We at the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)
are deeply concerned about recent news
reports that the staff of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other
agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have been
instructed not to use seven specific words in the context of the 2019 budget
proposal process. The words are "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus,"
"evidence-based" and "science-based." They encompass terms
that represent critical areas of emphasis for the CDC's work of safeguarding
the nation's health. Some of the words are signifiers of populations of people,
including the transgender community and diverse individuals of every kind, whom
midwives serve and who are midwives themselves.
ACNM rejects any attempt to diminish and derail the mission
of the CDC and its position as the foremost authority in the United States in
the area of health protection. ACNM as a professional health organization is dedicated
to the advancement of midwives who provide essential health care services,
including maternity, reproductive, and sexual health care services. We are
committed to promoting science-informed, evidence-based practices, and we do
this in part using guidance from the CDC. (See examples here
The CDC's recommendations must meet the criteria of delivering the most
rigorous, unbiased best practices that science can inform to assure the best
possible health outcomes for all. Politicization of this process is
unacceptable, as is the marginalization of research to address diverse,
vulnerable, or transgender populations.
Midwives are dedicated to providing optimal care to
all who seek their services. We call on policy makers and our elected officials
to maintain the scientific integrity of our federal agencies and to ensure that
the research and public health missions of the CDC remain free from the corrosive
influence of politicalization.
Lisa Kane Low, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN
President, American College of Nurse-Midwives