Gee, I wonder how this story is going to end...
Contraception Foe Named to Contraception Post
The Department of Health and Human Services appointed Susan Orr — who has spoken out against contraception — to a post responsible for U.S. contraception programs. Orr, who will be acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, has been directing child welfare programs in another branch of HHS. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Orr was senior director for marriage and family at the Family Research Council, a conservative group that favors abstinence-only education and opposes federal money for contraception.
In 2001, she was quoted in the Washington Post favoring a Bush administration plan to drop a requirement that health insurance plans for federal employees cover a broad range of birth control. “We’re quite pleased because fertility is not a disease,” she said at the time. “It’s not a medical necessity that you have it.”
Reached by email, Orr referred questions to the Office of Public Affairs, which said she was simply supporting President Bush’s policy. “As she said then, the policy allows freedom of conscience and freedom of choice. Practically speaking, workers should be able to choose what kind of coverage matters to them,” said a statement from HHS spokesman Kevin Schweers. “She wouldn’t have accepted the job of running the Office of Population Affairs if she couldn’t support the Administration’s positions. This Administration has worked to ensure grantees provide safe and effective products and services.”
A coalition of family planning providers called attention to Orr’s appointment and denounced it. “We are appalled,” Mary Jane Gallagher, president of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said in a statement. “While her resume suggests a commitment to child welfare and children, her professional credentials fail to demonstrate a commitment to comprehensive family planning services for all men and women in need.”