Erin Bouquin, New Mexico’s chief medical officer, said she was asked to resign after she promoted condom use in a TV interview as a way to slow the growth of sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers. An hour after her interview aired, Bouquin said she met with Health Department Secretary Catherine Torres and was asked to leave because she had not met the expectations of the state’s Republican governor.
The health department spokeswoman said there was no connection between the interview and Bouquin’s resignation, but Bouquin suspects otherwise because she said Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM) favors abstinence-only sex education. “On the day I was asked to leave, I said the word condom three times on the news,” she told the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The governor’s office and health department denied any involvement in Bouquin’s resignation. Martinez’s spokesman Scott Darnell said in a statement that “the governor is a proponent of taking a balanced and multi-pronged approach to controlling the spread of sexually transmitted diseases; there is nothing in Dr. Bouquin’s interview that would conflict with that approach
New Mexico has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, according to the Guttmacher Institute.