So Much for Governing from the Middle

Despite the public outcry last week for our government to work together and make progress, the White House steered clear of governing from the middle and bipartisanship in a new staffing move. Today the White House named Eric Keroack, MD as the new government official overseeing Title X, the program that provides contraceptive and other reproductive health services in every state of the nation to those in need. He'll start work on Monday.

This Keroack has had a career dedicated to abstinence-only programs and is an ardent anti-choice Ob-Gyn. He serves on the Medical Advisory Council for the Abstinence Clearinghouse and is a member of the Federal Expert Panel commissioned to define the guidelines for most governmental funding of abstinence education in our public schools — programs that have grown over recent years and have yet to be proven effective. He is the Medical Director of A Woman's Concern crisis pregnancy centers, an organization that posts only negative — and in some cases incorrect — information about abortion. Now, no Title X funds are used to provide abortion services. But is a man who misleads women in crisis pregnancies the kind of person who should be heading a program that is supposed to help people be informed about how they can decide if and when to have children?

Bottom Line: The Administration has appointed someone who basically works against the mission of a federal program to oversee that very same program. Is this just another ill-conceived decision or pandering to their base in the wake of disastrous elections?

Update: See Planned Parenthood's statement on Dr. Keroack's nomination here.

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    Rev. Debra Haffner ( writes, “It is a cruel joke on low-income women in America who turn to the government for assistance with family planning services to place Dr. Erik Keroack in charge of the national Title X program. From a religious perspective, voluntary contraception allows women and families to nurture their children and their families. It is precisely because life and parenthood are so precious that we call for a faith based commitment to sexual and reproductive rights.”