Bush Taps Birth-Control Opponent for Family Planning Office

This post, written by Amanda Terkel, originally appeared on Think Progress

On Monday, President Bush appointed Susan Orr to oversee federal family planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Orr, who is currently directing HHS child welfare programs, was touted by the administration as "highly qualified."

But a look at Orr's record shows that her strongest qualifications appear to be her right-wing credentials and endorsement of the Bush administration's failed abstinence-only policies. Before joining HHS, Orr served as senior director for marriage and family care at the conservative Family Research Council and was an adjunct professor at Pat Robertson's Regent University. Some highlights:
- In a 2001, Orr embraced a Bush administration proposal to "stop requiring all health insurance plans for federal employees" to cover a broad range of birth control. "We're quite pleased, because fertility is not a disease," said Orr.
- At the 2001 Conservative Political Action Conference, Orr cheered Bush's endorsement of Reagan's "Mexico City Policy," which required NGOs receiving federal funds to "neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations." Orr said that it was proof Bush was pro-life "in his heart."
- In a 2000 Weekly Standard article, Orr railed against requiring health insurance plans to cover contraceptives. "It's not about choice," said Orr. "It's not about health care. It's about making everyone collaborators with the culture of death."
- Orr authored a paper in 2000 titled, "Real Women Stay Married." In it she wrote that women should "think about focusing our eyes, not upon ourselves, but upon the families we form through marriage."
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