Could this woman be smiling because she's just been named the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs, which means she's now in charge of the nation's family planning program?
Dr. Susan Orr, like other recent Bush appointees to the position, actually opposes federal support for contraception. She is a former official with the anti-choice Family Research Council. According to news reports, she has fought against federal employees health insurance including contraception, has taught abstinence-only-until-marriage education, and cheered the Mexico City Gag Rule. I haven't found anything about whether she has actually worked against the Title X family planning program, which provides access to services for low income women, but I'm guessing she's not going to be a big supporter of services to adolescents.
It's hard to believe that the Bush administration keeps trying to appoint people who philosophically oppose the national commitment to the reproductive health needs of women (a program supported by more than 8 in 10 Americans) to run these programs. Once again, we need to ask Congress to investigate and block this appointment.
Let's remind people across the spectrum on abortion that as people of faith, it is precisely because life and parenthood are so precious, that we can all agree that it never be created carelessly or because services were not available. It would indeed be common ground to ask for a secretary of population affairs who supports family planning services.