State Health Officer Scott Harris’ name has been quietly removed as an ex-officio board member for the controversial Alabama Campaign for Adolescent Sexual Health.

In November 2022, 1819 News published a story detailing how the non-profit Alabama Campaign for Adolescent Sexual Health advocates for comprehensive sexual education across the state.

The story outlined how Dr. Harris and Eric Mackey, Superintendent of the State Board of Education (BOE), were ex-officio members of the Campaign’s board.

After the report, Mackey immediately requested that he be taken off the board, claiming he did not know of the Campaign’s existence. Harris, on the other hand, ignored inquiries and stayed present on the Campaign’s website for months.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) also ignored multiple inquiries into the agency’s involvement with the Campaign.

See also: Alabama Department of Public Health silent on partnership with organizations pushing comprehensive sexual education

However, sometime this year, Harris’ name was removed from the Campaign’s website, and he is no longer listed as an ex-officio board member.

The latest website records for the Campaign show Harris was still listed on the board as of January 27, but the exact date of his removal is unclear.

The teen pregnancy branch of ADPH openly admits to partnering with the Campaign and recommends its resources.

Harris has been under the spotlight this legislative session as lawmakers have filed a bill to change how the State Health Officer is appointed.

Harris became a prominent figure in Alabama throughout 2020 and 2021 for his COVID-19 policies. In Alabama, the state's top health official is selected by the state public health committee, which consists of members appointed by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. Harris was appointed by the committee in February 2018.

Senate Bill 171, sponsored by State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville), would "authorize the Governor to approve or deny certain actions proposed by the State Health Officer, and would prohibit a general emergency rule, order, or other directive issued by the State Health Officer from taking effect unless approved by the Governor."

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