April 12, 2019 Press Release

HHS Publishes Federal Rule Giving Anti-Abortion, Abstinence Advocate Power Over Family Planning, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

04.12.19 – Secretary Alex Azar’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just published its rule reorganizing 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.

HHS claims this reorganization “is being undertaken to create a more effective structure that better reflects OPA's priorities and streamlines operations.” Today’s move is indicative of a larger trend at HHS, and the administration as a whole, of ignoring the concerns of career professionals in rabid pursuit of its political agenda.

Said Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward:

“HHS has announced that this change in structure better reflects its priorities. When you put Diane Foley in charge of teen pregnancy prevention and birth control, it’s pretty clear HHS’ priority is not ensuring people have access to health care or that young people have quality sex education. At least Trump’s Health Secretary is finally being transparent about his anti-abortion, anti-birth control crusade."

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.

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.