From NARAL -- October 17, 2007
Bush Puts Another Anti-Birth-Control Activist in Charge of Family Planning
Washington, D.C. –
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called reports that President Bush has named Susan Orr, a right-wing activist with ties to anti-birth-control groups, as acting director of the federal office that oversees the nation's family-planning programs yet another example of Bush putting political ideology before women's health.
Orr's temporary appointment comes months after another anti-contraception leader, Eric Keroack, resigned as director of the Office of Population Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services amid allegations of fraud.
"This president continues to go off the deep end in attacking basic birth control," Keenan said. "Americans are tired of this administration using government resources to reward individuals who are hostile to family planning and improving women's health. Even though Ms. Orr's appointment is not permanent at this time, it represents another missed opportunity by this president to put women's health before pleasing his far-right political base."
In addition to this temporary appointment, Orr continues to serve as associate commissioner in the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to joining the Bush administration, she was senior director for marriage and family care at the Family Research Council—a group notorious for its attacks on contraception.
While at the Family Research Council, Orr made this comment after Bush proposed cancelling federal employees’ contraceptive coverage: "We're quite pleased because fertility is not a disease. It's not a medical necessity that you have it" (Washington Post, 4/12). [As reported by American Political Network, American Health Line, Volume 6 No. 9, April 12, 2001]
Contact: Ted Miller (202) 973-3032