Surgeon General forced to resign by White House

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The White House today surrendered to Republican pressure by forcing the resignation of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, whose outspoken views about drugs and sexuality had made her the target of a conservative campaign to oust her from office. The dismissal of Dr. Elders came as some news organizations were preparing to report that at a United Nations conference on AIDS earlier this month, she had condoned the idea of teaching schoolchildren to masturbate as a way of avoiding the spread of the AIDS virus.

Her comments, in response to a question from a member of her audience, were but the latest brush with controversy by Dr. Elders, who served as head of Arkansas's health department when President Clinton was Governor.

source: Article 'Surgeon General Forced to Resign by White House' by Douglas Jehl; www.nytimes.com/1994/12/10/us/surgeon-general-forced-to-resign-by-white-house.html; NYTimes.com; 10 December 1994