Skip to content
Viral Claims About Project 2025 Are Mostly False
Go to my account

Viral Claims About Project 2025 Are Mostly False

The recommendations aimed at shaping policy in a GOP administration do not include banning abortion or contraceptives.

Government watchdog Accountable.US launches its "Expose Project 2025" campaign on the streets of Washington, D.C., on March 1, 2024. Project 2025 does not seek to ban abortion or IVF. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

Over the last week, there has been growing online discourse surrounding Project 2025, a collection of conservative policy recommendations published by the Heritage Foundation alongside a coalition of other conservative organizations. Heritage has released similar “Mandate for Leadership” reports for decades with the intent of shaping policy in Republican presidential administrations. Project 2025 is not directly affiliated with the GOP or Donald Trump, but it does feature contributions from many former Trump administration officials with close ties to the Republican nominee.

Though the plan was released more than a year ago, it has only recently become a major talking point for Democrats and progressive activists. Even President Joe Biden this week encouraged Americans directly to “Google Project 2025.”

Many posts about Project 2025 present it as a dangerous and radical agenda that would implement policies to end Social Security, cut benefits for veterans, and even terminate the Constitution. One image about the project has become particularly widespread, appearing across Facebook, Instagram, Threads, Reddit, and X and collectively garnering millions of collective views, likes, and shares.

The graphic lists 31 different policies that are supposedly promoted in the 922-page document, including an end to no-fault divorce, a ban on school curriculum covering slavery, and the use of military force to suppress domestic protests.

Most of the information in the graphic, however, is false. Here is a breakdown of all 31 claims and what Project 2025’s Mandate for Leadership actually says.

End no-fault divorce: False

No-fault divorce, meaning a divorce that does not require proof of spousal wrongdoing, is not mentioned in the report.

Complete ban on abortions without exceptions: False

One goal of the report’s section on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), written by Roger Severino, calls for the department to “ensure that all HHS programs and activities are rooted in a deep respect for innocent human life from day one until natural death.” While the section does recommend that the FDA reverse its approval of abortion drug mifepristone or limit its use to less than 50 days of gestation, it does not call for an outright abortion ban. 

Ban contraceptives: False

The report recommends that ulipristal acetate, a form of emergency birth control, be removed from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate due to its status as a “potential abortifacient.” Restrictions or bans on traditional contraceptives, however, are not mentioned.

Additional tax breaks for corporations and the 1 percent: True

Income tax rates on high earners would decrease under the plan’s proposed tax policy, but they would also decrease for most middle class Americans. The plan calls for a 15 percent individual tax rate on income below the Social Security wage base—currently $168,600. Income above that amount would be taxed at 30 percent, significantly lower than today’s top rate of 37 percent. The federal corporate tax rate would also be lowered from 21 to 18 percent. “The core of [the plan] is to do a substantial but still incremental tax reform in accordance with what conservatives have been trying to do for a long time: reduce marginal tax rates, eliminate loopholes, and simplify the taxes,” David Burton, economist and lead author of Project 2025’s tax section, told The Dispatch Fact Check.

Higher taxes for the working class: Partly false

Under the plan’s tax proposal, Americans making less than $168,600 would pay a 15 percent income tax. While this rate would be a tax cut for many working Americans, individuals currently in the lowest two marginal tax brackets—those making less than $47,150 per year—would see a slight increase in rates.

Elimination of unions and worker protections: False

The report recommends alternatives to union membership and several reforms to union transparency rules, but does not encourage eliminating unions. One section would strengthen worker rights by ordering the National Labor Relations Board to increase its use of injunctive relief to deter unfair labor practices by businesses.

Raise the retirement age: False

There is no mention of raising the retirement age in the report.

Cut Social Security: False

There is no mention of cutting Social Security in the report.

Cut Medicare: False

The report promotes several Medicare reforms that would “increase Medicare beneficiaries’ control of their health care,” “reduce regulatory burdens on doctors,” “ensure sustainability and value for beneficiaries and taxpayers,” and “reduce waste, fraud, and abuse.” However, there is no explicit call to cut funding to Medicare or its coverage.

End the Affordable Care Act: Partly false

Reforms to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as separating the subsidized exchange from the non-subsidized insurance market, are present in Project 2025’s HHS chapter, but there is no call to repeal the ACA outright.

Raise prescription drug prices: Partly false

The report’s section on FDA policy calls for the repeal of a Medicare price negotiation program created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that allows Medicare to directly negotiate the prices of certain high-expenditure drugs that don’t have generic versions. Other price control measures established by the IRA, such as a cost-sharing cap on insulin and an out-of-pocket spending cap for Part D enrollees, would be canceled if the IRA were fully repealed as advocated in the plan. However, the plan also encourages repealing laws that prevent pharmaceutical competition, which it argues would expand the availability of generic drugs and drive prescription drug prices down.

Eliminate the Department of Education: True

Lindsey Burke, writing the report’s chapter on the Department of Education, argues in the introduction that “ultimately, the federal Department of Education should be eliminated.”

Use public taxpayer money for private religious schools: True

Burke, in her chapter on education, argues in favor of school choice legislation that would allow parents to use their child’s share of education funding to pay for various private education options. “Elementary and secondary education policy should follow the path outlined by Milton Friedman in 1955, wherein education is publicly funded but education decisions are made by families,” she writes. This funding would derive predominantly from state and local taxes, and could be used to pay for private religious schools.

Teach Christian religious beliefs in public schools: False

There is no mention in the document of teaching Christian beliefs in public schools.

End free and discounted school lunch programs: Partly false

The report encourages cuts to free meal programs that include students from middle- and upper-class families, but specifies that free meal benefits should remain for K-12 students who are truly in need. “Federal school meals should be focused on children in need, and any efforts to expand student eligibility for federal school meals to include all K-12 students should be soundly rejected,” Burke writes. “Such expansion would allow an inefficient, wasteful program to grow, magnifying the amount of wasted taxpayer resources.”

End civil rights and DEI protections in government: Partly false

Several sections of the plan argue for curtailing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) considerations in government offices, but there is no call to end civil rights protections.

In his chapter on the Department of Justice (DOJ), Gene Hamilton writes that the department should spearhead “an initiative demonstrating the federal government’s commitment to nondiscrimination.” He adds: “The department should also lead a whole-of-government recommitment to nondiscrimination and should be working with all other federal agencies, boards, and commissions to ensure that they are both complying with constitutional and legal requirements and using their authorities and funding to prevent discrimination not only internally, but also at the state, local, and private-sector levels.”

Ban African American and gender studies in all levels of education: False

The document does not advocate for a ban on African American or gender studies, though it does address critical race theory (CRT). The plan calls for legislation preventing CRT from “spreading discrimination” and argues that teachers should not be required to “believe that individuals are guilty or responsible for the actions of others based on race or ethnicity.”

Ban books and curriculum about slavery: False

There is no reference to banning curriculum about slavery.

Ending climate protections: False

The document does detail some reforms to the Environmental Protection Agency, but the changes do not broadly curtail efforts at climate protection.

Increase Arctic drilling: True

The report includes a call to reinstate SO 3352: National Petroleum Reserve—Alaska, a secretary’s order issued under Trump’s Department of the Interior that sought to maximize the amount of Arctic land that could be leased for oil and natural gas extraction.

Deregulate big business and the oil industry: True

While the plan does not flatly call for the deregulation of big business and the oil industry, many of its provisions would cut regulatory requirements across most of the U.S. economy, including for large corporations and the oil industry. 

Promote and expedite capital punishment: True

The plan argues that capital punishment should be enforced “where appropriate and applicable” to deter major crimes. “The next conservative Administration should therefore do everything possible to obtain finality for the 44 prisoners currently on federal death row,” Hamilton writes in the section covering the DOJ. “It should also pursue the death penalty for applicable crimes—particularly heinous crimes involving violence and sexual abuse of children—until Congress says otherwise through legislation,” he adds.

End marriage equality: False

A “biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family” is promoted in Project 2025, but it does not advocate for ending the equal legal recognition of traditional and same-sex marriage.

Condemn single mothers while promoting only “traditional families”: Partly false

The plan calls on the secretary of Health and Human Services to repeal policies that subsidize single motherhood, but it does not “condemn” single mothers. It does promote traditional family structures, however.

“For the sake of child well-being, programs should affirm that children require and deserve both the love and nurturing of a mother and the play and protection of a father,” Severino writes.

Defund the FBI and Homeland Security: False

There are no calls to defund the FBI or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the plan. In his chapter on the DHS, Ken Cuccinelli recommends that the department be broken up and integrated into other departments, but he does not argue that the department should be otherwise defunded. “Our primary recommendation is that the President pursue legislation to dismantle the [DHS]. … Breaking up the department along its mission lines would facilitate mission focus and provide opportunities to reduce overhead and achieve more limited government.” The plan also includes several FBI reforms centered on “restoring the FBI’s integrity,” but none mention a decrease in funding.

Use the military to break up domestic protests: False

The plan does not call for military intervention in domestic protests or demonstrations. The U.S. military is restricted in most circumstances from engaging in civil law enforcement by the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. In November, the Washington Post reported that Project 2025 was developing draft executive orders that would use the Insurrection Act to allow for domestic military deployment, but those draft orders, if they do exist, are not part of the project’s Mandate for Leadership or otherwise publicly known.

Mass deportation of immigrants and incarceration in ‘camps’: Partly false

Camps for unauthorized immigrants and mass deportations are not mentioned in the plan, but detentions and deportations would likely increase under the plan’s stricter border security measures. Cuccinelli writes in his chapter on the DHS that “Prioritizing border security and immigration enforcement, including detention and deportation, is critical if we are to regain control of the border, repair the historic damage done by the Biden Administration, return to a lawful and orderly immigration system, and protect the homeland from terrorism and public safety threats.” 

End birthright citizenship: False

The plan does not discuss any changes to birthright citizenship.

Ban Muslims from entering the country: False

The plan does not encourage bans on any religious group from entering the country, including Muslims.

Eliminates federal agencies like the FDA, EPA, NOAA, and more: Partly false

There are no calls to eliminate the FDA or EPA in their respective sections of the document. In a chapter on the Department of Commerce, however, author Thomas Gilman argues that the president should consider whether “The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) should be dismantled and many of its functions eliminated, sent to other agencies, privatized, or placed under the control of states and territories.”

Continue to pack the Supreme Court, and lower courts with right-wing judges: False

The document does not address judicial nominations or advocate for court packing.

If those 31 claims weren’t enough, here’s The Dispatch Fact Check’s analysis of five other claims about Project 2025 that we’ve seen frequently this week:

Project 2025 “eliminates OSHA and overtime wages”: False 

The plan does not advocate for the elimination of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Overtime wages are also not eliminated. The plan does encourage adoption of the Working Families Flexibility Act, which would allow employees to choose between receiving either time-and-a-half pay or time-and-a-half time off for overtime hours worked, and also suggests that Congress should consider allowing businesses and employees to calculate overtime periods over a longer number of weeks. The plan also pitches an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would require employers to pay workers overtime wages for hours worked on Sundays or a different religious day of Sabbath.

“Put more guns in schools, through arming teachers”: False

Nothing in the plan encourages arming teachers.

Ban transgender service in the military: True

In a chapter on the Department of Defense, the plan encourages the department to “reverse policies that allow transgender individuals to serve in the military,” explaining that “Gender dysphoria is incompatible with the demands of military service, and the use of public monies for transgender surgeries or to facilitate abortion for servicemembers should be ended.”

Restrict access to STD testing and IVF: False

The plan does not advocate for restricting in vitro fertilization (IVF) or testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964: False

There is no argument for repealing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the document.

If you have a claim you would like to see us fact check, please send us an email at factcheck@thedispatch.com. If you would like to suggest a correction to this piece or any other Dispatch article, please email corrections@thedispatch.com.

Alex Demas is a fact checker at The Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he worked in England as a financial journalist and earned his MA in Political Economy at King's College London. When not heroically combating misinformation online, Alex can be found mixing cocktails, watching his beloved soccer team Aston Villa lose a match, or attempting to pet stray cats.