As headlines cover one controversy after another, Trump’s anti-choice and anti-birth control team of liars and science-deniers are busy shaping policies and changing regulations to roll back women’s reproductive healthcare, vital civil rights enforcement, and sexual assault protections. Here’s the real deal on who’s who in the Trump administration and what you need to watch.
Secretary for Department of Education
- Has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group whose founder branded their anti-LGBT rights stance a “second civil war,” and pushed “conversion therapy.”
- Believes federal funding should be used to put guns in schools.
- Gave equal air-time to the National Coalition for Men (NCFM), a misogynist organization that falsely claims up to 50% of rape allegations against men are untrue,while holding meetings on campus sexual assault.
- Overrode prior Department of Education guidance on the rights of students with disabilities.
What to watch: DeVos controls the enforcement of Title IX protections that regulate campus sexual assault, sex discrimination, school funding, and affirmative action measures.
Department of Health and Human Services, Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement
- Has no experience working with refugees, yet has complete authority over the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
- Advocated for a government shutdown until the Affordable Care Act was defunded.
What to watch: Hayes has close ties to a variety of anti-choice extremists including Steve Southerland, Trent Franks, and Debbie Lesko.
Department of Education, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Civil Rights
- Believes affirmative action is a form of racial discrimination.
- Has denounced feminism.
- Labeled Donald Trump’s sexual assault accusers as “fake victims” on her Facebook Page.
What to watch: Jackson is responsible for carrying out directives from Betsy DeVos and setting strategy for OCR on how to enforce Title IX, impacting young women nationwide.
“Rather, the accusations — 90 percent of them — fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right.’”
– Candice Jackson discussing her view of campus sexual assault victims who report
Department of Justice, Head of Civil Rights Division
- Advocates for weaker anti-discrimination protections in the workplace.
- Defended the University of North Carolina’s decision to uphold their “Bathroom Bill,” barring transgender students from using the bathroom matching their gender identity.
What to watch: Dreiband has authority to cut back voting rights, impose anti-abortion restrictions, and prioritize religious freedom within the Civil Rights Division.
Department of Health and Human Services, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs
- Suggested abortion Is “A Lot Like” Slavery & The Holocaust.
- Stated that teaching condom use to students in a sex education setting is too complicated and could be “sexually harassing.”
- Helped run fake women’s health centers, which use false and inaccurate information to discourage people from having safe, legal abortions.
What to watch: Foley oversees Title X, the nation’s program that ensures every person has access to affordable birth control and reproductive care. Furthermore, deciding which health care providers like Planned Parenthood get funding through Title X.
Director of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
- Worked to change OCR’s mission statement from ensuring equal access to federal health programs to protecting religious freedom.
- Created the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom to protect doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to take part in procedures like abortion or treat certain people because of moral or religious objections.
- Claimed that transgender people serving openly in the military “dishonor” veterans.
What to watch: Severino is tasked with preventing discrimination in healthcare, but has sided with religious and personal objections to refuse healthcare.
“Now the (Obama) administration is trying to advance a specific gender ideology that redefines what it means to be a man or a woman….This gender ideology will result in discriminating against people who believe that a person’s biology is something to be respected rather than something that should be treated as a disease.”
– Roger Severino, Eurasia Review, 2/4/16
Secretary for Department of Health & Human Services
- Defended efforts to block young undocumented women’s access to safe, legal abortion.
- Approved a Medicaid work restriction to take away basic health care coverage, impacting mostly women.
- Donated thousands of dollars to politicians and organizations that work to eliminate access to abortion.
What to watch: Azar is a tireless opponent of the Affordable Care Act, controlling health insurance, medicaid, and birth control for all Americans.
Department of Health & Human Services, Deputy General Counsel
- Served as Senior Counsel to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian legal advocacy group that believes our legal system has “been steadily moving against religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”
- Represented March for Life, an anti-choice organization in their lawsuit against HHS for requiring employers to provide contraception coverage.
What to watch: Bowman is in control of the Trump-Pence Administration’s policy to allow employers to refuse to cover birth control based on personal “religious or moral objections” within the HHS department.
Department of Health & Human Services, Senior Policy Advisor, Assistant Secretary for Health
- Pushed HHS to cut funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, a federal initiative that increases safe sex and prevents unintended pregnancy.
- Worked as president of an abstinence-only group, and now is only pushing HHS funds towards abstinence-only groups though the practice has proved to be ineffective.
What to watch: Huber has an abstinence-only track record, and now has the authority in HHS to stop young people from accessing scientific information about sexual and reproductive health.