The Health Department’s Christian Crusade

Conventional wisdom — at least since 2016, when candidate Donald Trump bluntly declared his intention to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade — has held that the gravest threat to reproductive freedom in the United States would come, eventually, from the Supreme Court. But while the focus has been on the judicial branch, officials in the executive have been quietly writing the constitutionally protected right to an abortion out of federal rules and grant guidelines. Today, the ability of low-income women to secure an abortion is poised to disappear even before the next challenge to Roe lands before the court…

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…when Trump installed pious orthopedic surgeon Tom Price as secretary, who, with the help of the office of Vice President Mike Pence, began stocking the department with an army of culture-war veterans plucked from the country’s most radical religious organizations — the arch-conservative Family Research Council, the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, Americans United for Life, and the National Abstinence Education Association among them. By the time Price was forced to step down over a spending scandal last September, HHS had already been transformed into what the Family Research Council called “a virtual promise-keeping factory” for Christian conservatives

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