The Washington Post reports that a group of 12 House Democrats on Monday sent a letter to Health and Human Services secretary Tommy Thompson questioning why scientific information has been removed from HHS Web sites--including information about the effectiveness of condom use in preventing HIV transmission that has been taken off the sites of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lawmakers, led by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), also questioned why a study by the National Cancer Institute showing that abortion does not increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer was taken off the NIH site.
The letter alleges that "scientific decision making is being subverted by ideology." The 12 Democrats also address the Administration's recent choices for members of several advisory committees. "We are deeply concerned that stacking advisory committees with individuals whose qualifications are ideological rather than scientific will fundamentally undermine the integrity of scientific decision making at our leading public health agencies," the letter states. HHS deputy secretary Claude Allen called many of the points raised "rehash" and defended the Administration's health efforts.