A couple of reports conducted by the Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project, and shared with Politico, show that several health resources for lesbian and bisexual women were removed from a Health and Human Services website in the fall.
According to the reports, which were published on Wednesday, the information was removed from HHS’s WomensHealth.gov sometime in September. An HHS spokesperson responded to the report by claiming that the page was merely updated (no shit), saying, “The outdated lesbian and bisexual health pages were removed and the health content was integrated into the relevant health topics pages across the website.”
If only trained researchers could find all the missing health content, but, according to Sunlight’s report, they could not, nor were several of the pages apparently updated, as HHS had claimed. The report’s authors, for instance, could not locate a page that raised several health-related questions that are not addressed elsewhere on the site, like “What are important health issues that lesbians and bisexual women should discuss with their health care professionals?”
The HHS website still boasts more than 100 unique health care subjects, but “bisexual and lesbian health” is no longer one of them. Furthermore, a fact-sheet discussing lesbian and bisexual health was placed on a webpage that no other links currently direct to, making it difficult for anyone to figure out how to possibly get there.
Andrew Bergman, one of the study’s leaders, told Politico that these new omissions from the Women’s Health webpage are glaring: “We’ve seen nothing this targeted at one HHS site. The removal of lesbian and bisexual health materials in particular, without advance notice and in a targeted way, raise concerns that they’ve targeted information for vulnerable populations.”
Politico also reported that the last time the Office of Women’s Health’s Twitter account posted about issues pertaining to the LGBTQ community was on November 11, 2016. According to The Hill, the Women’s Health page is one of HHS’s most highly trafficked sites, with approximately 700,000 visits in the past month.