The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its Women’s Preventive Services requirements for qualified health plans yesterday. Some of the rules are reasonable, like screening for diabetes in pregnant women.

But the document requires that health plans conduct “screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence” on an annual basis for women…but not men: http://www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines

The rule was issued exactly three weeks after Catherine Becker of California drugged and bound her husband. Then she severed and disposed of his genitalia. If he had sought medical care prior to the incident and the doctor had performed an abuse screening, it’s possible the gruesome event never would have occurred.

When the rules were announced, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explained, “These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature.” Over 250 studies show women are at least as likely as men to engage in partner violence. A rule that mandates domestic violence screening only for women ignores science and ridicules the notion of gender equity.

Contact Secretary Sebelius RIGHT NOW at Kathleen.sebelius@hhs.gov. Then call Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh at 202-690-7694.

Respectfully tell them the DV screening requirement of the Women’s Preventive Services guideines is unreasonable and a slap in the face to male victims of domestic violence. Tell them to promptly revise the discriminatory guideline to include both men and women.

Sincerely,

teri

Teri Stoddard, Program Director

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments

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