November 14, 2018 Press Release

HHS Secretary Alex Azar Doubles Down on Anti-Abortion Agenda in Wake of Midterm Elections

11.14.18 – From issuing one final and two proposed rules that could further restrict women’s access to birth control and abortion to empowering his Refugee Director while he writes an anti-abortion book to seeking advice on gutting vital medical research projects from an anti-choice organization, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar has spent the last week working on a host of anti-abortion changes at his department.  Equity Forward issued the following statement in response:

“Despite his attempts to paint himself as an even-keeled technocrat, the evidence is clear: Secretary Azar is cut from the same cloth as the rest of the anti-woman, anti-abortion crusaders at HHS,” said Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward.  “What else can explain his department’s full frontal attack on women’s rights since last week’s midterm elections?

“Time and time again, Azar has sided with anti-abortion interest groups over the advice of medical experts, scientists, and women’s health organizations.  Instead of firing his woefully incompetent and cruel Refugee Director, he’s empowered him to write an anti-abortion book. Instead of working to expand women’s access to basic health care like birth control and abortion, he’s put additional roadblocks in their way.  Instead of coming up with new and innovative ways to treat life-threatening illnesses, he’s likely to cancel $100 million dollars in medical research funding on the advice of a virulently anti-woman interest group.

“Azar’s actions this week will not only have lasting consequences for millions of people in this country, but also show his true colors as an anti-abortion ideologue.  HHS should be helping people access health care, not standing in their way, and it’s time for Congress to investigate the incompetence and ideology coursing through the department.”

Equity Forward has long been sounding the alarm on the ideological takeover at HHS, primarily via its HHSWatch campaign.  Across the department, the Trump administration has appointed a group of unqualified and politically motivated ideologues who are unfit to run the programs they are tasked with overseeing, thereby endangering the millions of women, men, and families who rely on the department’s programs.