Family-planning advocates criticize President Bush's appointment of a contraceptive critic to be head of the federal program responsible for providing birth-control funding and other family-planning services to the poor.
Susan Orr, associate commissioner of the Health & Human Services (HHS) Admin. on Children, Youth & Families Children's Bureau, is moving to a new position. Orr has accepted a transfer to become director of the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) in the Office of Public Health & Science. In her new position, Orr will advise HHS on a wide range of reproductive health topics. She will oversee Title X, the nation's family-planning program.
Family-planning advocates denounce the appointment. Orr currently is on the board of directors of Teen Choice, a nonprofit group advocating for abstinence in lieu of contraception.
Before joining the Bush administration, she was senior director for marriage and family care at the Family Research Council (a religious advocacy group founded by James Dobson of Focus on the Family), and director of the Center for Social Policy at the Reason Public Policy Institute. Orr has been criticized for public statements about her views on contraception.
In 2000, while working as a policy director at the Family Research Council, she objected to a Washington, DC, city council bill requiring health insurers to pay for contraceptives. By not including a "conscience clause" allowing employers to withhold contraceptive coverage, Orr said the council would force employers "to make a choice between serving God and serving the DC government."
"It's not about choice. It's not about healthcare. It's about making everyone collaborators with the culture of death," she said.
And this is exactly how religion poisons politics. One appointment at a time, often under the radar. I'd say the Bush experiment with God is complete: religion practiced as policy makes people stupid, and worse yet, makes them proud of being stupid. The stupider they are, the more God loves them. And if they end up martyred by the secular hordes, God will love them even more. It's the ultimate win-win. It's easy, in the above appointment, to see who loses.