Abstinence-only Bush appointee resigns

Eric Keroack will no longer oversee family planning funds.

Published March 30, 2007 6:03PM (EDT)

I'd say some fist-pumping action is certainly in order: Abstinence-only zealot Eric Keroack resigned yesterday from his post overseeing hundreds of millions of dollars in family planning funds. As you might have come to expect, though, it's not like the Bush administration finally realized the absurdity of appointing someone who called birth control "demeaning" to oversee the distribution of birth control to poor women and forced his resignation.

No, it's far more simple: Massachusetts' Office of Medicaid has taken actions against his private medical practice within the state as a result of "misunderstandings," Keroack says. (Feministing has a theory on the specifics of the "misunderstandings.") While he's sure the "action will be reversed," Keroack says the appeal process will "present a significant distraction to my ability to remain focused on my duties." He offered his resignation and his superiors accepted it.

Still, the reason for his resignation aside, as Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards put it in a press release: "It's a good day for women's health. Keroack was unqualified to run the nation's family planning program." But given that it was hardly a renaissance of rationality in the White House that prompted Keroack's resignation, we'll have to keep out fingers crossed that he'll be replaced with, as Richards put it, "a legitimate, mainstream public health expert who supports family planning and access to birth control." Early word from Planned Parenthood (via Feministing) is that his successor will be Evelyn Kappeler, acting deputy director for population affairs.

Stay tuned!

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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