07.05.18

Murray, HELP Committee Staff Raise Alarm About President Trump’s Ideological Appointee Overseeing Family Planning Program

HELP Committee Democratic staff memo outlines alarming history of ideological positions from Diane Foley, President Trump’s appointee overseeing the Title X family planning program

 

Earlier this year, the Trump-Pence Administration announced a domestic gag rule to restrict Title X funds that would limit access to care for millions of women

 

Foley has compared abortion to slavery and the Holocaust and referred to adoption following an unplanned pregnancy as a “double death”

 

Murray letter to colleagues: “[Foley’s] efforts to spread misinformation, undermine women’s access to basic health care services, and roll back women’s reproductive rights are especially dangerous given the office she now leads.”

 

Foley’s appointment, the latest in a series of ideological Trump-Pence appointees, underscores the stakes of the current SCOTUS vacancy

 

Murray: “Especially in light of the Supreme Court vacancy and President Trump’s repeated commitments to strike down Roe v. Wade, it is more important than ever that we work together to shine a spotlight on the Trump-Pence Administration’s constant efforts to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care.”

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and HELP Committee Democratic staff released a memo today detailing the alarming, ideological track record of Dr. Diane Foley, President Trump’s latest political appointee to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (DASPA) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Senator Murray also sent a letter to her colleagues alerting them to Dr. Foley’s extreme views on women’s reproductive rights and abstinence education and outlining how her appointment fits into the Trump-Pence Administration’s ongoing efforts to undermine women’s health, in light of President Trump’s opportunity to further his anti-choice agenda by nominating a Supreme Court Justice who would strike down Roe v. Wade.

 

The appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, puts Dr. Foley, who has repeatedly made false claims and spread misinformation about contraception and reproductive health, in an alarming position to undermine women’s access to care as she will be in charge of administering the Title X program, which provides comprehensive family planning and related preventive services to millions of women across the country.

 

“As you know all too well, the Trump-Pence Administration is dedicated to undermining women’s access to basic health care services and rolling back women’s reproductive rights.  From efforts to restrict coverage for contraception to efforts to dictate the conversations between women and their health care providers, President Trump and Vice President Pence have made clear they will prioritize extreme conservative ideology over science, evidence, and a woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions. Especially in light of the Supreme Court vacancy and President Trump’s repeated commitments to strike down Roe v. Wade, it is more important than ever that we work together to shine a spotlight on the Trump-Pence Administration’s constant efforts to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care.” wrote Senator Murray, in a letter to colleagues. “I am writing you today to ensure you are aware of the harmful, inaccurate views held by the political appointee President Trump and Vice President Pence recently put in charge of the federal family planning program known as Title X.  This appointment is particularly concerning given that under the Administration’s proposed policy changes, this appointee, Dr. Diane Foley, will be empowered to impose her deeply harmful views on women and young people.”

 

“In her new role, these proposed changes would give Dr. Foley extensive license to impose her beliefs on women and young people.  My staff has prepared the attached memo on Dr. Foley. Her efforts to spread misinformation, undermine women’s access to basic health care services, and roll back women’s reproductive rights are especially dangerous given the office she now leads,” Senator Murray continued.

 

In the memo, the HELP Committee’s Democratic staff outlined multiple alarming instances of outrageous and factually inaccurate claims and positions previously declared by Dr. Foley, including baseless information about birth control and the efficacy of abstinence-only education, characterizations of adoption as a “double death,” and comparisons equating abortion with slavery and the Holocaust.

 

The full text of Senator Murray’s letter to colleagues is below and a PDF can be found HERE.

 

A copy of the memo from HELP Committee Staff can be found HERE.

 

Dear Colleagues:

 

As you know all too well, the Trump-Pence Administration is dedicated to undermining women’s access to basic health care services and rolling back women’s reproductive rights.  From efforts to restrict coverage for contraception to efforts to dictate the conversations between women and their As you know all too well, the Trump-Pence Administration is dedicated to undermining women’s access to basic health care services and rolling back women’s reproductive rights.  From efforts to restrict coverage for contraception to efforts to dictate the conversations between women and their health care providers, President Trump and Vice President Pence have made clear they will prioritize extreme conservative ideology over science, evidence, and a woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions.

 

Especially in light of the Supreme Court vacancy and President Trump’s repeated commitments to strike down Roe v. Wade, it is more important than ever that we work together to shine a spotlight on the Trump-Pence Administration’s constant efforts to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care.  I am writing you today to ensure you are aware of the harmful, inaccurate views held by the political appointee President Trump and Vice President Pence recently put in charge of the federal family planning program known as Title X.  This appointment is particularly concerning given that under the Administration’s proposed policy changes, this appointee, Dr. Diane Foley, will be empowered to impose her deeply harmful views on women and young people.

 

In every single one of our states, Title X-funded providers offer critical services for women, particularly low-income women, women of color and women living in rural areas.  Through the Title X network, women receive a broad range of preventive sexual and reproductive health services, including contraceptive care, STI testing and treatment, and cancer screenings.  In May, my staff released reports detailing the range of clients served and care provided by the Title X network in each state.  The reports also illustrate the impact of potential threats to the Title X network should the Trump-Pence Administration’s proposed changes go into effect.  I encourage you all to share the information about your states, available online here.

 

While I am pleased that Senate Democrats and Republicans were able to push off President Trump’s proposed cuts and agree in the FY 2019 appropriations bill to maintain funding for the Title X program, the Trump-Pence Administration’s recent proposals to reform the Title X would undeniably limit access to critical services for millions of women across the country.  In February, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a funding opportunity announcement that fundamentally shifts the Title X program’s comprehensive, evidence-based approach to one rooted in ideology.  In May, HHS proposed a new rule that would deny Title X funds to organizations that provide abortions and impose unworkable restrictions on Title X providers.  In her new role, these proposed changes would give Dr. Foley extensive license to impose her beliefs on women and young people. 

 

My staff has prepared the attached memo on Dr. Foley. Her efforts to spread misinformation, undermine women’s access to basic health care services, and roll back women’s reproductive rights are especially dangerous given the office she now leads. 

 

I hope this memo is useful to you as we continue working together to make clear we will not let the Trump-Pence Administration’s attacks go unnoticed. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Patty Murray

 

###