Prescription drugs in recent years have experienced breathtaking price hikes and occasionally have proven dangerous after they have gone on the market. What is happening with these issues since the Trump administration took office? For one, President Trump announced recently his intention to roll back FDA regulations as much as 75%. Scott Gottlieb has just been named Trump’s choice to lead the FDA, and he as well as the other two candidates, Jim O’Neill and Joseph Gulfo, called for streamlining regulatory procedures. Jim O’Neill even called for drugs to be tested only for safety. Once marketed, individuals can take new drugs “at their own risk” and thereby prove – or disprove – their effectiveness.

As Congress and the President deliberate on the future of the Affordable Care Act, what do women and LGBT individuals stand to lose? Here’s what you need to know.

The growing Trump Cabinet poses several concerns for gender equality and the recognition and support of gender diversity[i]. Many Americans are especially dismayed by the nomination of Cabinet members with a recorded history of anti-LGBTQ statements, business practices, and Congressional votes. For gender-based criminal justice policies, such as hate crime laws and anti-transgender “bathroom bills,” the confirmations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, III and Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price have important implications.

Repeal. Replace. Repair. Whatever shape the next iteration of policy change takes in health, it will affect every American. Health is an everyday experience, and the trials of accessing health care services and the importance of health insurance coverage touches every American life. Another reality of health care in America is that it is experienced differently by women and men. Sex differences in health care utilization are well documented. These differences are driven by a range of factors that may also influence how health care policies applied broadly affect men and women differently.

On his third day in office, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that prohibits reproductive health NGOs that receive US family planning assistance from providing abortion services, information, or referrals, or participating in advocacy to liberalize abortion laws. Since its introduction by President Reagan’s administration in 1984 at the United Nations Conference on Population and Development in Mexico City, this policy been reinstated by Republican presidents (George H. Bush and George W. Bush) and rescinded by Democratic presidents (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama). In other words, it represents a way of signaling, during the earliest days of each new administration, the government’s stance on global and domestic abortion politics.

Latina mother

In considering the potential impact of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and other actions that may affect women’s health, most of the discussion has appropriately been on the impact on individual women. Indeed, Texas demonstrates the risks. In 2011, the state legislation cut family planning grants by 66%, and tried to redirect federal funds from Planned Parenthood to more general county-based programs. Although litigation initially prevented the switch, Texas eventually succeeded in replacing the federal funds with state money, and moving such funding away from family planning providers.