April 4, 2019 Press Release

Health Secretary Azar to Give Anti-Abortion Advocate Diane Foley More Power to Destroy Nation’s Family Planning Program

04.04.19 – Late yesterday, it was revealed that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar plans to reorganize the nation’s family planning program — also known as Title X — and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention program, giving more power to political appointees including Diane Foley, an anti-abortion advocate who has made scores of dubious and false claims about abortion care, and Steven Valentine, another anti-abortion advocate who maintains close ties to Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List.

More information on Foley — who before joining HHS spent over a decade operating a network of anti-abortion centers — and Valentine can be found at HHS Watch, an extensive library of research maintained by Equity Forward on nearly 50 political appointees at our nation's health department who are hostile to reproductive health care.

Said Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward:

“Secretary Azar continues to double down on his anti-abortion bona fides, this time giving anti-abortion political appointees including Diane Foley more power to sabotage our nation’s family planning program. Azar is our nation’s health secretary, yet he’s acting like he’s the head of the anti-abortion lobby.”

Secretary Azar may provide more information on his latest political move to sabotage Title X during a Senate hearing today, where’s he slated to defend his 2020 budget. Just last week, HHS announced the 2019 grantee recipients of funding from Title X, which included at least one anti-abortion center network, Obria, which does not offer birth control, but does peddle dangerous, medically unproven “services” like so-called “abortion reversal.”  

Equity Forward has long been tracking HHS’ efforts to dismantle the nation’s family planning program. Earlier this year, Equity Forward issued an original report detailing the sabotage of Title X, and its extensive HHS Watch campaign provides comprehensive information on the officials most hostile to the program, which not only includes Foley and Valentine, but also Valerie Huber.