Bush Appoints Opponent of Birth Control To Run Office on Family Planning

We expect Republican appointees to be opposed to abortion rights but we see another example of how extreme the party has become in Bush’s appointment as chief of family planning at the Department of Health and Human Services. Susan Orr opposes contraception, labeling it part of the “culture of death.” She also supports abstinence based education even though it has been shown to be ineffective, resulting in increased teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Steve Benen notes the significance of this position:

Keep in mind, Orr’s position is not just some symbolic office for a figurehead. She will now oversee HHS’s $283 million reproductive-health program, a $30 million program that encourages abstinence among teenagers, and HHS’s Office of Population Affairs, which funds birth control, pregnancy tests, counseling, and screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.

It’s not a meaningless job. Orr will have “extensive power to shape the kinds of information disseminated to millions of women,” and will be able to “develop new guidelines for clinics, set priorities, and determine how scarce dollars get spent.”

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  1. 1
    absent observer says:

    I’ve gone numb.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    “I’ve gone numb.”

    I assume this means you are shocked by this move. I’m not sure why you would be surprised by this. This is so consistent with how the Bush administration has operated.

  3. 3
    b-psycho says:

    This is a perfect example of the problem with such political positions in the first place. No incentive exists for whoever holds the office to NOT force their agenda — given the opportunity — so why wouldn’t they?

  4. 4
    Chris says:

    Just say “Know”.

    I am all for becoming educated upon a subject. This route reeks to me.

    Children need to be taught how to analyze, think, and relate subjects of thought.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:


    Perhaps that incentive was always there, but the Bush administration has set new records for the politicalization of a wide variety of federal agencies.

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