From the abstract of a paper by Stephen P. Gordon, John Smyth and Julie Diehl:
The breadth of deception and manipulation of science by the Bush Administration is quite amazing, cutting across policy on endangered species, climate change, reproductive health, stem cell research, dietary science, and environmental pollution. This is a story of suppressing and tampering with scientific findings, intimidating scientists, manipulating the membership of scientific committees, and allowing representatives of industry and social conservative groups to write Administration policies or legislative proposals.
From the section of the paper on reproductive health:
Despite evidence that abstinence-only sex education programs do not decrease unwanted pregnancies and may actually increase them, the Bush Administration has insisted that abstinence only programs be the only ones supported by the federal government. The Administration forced scientists from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to attend daylong sessions on the ―science of abstinence, conducted by nonscientists and absent of any scientific evidence. The CDC was forced to remove information on five comprehensive sex education programs supported by scientific studies from its website (Rushing, 2004).
To obscure the fact there is no scientific evidence indicating abstinence-only programs work in reducing unwanted pregnancy, the Administration measures the effectiveness of abstinence programs by tracking only participants‘ attendance and attitudes rather than the birth rate of female participants (UCS, 2004a).
The Bush Administration removed information on the effectiveness and proper use of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted diseases from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website, and replaced it with a ―fact sheet that emphasized condom failure rates and the effectiveness of abstinence. Also removed was discussion of scientific evidence that sex education does not lead to increased sexual activity (Waxman, 2003).
Research, including a Danish study of 1.5 million women, has concluded there is no link between abortion and breast cancer. However, in 2002, The National Cancer Institute (NCI) removed from its website a fact sheet that reflected scientific consensus and replaced it with one inferring studies in this area were inconclusive (Rushing, 2004). This action resulted in so much outrage from abortion rights and breast cancer advocates as well as the scientific community that in 2003 the NCI was compelled to bring over 100 experts together to reexamine the issue. The experts concluded, again, that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer (Mooney, 2005).
In 2002, Dr. W. David Hagger, a religious conservative who had lobbied for reconsideration of the Food and Drug Administration‘s (FDA) approval of the drug RU-486 and whose scholarship included medical books with conservative religious themes, was nominated to chair the FDA‘s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Previously, eminent reproductive health scientists had been nominated for this position. Following protests by scientists and others, Dr. Hager was not named the chair but he was placed on the committee (Waxman, 2003). In 2003, the acting director of the FDA‘s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research overturned the advice of two scientific panels and his own staff in refusing to approve the emergency contraceptive ―Plan B as an over-the-counter drug.
This action was taken despite the fact that the FDA is required by law to approve drugs found to be safe and effective (UCS, 2004b). In 2006, after considerable protest from the medical community and women‘s groups, the FDA approved over-the-counter nonprescription sales of Plan B by licensed pharmacists to women 18 or older, with a prescription still required for sales to women under 18.