work. These words help root the CDC’s work in facts and data. CDC should not, as is suggested in reports, instead base its recommendations on “science in consideration with community standards and wishes.”

We respectfully request that the administration immediately withdraw this guidance and halt any further political interference in the work of the CDC and other federal agencies responsible for upholding the public’s health.


AAGL, Elevating Gynecologic Surgery
American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
American Urogynecologic Society
North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Society of Family Planning
Society of Gynecologic Oncology
Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

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Sean Tipton
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Eleanor Nicoll
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