Trump’s 2020 budget predictably neglects sexual health and well-being of nation
For Immediate Release
March 20, 2019
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330
(Washington, DC) – In response to President Trump’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, Samantha Dercher, SIECUS’ Federal Policy Director, released the following statement:
“A presidential budget is a statement of priorities and, once again, President Trump has clearly shown that he is willing to jeopardize the health of millions to pay for his racist border wall and tax cuts for billionaires and corporations.
Presidential budgets are messaging documents, not laws. This budget in particular has no chance of being passed by Congress. But its message is clear: President Trump does not know or care about the needs of the American people – especially the sexual health and rights of our young people.
The president is using this budget, again, as an opportunity to target adolescent sexual health promotion programs – including calling for the elimination of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, after subjecting it to years of unlawful attacks.
Instead of pushing their unpopular abstinence-only ideology, this administration should be nationalizing access to comprehensive sexuality education, information, and health care services.
Further, the President’s FY 2020 budget purports to add millions to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to end the HIV epidemic. However, the reality is that the proposed budget would decimate critical health care and social programs while offering a band-aid increase of $291 million for HIV prevention.
While we welcome and share the President’s goal of eradicating HIV, we need to be clear that simultaneously cutting or eliminating other vital health, housing, and safety net programs for people living with HIV is no solution at all. The President cannot hope to end HIV while ignoring the nation’s health care needs, stigmatizing LGBTQ people, spewing racist and sexist rhetoric, demonizing immigrants, and eliminating evidence-based programs that protect and promote the sexual health of young people.
Some of the most harmful proposals in this budget impacting young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights include:
- A staggering 12% cut to overall funding for HHS
- The elimination of the Office of Adolescent Health’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
- Continued funding for the ineffective, shaming Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage “Sexual Risk Avoidance Education” program at $75 million
- Slashing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget by $750.5 million
- A $63 million cut to the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program
- Hundreds of billions of dollars in devastating cuts and sweeping changes to Medicaid, Medicare, federal housing programs, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
This is not a budget request. It is an anti-democratic manifesto of intolerance, cruelty, and indifference to the lives of ordinary Americans. We are calling on Congress to reject this administration’s proposal that blatantly fails to protect the health, well-being, and economic security of our country. SIECUS will continue to advocate for the marginalized communities that would be most impacted by these draconian cuts.”
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sex education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS asserts that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the rights of all people to accurate information, comprehensive sexuality education, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.