President Bush announced that he has appointed Claude Allen, who served as an aide to former Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, to be his new domestic policy advisor. Allen, whose appointment to the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals was twice blocked, is the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services where he has served since 2001.
Allen is a staunch opponent of abortion rights. As Virginia’s top health administrator, Allen helped draft the state’s parental notification law and supported a law imposing a 24 hour waiting period and requiring biased information be given to women seeking abortions. In his most recent position at HHS, Allen supported expanding the federal CHIP program to cover fetuses (but not pregnant women) and backed the Bush Administration’s decision to remove information about condom effectiveness and teen pregnancy prevention from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.
During Helms’ 1984 reelection campaign, the Los Angeles Times reports that Allen accused Helms’ opponent James Hunt, who was serving at the time as the Governor of North Carolina, of having ties to “radical feminists” and “queers,” as well as socialists and labor unions. Allen later said he was not referring to gay people, rather Hunt’s “odd” campaign staff.