Dr. Susan Orr, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Population Affairs and former Family Research Council staffer, stepped down today. A controversial appointee from the start, Dr. Orr had been in the position for less than a year.
Why? Her position oversees the administration of Title X, the only federal funding program providing contraceptive services to low-income women and men, but she had applauded President Bush’s proposal to eliminate the requirement that federal employees’ health insurance provide coverage for a range of birth control methods, saying, “We’re quite pleased because fertility is not a disease. It’s not a medical necessity that you have [contraception].”
Just last week Amie pointed out that the Family Research Council was heading up a group of conservative political groups all pressuring President Bush to cut Title X family planning funding for clinics who also provide abortion services — and their former employee, Dr. Orr, was the person to whom they made their request. Amie wrote, “Was this…strategy discussed with Susan Orr prior to the letter they recently sent? Isn’t this a bit like the oil companies setting energy policy with Dick Cheney?”
NFPRHA members can breathe a sigh of relief because a known opponent of access to contraception will no longer administer a program provides comprehensive family planning services to low-income and uninsured people.
Here’s her Wikipedia entry. Apparently, the Family Research Council (FRC) recently started a campaign to institute a “domestic gag rule” that would bar reproductive health organizations like Planned Parenthood affiliates and other health care centers from referring for, or discussing abortion if they want to retain their funding.
By Jill Miller Zimon at 6:21 pm May 21st, 2008 in Politics