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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

December-03-98

Infamous Doctor Seeks to Head Arkansas Health Department

A doctor in Arkansas who lost his bid for the U.S. Senate after he remarked that women are not likely to become pregnant through rape is pursuing a job as head of the Arkansas Health Department.

Republican Fay Boozman, a 52 year-old eye doctor, received a call from Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's office asking him to join the selection committee in search of a new state health director. Boozman declined joining the committee, saying that he planned to run for the position himself.

Boozman, who is anti-choice, said that women who have been raped were unlikely to get pregnant, and thus would not need access to abortion. Boozman claimed that if a woman is raped, she will become frightened, causing her body to release a hormone that would prevent conception from occuring. Boozman called this unnamed hormone "God's little protective shield."

Boozman's remark, made during his Senate race was widely criticized by doctors, who said it held no scientific truth. Boozman apologized after the public and scientific community reacted negatively to what he said, but continues to stand by his hypothesis.

Boozman is among several candidates being evaluated for the job. He will receive a second interview with the health department, although many critics have claimed that he is unqualified for the position.

Media Resources: CNN - December 3, 1998


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