The delay in Senate consideration of your nomination to be Surgeon General has provided me with the opportunity to clarify
some comments you have made about your views on abortion, reproductive research, and family planning.
Contrary to your recent assurances, I am concerned that your previously stated opposition to abortion would prejudice your
actions in your official position as Surgeon General. The duties of this position will undoubtedly require you to make judgments
in many areas in which you have strong personal convictions.
I am particularly concerned about the Surgeon General's role in determining the activities of the Public Health Service
Commissioned Corps, researchers at the National Institutes of Health, and health personnel funded by United States foreign
aid. As an advisor in these areas, you may be required to approve or reject practices such as abortion, amniocentesis, reproductive
research, and certain forms of contraception. I am concerned that your decisions in these matters would be made on the basis
of your personal beliefs, rather than unbiased scientific data.
The decisions and opinions of the Surgeon General can affect millions of lives. I would like your personal assurance that
those decisions will be objective and will take into account all scientific evidence on reproductive matters, abortion, and
family planning. I look forward to your response.