Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Surgeon General told "Keep Quiet"

Today we are confronted with fresh evidence that the very government agencies intended to protect and inform the American public are routinely suppressing important health-related data in order to bolster certain political positions, effectively trading the public’s well-being for their blind support of contentious and potentially harmful policies. This morning, former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona testified that the administration “…would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues.” The office of the Surgeon General thus joins the EPA and NASA in an ever-growing club of agencies being coerced by the executive into doctoring, ignoring or contradicting scientific fact in order to support policies that are contrary to the best interest of public well-being.

When will the outcry come? The NASA chief’s denial of global warming and the EPA’s ambiguous language concerning the air quality in New York impacts us as citizens of the United States. Yet, a Surgeon General who actively suppresses information about emergency contraception and sex education to appease the political unease of an administration that aims to limit access to birth control and overturn Roe v. Wade impacts us as female citizens of the United States. The New York Times also mentions, in passing, that the current nominee for Surgeon General is on the record as refuting scientific fact and logic alike by claiming that homosexual sex is both “unnatural” and “unhealthy.” Will we choose to wait to change this trend of executive hegemony until it has become too dangerous to do so? How do we ensure that there is more transparency in government? How do we best fight to protect our hard-earned rights and liberties?

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