by Steven Ertelt
January 9, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, is continuing efforts against a pro-life appointee to a top health post in the Bush administration. The group is opposing Dr. Eric Keroack’s appointment to become the deputy assistant secretary for population affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Keroack is the medical director for a Massachusetts crisis pregnancy center chain and has been strongly opposed by abortion advocates as a result.
The appointment is not subject to Senate confirmation, but Planned Parenthood has run an extensive print and online advertisement campaign against Keroack demanding that Bush replace him with someone else.
“Keroack should be replaced immediately with a respected reproductive health expert who recognizes family planning is good medicine," Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said in a statement.
The group is also asking House and Senate Democrats to promote the morning after pill.
But Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, says Keroack is a "highly qualified physician and well-respected for his work in pregnancy care centers."
"The attack on Keroack is part and parcel of the liberals’ attack on President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, both of whom are pro-life and pro-abstinence and committed to women’s and family health," Perkins explained.
He said Keroack’s involvement the crisis pregnancy centers is an asset to his ability to do the job.
"In that role Dr. Keroack provided medical advice and counseling for women who are or think they may be pregnant. He led the way in bringing medical technology into the AWC system, whose focus is on prenatal and maternity care," Perkins said in a statement LifeNews.com received.
Some abortion advocates have claimed Keroack won’t uphold federal programs, but Perkins said the physician would do his job but also be mindful of how abstinence can help as well.
"He has made clear that as DASPA he will follow the law as it relates to family planning, but abstinence and public health measures like partner reduction are in his portfolio as well," Perkins said.
Keroack will become the one to advise HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt on teen pregnancy and family planning matters and oversee $283 million in annual family planning grants
Though the appointment doesn’t need confirmation, Keroack could be called on by Congressional committees to testify on a range of matters and Democrats may use that subpoena power to question him.
He is also a member of the medical advisory council of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, a group run by Sioux Falls pro-life advocate Leslee Unruh, who was the force behind South Dakota abortion ban.
The office Keroack was appointed to also oversees a $30 million program that promotes abstinence education programs for teenagers.