Friday, November 17, 2006

Will the direction of federal family planning programming be anti-choice, anti-contraception & anti-sexual-relations-outside-of-marriage?

The new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Heath & Human Resources is a doctor associated with an organization in Massachusetts that opposes any sexual relations by anyone outside of marriage, opposes the use of contraception, opposes abortion, and does not distribution of information about birth control at its women’s centers. The overtone of the odd-ball sexual attitudes this appointment represents is another demonstration of how simply out-of-step with the American people the Bush administration is.

This from the Washington Post:
The Bush administration has appointed a new chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health nd 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."

The appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation, was the latest provocative personnel move by the White House since Democrats won control of Congress in this month's midterm elections. President Bush last week pushed the Senate to confirm John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations and this week renominated six candidates for appellate court judgeships who have previously been blocked by lawmakers. Democrats said the moves belie Bush's post-election promises of bipartisanship.

The Keroack appointment angered many family-planning advocates, who noted that A Woman's Concern supports sexual abstinence until marriage, opposes contraception and does not distribute information promoting birth control at its six centers in eastern Massachusetts.

"A Woman's Concern is persuaded that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness," the group's Web site says.

No comments: