The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Claude Allen: Church-goer, shoplifter

Atrios cites a few stories about Claude Allen, the former administration official charged with 'refund fraud.' And wouldn't you just know that he was a reactionary fundamentalist known for strong-arm tactics, suppressing science, and using his position at Health and Human Services to undermine public health in favor of pushing religion.

Notorious for his anti-abortion stance, at HHS Allen helped use its regulatory powers to turn Title 10 of the Public Services Act — which Bush père had championed — away from family planning and the promotion of condom use and into an abstinence-only program. In his Virginia years, Allen’s Christian-right extremism led him to endanger the health of children. Then Allen worked to defeat legislation that provided health insurance for children of the working poor, largely because the program covered abortion services for rape and incest victims under the age of 18. "When the law was ultimately enacted, Allen was faulted for not enrolling children quickly enough, and admitted that ‘abortion was the sticking point’ delaying the enrollment of children," as People for the American Way (and civil rights groups like the NAACP) pointed out last fall when they successfully opposed Bush’s nomination of Allen for a federal judgeship. "In this episode, Allen proved himself to be so adamantly opposed to reproductive rights that he found it preferable for poor children to go without health coverage than to risk an underage sexual-abuse victim having access to state-funded abortion services.