Sexuality Education

Trump admin plans worldwide censorship on ‘sexual health,’ other terms

For Immediate Release
November 2, 2018

Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330

Leaked State Department memos reveal that U.S. diplomats could soon be forbidden from using sexual and reproductive health and rights terminology, including the phrases “sexual health” and “comprehensive sexuality education” in official communications. Samantha Dercher, SIECUS Federal Policy Director, issued the following statement in response:

“The administration has made countless attacks on sexual and reproductive health and rights in this country. Now, they are working to erase these concepts from their work abroad as well.

Since the Trump administration came into power, we have seen proposals to eliminate the rights of LGBTQ folks and limit access to birth control and safe and legal abortion. The Trump administration has also increased funding and support for harmful and ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, attempted to erase transgender, gender nonconforming, and intersex people, and much, much more.

This leaked memo is the latest in a never-ending effort to strip all people—and especially young people—of their right to the sexuality information, education, and skills they need to ensure their lifelong health and well-being.

We need to talk about sex. And, specifically, the fact that far too many people—both at home and abroad—lack medically accurate, age- and developmentally appropriate information about sex and sexuality.

The Trump administration has a pattern of attempting to “gag” officials—forbidding them from speaking about anything related to sexual and reproductive health. In doing so, they’ve already caused clinics to close and families to lose vital services.

They do this to appease the small but vocal group of folks who oppose these rights. But we will continue to remind them that the extremists who place ideology over evidence do not reflect the majority. And that this prioritization of silence over science is simply unacceptable.

We know that people all across the country are feeling enraged, afraid, and exhausted from hearing announcements like this one. But SIECUS will never stop working towards a world where sexual and reproductive health and rights are real and accessible for all people. And we encourage everyone—now more than ever—to show up and make their voices heard.”


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.