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defending the First Amendment against the Christian right ...

Jews On First!

... because if Jews don't speak out, they'll think we don't mind

Christian fundamentalists are working to curtail options for sexual and reproductive health

October 2007. Supreme Court declines to hear appeal against requirement that health benefits include contraceptives. Click here.

March 2007. Dr. Eric Keroack, fake clinic head, resigns from high federal family planning post amid medical ethics investigation. Click here. October 2007 -- Contraceptive foe from Family Research Council appointed to related HHS family planning post. Click here.

Below on this page: Supreme Court declines to hear appeal against requirement that health benefits include contraceptives. | Bush appoints Dr. Eric Keroack from anti-contraceptive fake clinic group to head family planning programs | Dr. Eric Keroack resigns from HHS family planning post amid medical ethics investigation | Bush appoints contraceptive foe Susan Orr to head HHS family planning | Religious right fights reproductive rights

SECTION: Fundamentalist Christians campaign against contraceptives

The religious right works to limit access to contraceptives through legislation, the regulatory process, and an insidious campaign encouraging pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives. Click to read more.

SECTION: The religious right is working to end a woman's right to privacy - and choice.

While they campaign for a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe vs. Wade, which established a woman's right to choose an abortion, fundamentalist Christians are using legislation and intimidation to make that right meaningless. Click to read more.

SECTION: Blocking access to HPV vaccine

Christian Right threatens universal vaccination of girls against virus that causes cervical cancer. Click here.

SECTION: South Dakota's Harsh Law Outlawing Abortion

In February 2006, soon after the installation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, South Dakota passed a law criminalizing abortion, making no exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Click here for the section on South Dakota's law.

SECTION: Suspicions of the Bush Administration's decision to limit access to Plan B contraceptive

A Government Accountability Office Study prompts widespread claims that the Food and Drug Administration deviated from its established process and catered to the religious right in denying over-the-counter sales of "morning after" contraceptive. Click here for more

SECTION: Pharmacist refusal

The religious right is encouraging pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for Plan B and other contraceptives to which they have religious objections. It is also pushing for legislation giving legal protection to this obnoxious behavior. Click here

SECTION: Christian Fundamentalists Work to Replace Sex Education with Religious Dogma

The religious right is working on national, state and local levels to supplant critical sex education curricula with the teaching of "abstinence only" and characterizing homosexuality as a disease. Click to read more.

SECTION: National Battle over Sex Education Waged in Suburban Maryland County

In 2004, major national fundamentalist Christian groups have been fighting to control the sex education curriculum of the Montgomery County, Maryland school district in suburban Washington, DC. Click here for more.

SECTION: The Education of Shelby Knox

Congressional religious right moves to punish public broadcasting for award-winning documentary on sex education.

In the House of Representatives, the Republican Study Committee is attacking the Corporation for Public Broadcasting over The Education of Shelby Knox, a documentary about sex-education in Lubbock, Texas, which aired on the PBS Point of View series. The committee, which cites the "contraceptive-based" curriculum advocated by teenager Shelby Knox, is featuring the small post-production grant the filmmakers got from the Playboy Foundation in its proposal to totally defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the committee is also harassing CPB with an information request related to the foundation. Click here for more.

SECTION: Imperiling lives overseas by limiting access to contraceptives

Christian fundamentalists within the Bush administration are burdening US foreign aid with measures to deny recipients life-saving condoms and other means of reproductive health. Click to read more.

Supreme Court declines to hear appeal against requirement that health benefits include contraceptives

Supreme Court Turns Down Cases on Religious Separation

Linda Greenhouse, The New York Times, October 2, 2007

Washington, Oct. 1 — One contentious topic missing from the Supreme Court’s docket as the new term opened on Monday was religion. The justices evidently plan to keep it that way, at least for now.

Among the hundreds of appeals the court turned down on Monday, in a list that printed out at 83 pages, were two cases on the relationship between church and state that might have brought even more visibility to the term.

One was a case from New York on whether church-affiliated employers who object to birth control on religious grounds must nonetheless provide contraceptive coverage to their female employees as part of their medical insurance coverage, as required by laws in New York and some two dozen other states. Continue.

Supreme Court turns down church barred from Antioch library

Bob Egelko, The San Francisco Chronicle, October 1, 2007

Washington - The U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal today by a church that argued its religious freedom had been violated when it was barred from holding worship services in a meeting room of the Contra Costa County library in Antioch.

In a separate case, the court denied a hearing to two Oakland employees who said the city had abridged their freedom of speech by removing a flyer they had posted promoting the "natural family" after other city workers founded a Gay and Lesbian Employees Association.

Conservative organizations joined the plaintiffs in both cases in urging the high court to grant reviews. The justices denied the appeals without comment on the first day of their 2007-08 term. Continue.

High court says no to new rights for church groups
Justices rebuff a quest for services in a library, along with a Catholic group's effort to avoid paying for employees' birth control.

David G. Savage, The Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2007

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday refused to expand the rights of church groups, turning down appeals in a pair of cases.

In the first case, the justices declined to hear a free-speech claim from an evangelical minister in Northern California who wanted to hold worship services in a public library meeting room. In the second, they refused to hear a freedom-of-religion claim from Catholic Charities in New York, which objected to a state law requiring that employees' prescription drug coverage include contraceptives. The cases were on a long list dismissed on opening day of the court's term. Continue.

Bush appoints Susan Orr, contraceptive foe from Family Research Council, to control family planning budget at Dept. of Health and Human Services

Family Research Council staffer to control HHS family planning

Background by JewsOnFirst.org, October 24, 2007

The Bush administration has appointed Susan Orr of the Family Research Council (and previously of Pat Robertson's Regent University) as acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services. Orr has opposed the inclusion of contraceptives in health insurance coverage, arguing that fertility is not a disease. Her post oversees more than a quarter of a billion dollars to provide contraceptives to low income families. Earlier this year the fake clinic director who headed that population program, was forced to resign because of an investigation of his medical ethics.

Health and Human Services Appointmen: Birth-Control Foe To Run Office on Family Planning

Christopher Lee, The Washington Post, October 17, 2007

The Bush administration again has appointed a chief of family planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services who has been critical of contraception.

Susan Orr, most recently an associate commissioner in the Administration for Children and Families, was appointed Monday to be acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs. She will oversee $283 million in annual grants to provide low-income families and others with contraceptive services, counseling and preventive screenings.

In a 2001 article in The Washington Post, Orr applauded a Bush proposal to stop requiring all health insurance plans for federal employees to cover a broad range of birth control. "We're quite pleased, because fertility is not a disease," said Orr, then an official with the Family Research Council.

Critics panned the appointment last year of Eric Keroack, a physician who worked at a Christian pregnancy-counseling organization that opposed the use of birth control. He resigned in March.

"We have another appointment that just truly politicizes family planning," said Mary Jane Gallagher, president of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. "The last time I looked, both Republicans and Democrats used contraception in America."

HHS spokesman Kevin Schweers said Orr's "breadth of programmatic and managerial experience makes her highly qualified to serve as acting director." Click here.

Clinton Denounces Bush's Family Planning Appointment

Advocate.com, October 20-22, 2007

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton joined birth control advocates Thursday in demanding that the Bush administration withdraw an appointment that places federal family planning funds under the control of a woman they consider hostile to contraception programs.

Susan Orr, who has been one of the top Department of Health and Human Services officials dealing with child welfare, was appointed this week as the agency's acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs. That puts her in charge of $283 million in 2007 federal funding for a range of family planning services as well as funding for abstinence education.

Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Orr's appointment ''sends a message to women that ideology trumps women's health.'' Continue.

Contraception Foe to Head Population Affairs

Emily Douglas, RH Reality Check, October 16, 2007

Yesterday, Dr. Susan Orr, formerly Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families, was appointed the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs at the Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS). The Office of Population Affairs advises the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Health on "a wide range of reproductive health topics, including adolescent pregnancy, family planning, and sterilization, as well as other population issues," says the OPHS website. Sounds like you might want to count contraception as one of your areas of expertise in that post, right? Not Dr. Orr! In 2001, when President Bush proposed eliminating the requirement that federal employees' health insurance offer a range of options for birth control coverage, Dr. Orr, then the senior director for marriage and families at the Family Research Council, told the Washington Post, "We're quite pleased because fertility is not a disease. It's not a medical necessity that you have [contraception]."

Clearly, Dr. Orr's definition of "medical necessity" does not recognize that women in the world over consider controlling their bodies and the number and spacing of their children foundational to their well-being. If that's not a medical necessity, what is? Continue.

Or ... not.

Lynn Harris, Salon.com, Ocotober 17, 2007

While you're not watching the Mukasey hearings, perhaps you'll enjoy reading about the person President Bush appointed Tuesday as acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs -- chief of family planning programs, that is -- at the Department of Health and Human Services. Susan Orr will administer $283 million in annual grants (via Title X of the Public Health Services Act) for increasing access to contraception, comprehensive sex education, and counseling and preventive health screenings, especially for low-income families.

Orr, who at the time held the post of "senior director for marriage and families" at the Family Research Council -- which is no fan of the humble condom -- has stated that contraception is "not a medical necessity." Other résumé highlights: praising the global gag rule, opposing RU-486, appearing to be slightly less of a wack job than her predecessor, Eric Keroack. (Which of course -- hat tip to Michael Musto -- is like saying Waterworld wasn't as bad as Cutthroat Island.) So what's she gonna spend the $283 mil on? Promise rings? Drapes? Continue.

Contraception Foe Named to Contraception Post

Laura Meckler, Washington Wire, The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2007

The Department of Health and Human Services appointed Susan Orr — who has spoken out against contraception — to a post responsible for U.S. contraception programs.

Orr, who will be acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, has been directing child welfare programs in another branch of HHS. Prior to joining the Bush administration, Orr was senior director for marriage and family at the Family Research Council, a conservative group that favors abstinence-only education and opposes federal money for contraception.

In 2001, she was quoted in the Washington Post favoring a Bush administration plan to drop a requirement that health insurance plans for federal employees cover a broad range of birth control. Continue.

Daughter Knows Best

Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post, October 24, 2007

Last week President Bush named yet another person to oversee the federally funded family planning program who doesn't seem especially keen on federally funded family planning. He might have done better to pick his daughter Jenna.

Her book, "Ana's Story," about a Central American teenage mother who is HIV-positive, is refreshingly reality-based about sexual behavior -- in a way that her father's administration resists.

President Bush pushes funding for abstinence-only sex education, with students given no information about birth control or safe sex. Jenna Bush, who met Ana while working as a UNICEF intern in Latin America, understands that abstinence isn't always the chosen path. Continue.

Contraceptive Mandates Orr Else . . .

Family Research Council via Newsbull.com, October 17, 2007

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced the appointment of Susan Orr, Ph.D., as acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs (DASPA). Dr. Orr, who has served in the department for the past six years, most recently as associate commissioner at the Children's Bureau in the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, is exceptionally well qualified for her new role. She also worked at HHS from 1992-98 and after that period was senior director for marriage and family here at FRC. Continue.

Dr. Eric Keroack resigns from HHS family planning post amid medical ethics investigation

Reports on Keroack's appointment last fall and protests of it are here.

Doctor who quit US post was warned by state
Medical board cited prescriptions

By Andrea Estes, Boston Globe, April 7, 2007

Two months before he resigned from a top federal family planning position, Marblehead gynecologist Eric Keroack received two formal warnings from the Massachusetts board of medicine ordering him to refrain from prescribing drugs to people who are not his patients and from providing mental health counseling without proper training.

Keroack resigned last week as head of the US Office of Population Affairs, which is responsible for providing low-income women with access to contraceptives, after he was notified that the state's Medicaid office had launched an investigation into his private practice. The office, whose investigations generally focus on Medicaid fraud, declined to provide specifics about what it is investigating but confirmed there was a pending case dating back a "few years."

The warnings from the Board of Registration in Medicine stem from a complaint filed in May 2005 by the daughter of one of Keroack's patients, who said he overmedicated her mother, prescribing several powerful psychotherapeutic drugs, and "brainwashed" her into thinking she was "severely depressed." Continue.

National Politics & Policy | HHS Names Interim Replacement for Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs Keroack

Kaisernetwork.org Daily Report, April 2, 2007

HHS on Friday named Evelyn Kappeler, a senior legislative analyst, to serve as an interim replacement for Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Population Affairs Eric Keroack, the Washington Post reports. Kappeler served as acting director of OPA before Keroack's appointment in November 2006. Continue.

Controversial Bush Family Planning Chief Resigns
Cites 'Action' Against His Medical Practice, but Gives No Details

By Brian Hartman, ABC News, March 29, 2007

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2007 — The controversial manager of the Bush administration's federal family planning initiatives resigned abruptly today to focus on a mysterious "action" being taken against the medical practice he ran before taking the job just four months ago.

Dr. Eric Keroack has been a lightning rod for criticism since his nomination last fall to run the Office of Population Affairs, an agency that manages federal reproductive health programs. From the very start, Keroack drew fire from critics of his opposition to birth control and support for abstinence education. Continue.

Controversial U.S. birth control official steps down

Reuters, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 29, 2007

WASHINGTON – A controversial U.S. health official, Dr. Eric Keroack, has stepped down from his position overseeing programs that include birth control for poor women, the Health and Human Services Department said.

Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. John Agwunobi released a brief statement Thursday saying that Keroack, who was appointed last November to oversee a $280 million program that provides birth control to poor women, had resigned.

“Yesterday, Dr. Eric Keroack alerted us to an action taken against him by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Office of Medicaid,” Agwunobi said in a statement released late Thursday. “As a result of this action, I accepted his resignation as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Population Affairs.” Continue.

NCJW Declares Resignation of Eric Keroack a Boon to Women's Health

News release, National Council of Jewish Women, March 30, 2007

March 30, 2007, Washington, DC -- The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today responded to the resignation of Dr. Eric Keroack, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs. An opponent of Keroack's appointment in November, NCJW protested then and still believes that his extreme views on contraception would undermine the goals of the Title X family planning program under his purview. Continue.

Justice Can Be Poetic

Bonnie Erbe, U.S. News & World Report, March 30, 2007

Putting a Christian antiabortion zealot in charge of the nation's Population Affairs Office and its $283 million annual budget (as President Bush did last November) would be tantamount to anointing pro-choice poster-woman Kate Michelman as pope. Either would constitute a provocative move designed to offend most of the people to whose needs the organization in question is supposed to minister.

Nobody's suggesting Ms. Michelman, longtime former head of NARRAL, should become pope. But the Bush administration did have the gall to name a Christian, "crisis pregnancy," director from Massachusetts head of the Population Affairs Office at the Department of Health and Human Services, giving over control to federally financed, family planning services, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and screening for breast and cervical cancer.

All that's blissfully behind us now, as Eric Keroack, the zealot in question, resigned last night. Keroack's office would reveal only that the Massachusetts Medicaid office took some sort of mysterious action against his private medical practice in Massachusetts. This move comes only a scant five months after President Bush placed him in a job for which he was singularly unfit. Continue

Pro-Life Advocate Eric Keroack Steps Down, Pro-Abortion Groups Applaud

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com, March 30, 2007

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Eric Keroack stepped down from his position as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for HHS' Office of Population Affairs on Thursday. Pro-abortion groups applauded his resignation from the position because they didn't like having a pro-life advocate as the head of the agency that awards family planning grants.

Keroack said he was vacating the position because of an unspecified action taken against his private medical practice in Massachusetts by state Medicaid officials.

As a result he felt he could no longer hold the position.

President Bush appointed Keroack, who works part time as the medical director the A Woman's Concern pregnancy center, to the post in November 2006. After that, abortion advocates launched a national campaign to oppose and discredit him because of his involvement. Continue.

A Voice for Women's Health at HHS Population Affairs

from an email received from Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, March 30, 2007

Last November, FRC celebrated the selection of a pro-woman, pro-abstinence stalwart as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Population Affairs. The president chose Dr. Eric Keroack to oversee an annual budget of $283 million based on his solid reputation and experience. Yesterday, we regretted to hear of Dr. Keroack's resignation. We admire Dr. Keroack's deep commitment to serving women and adolescents with positive health messages and services for optimal outcomes in communities around the country. He has a strong record of providing quality medical care, pregnancy support services, and preventative care to women and girls across socieconomic, racial, and ethnic lines. Planned Parenthood, which was outraged at his appointment, is using the latest news to lobby even harder for a "mainstream" public health expert, i.e., one who would not ask hard questions about the program's effectiveness and quality. FRC urges the administration to move promptly and appoint to this position a professional who will equal Dr. Keroack's commitment to defending life, adolescent well-being, and women's health.

Bush appoints doctor from anti-contraceptive fake clinic group to head family planning programs

The clinic organization headed by the Dept. of Health and Human Services appointee, Dr. Eric Keroack, has on its website the thoroughly debunked assertion that abortion increases a woman's risk of breast cancer. See below.

Sex and the Single-Minded

By Stacy Schiff, The New York Times, January 20, 2007

How to get a job in Washington, that balmy, bipartisan town: Direct an organization that opposes contraception on the grounds that it is "demeaning to women." Compare premarital sex to heroin addiction. Advertise a link between breast cancer and abortion -- a link that was refuted in 1997. Rant against sex ed. And hatch a loony theory about hormones.

You’re a shoo-in, and if your name is Eric Keroack you’re in your second month as deputy assistant secretary for population affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Keroack, a 46-year-old Massachusetts ob-gyn, today oversees the $280 million Title X program, the only federal program "designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them, with priority given to low-income persons." Continue.

Health and Human Services Nominee Has Prescribed Birth Control
Spokeswoman Stresses Keroack's Private Practice Over Role in Christian Group

By Christopher Lee, The Washington Post, November 22, 2006

In addition to a Keroack associate's insistence that he has prescribed contraceptives when his private-practice patients requested it, this report notes that Keroack has let his certification lapse -- and that he is already at work at HHS. Click here.

New Family Planning Official's Views Criticized

by Tovia Smith, National Public Radio Weekend Edition Saturday, November 18, 2006

President Bush appointed Dr. Eric Keroack as deputy assistant secretary for family planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services. Keroack is a Massachusetts gynecologist who works at a Christian pregnancy counseling organization. Critics say the doctor's views against contraception run counter to the mission of the agency he is supposed to head. Click here for the audio report..

Congressional Democrats Send Letters Calling for Leavitt To Rescind Appointment of Keroack as HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary

Kaisernetwork.org Daily Women's Health Policy Report, November 22, 2006

Fourteen Democratic senators on Tuesday sent a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt that calls for the withdrawal of Eric Keroack's appointment to be HHS deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, the Washington Post reports (Lee, Washington Post, 11/22). Seven Democratic members of the House on Monday also sent a letter to Leavitt calling for Keroack's appointment to be rescinded because they said he has worked for an organization that opposes contraception, Reuters reports (Sullivan, Reuters, 11/20). Continue.

Senators Decry Ideological Appointment to Health Post
Vocal critic of contraception to oversee population control funding

News Release from the website of Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), November 21, 2006

(Washington, D.C.) – Fourteen U.S. Senators today sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt urging the Administration to withdraw its appointment of Dr. Eric Keroack as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs. In this position Dr. Keroack – who has spent his career promoting abstinence-only education – would have control over the Title X program which funds low-cost, confidential family planning and health screening services that would otherwise be out of reach for millions of Americans.

"Given Dr. Keroack's ideological record on Title X services, we urge you to withdraw this appointment and select a Deputy Assistant Secretary who will vigorously administer Title X as intended by Congress under current law," wrote the Senators. Continue.

House of Representatives Democrats also ask Leavitt to rescind his appointment of Keroack

Click here for the letter, signed by Reps. Henry Waxman, Lois Caps, Louise Slaughter, Carolyn Maloney, Diana DeGette, Jay Inslee and Nita Lowey (a PDF file).

Oppose Anti-Birth Control Appointment

National Council of Jewish Women campaign against confirmation of Eric Keroack, November 21, 2006

On November 16, Mike Leavitt, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, appointed Dr. Eric Keroack as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (DASPA). In this position, Dr. Keroack will oversee Title X, the nation's family planning program. For more than 35 years, the Title X program has provided high quality preventive care and family planning services to millions of Americans.

Currently, Dr. Keroack serves as the medical director for A Woman's Concern, six crisis pregnancy centers in the Greater Boston area that do not distribute, encourage the use of, or offer referrals for contraceptive drugs and devices. Dr. Keroack's views on family planning are extreme and far outside the mainstream, making him the wrong person to head the country's family planning program. Click here to write President Bush and HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt from the NCJW website.

Take Action! Speak out! Anti-Birth Control Appointee Is a Bad Choice

Action alert from Planned Parenthood, November 21, 2006

The appointment of anti-birth control, anti-sex education activist Dr. Eric Keroack to oversee the nation's family planning program is striking proof that the Bush administration remains dramatically out of step with the nation's priorities. Tell Secretary Leavitt to appoint an administrator who is committed to protecting women's health. Click here to take action on Planned Parenthood's website.

Bush Choice for Family-Planning Post Criticized

By Christopher Lee, The Washington Post, November 17, 2006

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." Continue.

Critics protest health post pick
President resolute; Mass. physician's theories criticized

By Alan Wirzbicki and Bryan Bender, The Boston Globe, November 18, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Democrats yesterday called on President Bush to reconsider the appointment of Massachusetts physician Eric Keroack to a top position supervising federal family-planning programs, and researchers cited by Keroack to argue for teaching teenagers sexual abstinence said he mischaracterized their work.

"This appointment flies in the face of bipartisanship and once again lets ideology trump science," said Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts in a statement urging Bush to withdraw the Marblehead gynecologist's appointment. Kennedy is slated to take charge of the Senate committee overseeing health programs in January. Continue.

Contraception, abortion foe to head family-planning office

AP via CNN, November 17, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration, to the consternation of its critics, has picked the medical director of an organization that opposes premarital sex, contraception and abortion to lead the office that oversees federally funded teen pregnancy, family planning and abstinence programs.

The appointment of Eric Keroack, a Marblehead, Massachusetts, obstetrician and gynecologist, to oversee the federal Office of Population Affairs and its $283 million annual budget has angered family-planning advocates.

Keroack currently is medical director of A Woman's Concern, a Christian nonprofit. The Dorchester, Massachusetts-based organization runs six centers in the state that offer free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds and counseling. Continue.

Dr. Just-Say-No

By moiv, Talk2Action, November 16, 2006

Meet Dr. Eric Keroack.

He's a favorite guest speaker at meetings of the National Right to Life Committee.

He's on the Medical Advisory Council for the notorious Leslee Unruh's National Abstinence Clearinghouse, whence he expounds on such topics as the Physical and Emotional Consequences of Premarital Sex.

He teaches that there is a physiological cause [pdf link] for relationship failure and sexual promiscuity -- a hormonal cause-and-effect that can only be short-circuited by sexual abstinence until marriage. Continue.

Birth Control Opponent Appointed to Chief of Federal Family Planning Department

Ms Magazine, November 17, 2006

Anti-choice, anti-birth control advocate Eric Keroack was appointed chief of family-planning programs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by President Bush yesterday. Dr. Keroack will be in charge of overseeing the distribution of Title X funding, which amounts to $283 million in grants per year, that is "designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons," according to HHS, the Washington Post reports. Dr. Keroack himself is opposed to contraceptives; the group of "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) of which Keoack is the medical director states on its website that the "crass commercialization and distribution" of contraception is "demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness," according to the Washington Post. The program Keroack will now head is responsible for supporting 4,600 family planning clinics that help five million people each year. Continue.

Dr. Keroack's fake clinic organization seeks to lure, frighten women away from abortion
A Woman's Concern website reveals tactics

background by Jews on First, November 17, 2006

On its website (which no longer exists), the fake clinic chain headed by Dr. Eric Keroack, describes itself thus: "A Woman's Concern Pregnancy Health Services provides complete, accurate information and compassionate peer-counseling to women and couples who are making decisions about unintended pregnancies." The compassion doesn't serve to soften dire warnings about abortion, though. "Risks of any surgical abortion include hemorrhage, infection, infertility, and complications with future pregnancies (i.e. incompetent cervix), the group warns," neglecting to note that these are also complications of pregnancy. Click here.

In a slow-loading PDF file promising health and safety information (click here), the fake-clinic chain instills yet more fear and confusion:

1. A positive urine test does not necessarily indicate a viable pregnancy that will result in a live birth. Be sure to have a blood test or laboratory quality urine test followed by an ultrasound to confi rm that you have a viable intrauterine pregnancy (A pregnancy that is in the uterus and capable of developing and growing under normal conditions). Studies show that about 15% of recognized pregnancies end early by natural miscarriage.1 You may be aborting a non-viable pregnancy that may resolve itself in miscarriage without surgical or medical intervention. It is your right to have and to view an ultrasound prior to having an abortion. AWC offers laboratory quality urine testing and ultrasound exams free of charge.

2. Explore all of your options with an agency that does not have a fi nancial interest in your decision. Do not confi rm your pregnancy at an abortion facility. Physical symptoms, such as a missed period, nausea, and fatigue, are not a medical confi rmation that you are pregnant. You could be pursuing abortion based on too little information.

The health and safety flier ends by reciting often-debunked "research" that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.

More than two dozen retrospective and prospective studies worldwide suggest that who abort their first pregnancy face at least a 50% increased risk of developing breast cancer, a rate grows with each successive abortion. One study that teenagers under the age of 18 who abort at of pregnancy or later may face an eight times risk of contracting breast cancer by age 45.9
Bush Appoints Pro-Life Doctor as HHS Deputy Secretary

Focus on the Family, November 17, 2006

President Bush announced Thursday that pro-life, pro-abstinence-education Dr. Eric Keroack of Marblehead, Mass., will be the new deputy assistant secretary for Health and Human Services, The Boston Globe reported.

In his new role, Keroack will advise Secretary Michael Leavitt on issues such as adolescent pregnancy, abstinence education and family planning.

Raymond Ruddy, president of Gerard Health Foundation, said Keroack is a pioneer in the use of medical arguments to explain the devastation caused by abortion and the reasons teens should remain abstinent until marriage.

"He was one of the first doctors ever to really get involved in the medical aspect of some of these pregnancy-resource centers," he said. "For very, very little pay, he sacrificed a lot to help women do ultrasounds and do what was right in the abortion decision. Continue.

Dems in Congress Protest Pro-Life, Pro-Abstinence Nomination

Focus on the Family, November 22, 2006

Fourteen Democratic U.S. Senators have demanded that President Bush rescind his nomination of Dr. Eric Keroack to head the family-planning program at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), All American Patriots reported.

Keroack, who is pro-life, is currently a member of the Medical Advisory Council of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse and serves as the medical director for five crisis-pregnancy centers. Continue.

Religious right fights reproductive rights

Gates-Buffett Linkup Troubles Pro-Life Activists
The billionaires' combining of forces almost certain to mean millions more for abortion, population-control groups.

Pete Winn, Focus on the Family via Newsbull.com, June 28, 2006

Billionaire financier Warren Buffett announced this week he is going to leave 80 percent of his estate — more than $35 billion — to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It's a donation that is troubling to the pro-life community, according to Joseph D'Agostino of the Population Research Institute. Continue

Christian Morality and Test Tube Babies, Part Two

R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, AlMohler.com, May 12, 2006

Christian couples must not embrace the new reproductive technologies without clear biblical and theological reflection. At a bare minimum, Christian couples must commit to the implantation of all embryos, and the selective reduction of none. Click for the column

The Christian Right and Sex
Sex Obsessed

By Michelle Cottle, The New Republic,March 3, 2006

"[F]or a wide variety of reasons, while many evangelicals may feel deeply about issues like poverty relief and "creation care" (i.e., environmentalism), most of the leaders who control the movement's political activism remain overwhelmingly obsessed with--and will fight like hell to keep the troops focused on--old fashioned red-meat issues of sex." Click here to read the report.

Few ministers respond to Planned Parenthood invitation
Group's national chaplain is in Lexington this week

By Frank E. Lockwood, Lexington Herald-Leader, November 11,2005

"Hoping to show that it is not anti-Christian, Planned Parenthood's Lexington affiliate is bringing the organization's national chaplain to speak with area clergy this week. But so far, only a handful of religious leaders have agreed to meet with him." Click here to read the report.

Can I Get a Little Privacy?

Op-Ed By Dan Savage, New York Times, November 16, 2005

With the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito pending, Dan Savage asks: "If the Republicans can propose a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, why can't the Democrats propose a right to privacy amendment? Making this implicit right explicit," he adds, "would forever end the debate about whether there is a right to privacy." Click here to read the opinion article.