February 8, 2018 Press Release

Equity Forward Launches Digital Ad Campaign to Hold HHS Sec. Azar Accountable

02.08.18 – Following HHS Secretary Alex Azar and President Donald Trump’s first meeting since Azar was sworn in as Secretary, Equity Forward placed a digital ad buy to hold HHS accountable. The five-figure buy began today and will run through Secretary Azar’s House Energy & Commerce Committee budget hearing on February 15th.

“Secretary Azar has taken the helm of an agency in crisis. If he wants to be successful, he must act swiftly to change the culture to one of transparency and accountability,” said Equity Forward executive director Mary Alice Carter. “While there are many things wrong within HHS, one of our primary concerns is the conduct of ORR Director Scott Lloyd. Director Lloyd’s unethical conduct makes him a disgrace to the agency. We urge Secretary Azar to be fully transparent about Lloyd’s conduct and how he has blocked young women from accessing abortion care simply because he personally doesn’t support it.”

The first week of Azar’s tenure as Secretary brought with it concerning news. House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy sent a letter to HHS after the agency failed to send records to his committee. House Oversight Ranking Member Elijah Cummings requested that the committee subpoena documents from HHS related to a congressional probe that the agency has thus far failed to produce. The CDC director was forced to step down due to a preponderance of financial conflicts that affected her ability to carry out this critically important job.

But perhaps the most concerning news from Azar’s first week was that his agency considered using an unproven, experimental medical treatment on a minor. A shocking report detailed how Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Scott Lloyd inquired about an “abortion reversal” — a treatment the medical community has resoundingly rejected — for an undocumented immigrant in his care. Equity Forward and Campaign for Accountability, represented by American Oversight, quickly sued HHS for public records the agency has thus far refused to release. The records in question are regarding ORR Director Scott Lloyd’s troubling conduct imposing his own anti-abortion views on the undocumented immigrants in his care.

“Equity Forward will continue to pursue these records until the American people can see exactly what’s going on within our nation’s foremost public health agency,” Carter continued. “We look forward to Sec. Azar’s oversight hearing that will no doubt tackle difficult questions about transparency at HHS. And on the records, we look forward to seeing him in court.”

Sample ads:

Equity Forward seeks to understand the who, what, where, when, why, and how behind the forces actively working to limit – or eliminate – access to abortion, contraceptives, and reproductive health care. We turn that research into proactive communication campaigns to promote, protect, and defend access to care.