National Abortion Federation Denounces the Appointment of Dr. Orr to Oversee Federal Family Planning Funds
NAF issued this press release today:
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) denounces the appointment of Dr. Susan Orr as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (DASPA). DASPA oversees Title X, the nation’s family planning program, which provides high-quality family planning and preventive health care services to over five million low-income individuals annually.
This appointment raises serious concerns, as Dr. Orr previously served as the Senior Director for Marriage and Family Care at the Family Research Council (FRC), an organization that has advocated for limited access to contraception. She currently serves on the board of directors for Teen Choice, a nonprofit organization, which advocates for abstinence in lieu of contraception.
During her time at FRC, Dr. Orr spoke out in support of President George W. Bush’s proposed elimination of the contraceptive coverage requirement from federal employees’ health insurance. In 2001 she said to The Washington Post, “We’re quite pleased because fertility is not a disease. It’s not a medical necessity that you have [contraception].”
This is not the first time that President Bush has made a controversial appointment to this critical public health post. Last year, Bush appointed anti-birth control advocate Dr. Eric Keroack, who had previously managed Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) in Massachusetts, to this position. CPCs are designed to discourage pregnant women from seeking abortion care, and in many instances they misinform and intimidate women to achieve their goal. Dr. Keroack resigned in March 2007 following public outrage.
“This is just another example of the Bush Administration promoting politics over a sound health policy. Dr. Orr should not be entrusted with the oversight of the federal family planning program and the health of millions of Americans,” said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of NAF. “For more than 35 years, the Title X program has been a hallmark of quality preventive care, enabling practitioners to provide family planning services to low-income individuals.”