As an educated member of society, wouldn’t you hope that whoever was appointed in charge of the nation’s family planning budget would be an unbiased, scientific person? Does the saying, ‘Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment’ ring a bell?
It should, because any hope for an unbiased official being appointed in the administration of President George W. Bush is once again dashed by Bush’s appointment of Susan Orr as acting Health and Human Services Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Population Affairs.
Orr, who holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in government, will be in charge of how the commission’s budget of $283 million is spent on providing family planning, counseling and contraceptive services to low-income families. Orr’s predecessor in this position was another Bush appointee, the anti-contraception advocate Eric Keroack. After only four months in office, Keroack resigned this past March. So what is Orr’s opinion on contraceptives and family planning?
In 2001, Bush proposed that health insurance plans for federal employees stop covering the cost of contraceptives. As difficult as it may be to believe, Orr actually applauded this move, saying, ‘We’re quite pleased [with the proposal] because fertility is not a disease.’ Orr has actually referred to anyone providing families with access to contraceptives as ‘collaborators with the culture of death.’ Obviously, Orr does not see contraceptives as necessary for the health of any federal employee. Quite the opposite: from these statements, we can only assume that she will rail against any attempt to make contraceptives widely and easily available to families. Will she carry this point of view to her current post, where her beliefs will impact low-income families’ access to all forms of contraceptive and reproductive medicine? This can impact you, too, Anteaters, and your girlfriends, wives and sisters.
Birth control pills, which are available at low cost through this university’s student health center, have been shown to lower rates of ovarian and womb cancer, prevent osteoporosis, protect against pelvic inflammatory disease and improve symptoms of arthritis, anemia and acne