by Steven Ertelt
October 19, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Pro-abortion members of Congress have written a letter to President Bush asking him to withdraw the appointment of Susan Orr to be the acting HHS deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs. If approved, Orr would administer $283 million in annual family planning grants.
The president appointed Orr, the former associate commissioner for HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, on Monday.
In two separate letters to Bush and to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, the lawmakers urged the president to withdraw Orr’s nomination.
The complain that Orr is a former official with the Family Research Council, a leading pro-life group, and say she applauded a proposal by President Bush to stop requiring all health insurance plans for federal employees to cover a variety of contraceptives.
Orr in 2001 said, "We’re quite pleased [with the proposal] because fertility is not a disease."
"We believe the appointment of Dr. Orr is yet another misguided decision by an administration that is intent on undermining women’s health in the United States," the letter said, according to a Washington Post report.
They said "this marks the second time the administration has appointed an individual who clearly lacks a commitment to the mission of (HHS’ family planning programs)," referring to Bush’s appointment last year of pro-life doctor Eric Keroack for the same position.
HHS spokesperson Kevin Schweers did not respond directly when asked if Leavitt would reconsider the appointment, according to Congressional Quarterly. He said Orr’s "breadth of programmatic and managerial experience makes her highly qualified to serve as acting director."
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood held a news conference on Thursday where some of the pro-abortion lawmakers participated, including pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Clinton claimed Orr’s appointment "sends a message to women that ideology trumps women’s health," according to an AP report.
Democratic Reps. Lois Capps and Henry Waxman of California, Diana DeGette of Colorado, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Michael Michaud of Maine, and Jerrold Nadler, Louise Slaughter and Nita Lowey of New York signed the House letter.
Other than Michaud, they are some of the leading pro-abortion members of the House.