Bush’s new head of family-planning programs opposes birth control

November 18, 2006 | By | 2 Replies More

You didn’t think it could get any loonier at the White House, did you?  According to this article by the Washington Post, Bush’s new appointee in charge of family planning is opposed to all effective forms of family planning:

The Bush administration has appointed a new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who worked at a Christian pregnancy-counseling organization that regards the distribution of contraceptives as “demeaning to women.”

Eric Keroack, medical director for A Woman’s Concern, a nonprofit group based in Dorchester, Mass., will become deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the next two weeks, department spokeswoman Christina Pearson said yesterday.

Keroack, an obstetrician-gynecologist, will advise Secretary Mike Leavitt on matters such as reproductive health and adolescent pregnancy. He will oversee $283 million in annual family-planning grants that, according to HHS, are “designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons.”

AWC (full name “A Woman’s Concern – Pregnancy Health Services”) is a pregnancy counseling service that forbids employees from referring patients to birth control providers.  Here’s their brochure.  Here’s a quote from the AWC brochure:  “AWC staff and volunteers will not distribute brochures, books or other materials that advocate and promote the use of contraception.”  Check out the website of AWC. As you can see, they refuse to even acknowledge the existence of birth control. The reason they don’t mention birth control is because they’re totally against it. 

If organizatins like this had their way, new laws would be passed prohibiting the sale of the pill, condoms, the diaphragm and every other effective means women have to control pregnancy.  Some conservatives out there are really advocating for these horribly intrusive and counter-productive laws.  To make things even worse, these fake clinics are getting lots of government money through the mechanism of tax credits.

I’ve previously investigated some of these so-called “pregnancy crises centers” or “pregnancy resource centers.”  They should all be shut down for the fraud they perpetrate on their unsuspecting customers and for their terrible medical advice that has the effect creating lots of repeat customers (lots of future unwanted pregnancies). See here and here

In Slate.com, William Saletan writes that the Democrats should blast the Republicans for the irresponsible policies they push in the area of family planning. 

The solution is simple: Democrats are for reducing abortion without banning it. The most effective way, short of abstinence, is through birth control. Birth control isn’t about doing what feels good. It’s about taking responsibility.

This is no gimmick. It’s a model for a new, more responsible definition of responsibility. Conservatives have often joked, astutely, that for many liberals, social irresponsibility is a euphemism for personal irresponsibility. But the reverse is also true: For many conservatives, personal responsibility is a euphemism for social irresponsibility. The solution is to require responsibility on all sides. Birth control is a perfect example. Its effectiveness depends on technology, access, and use. Better technology is industry’s responsibility. Better access is society’s responsibility. Better use is the individual’s responsibility. If everybody does his or her job, the abortion rate goes down. Way down.

In the meantime, the new head advisor of the $238,000,000 budget to provide for family planning grants believes that effective family planning is immoral and demeaning.  Maybe we can’t yet reverse this appointment.  But let’s at least we should be honest about what is going on.  Let’s start calling Keroack’s organization the U.S. Department of Accidental Pregnancies.


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Category: American Culture, Health, Medicine, Politics, Reproductive Rights, Sex

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    Just last week, I saw a news story that said the latest scam by the anti-birth-control crowd is to open "Emergency Pregnancy Centers" right next door to abortion clinics, with the specific goal of fooling pregnant women into entering the wrong place. They must have missed that Commandment about bearing false witness.

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    I went to the AWC website. It does look as if they would try to help confused, young pregnant women.

    Until you actually look at some of their (mis)information armed with broader knowledge.

    For example, they say to go to roevwade.org to find out about that ruling. There is nothing there but a parking page with a sales pitch to buy the rights to this domain for between $1,000 and $25,000. Deeper digging only gets a P.O. Box in San Diego, and a registrar corporation in Germany.

    A brilliant example of "the ends justify the means" in the ongoing fight against the women-as-humans movement.

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