This Just In: Keroack Is Out

By Christine Cupaiuolo — March 30, 2007

Yes, it’s true. Dr. Eric Keroack resigned Thursday after Medicaid officials took action against his private medical practice in Marblehead, Mass.

Keroack told his staff about the situation in a letter, according to the Associated Press, but did not elaborate on the action, which he intends to appeal.

“My attorney feels confident that misunderstandings have occurred and that upon further review of the facts during the appeals process, this action will be reversed,” he wrote. “However, the appeals process will present a significant distraction to my ability to remain focused on my duties.”

Shocking women’s health advocates, President Bush appointed Keroack five months ago as deputy assistant secretary for population affairs at the department of Health and Human Services. Keroack was in charge of a $283 million annual budget and federal family planning grants — even though he was previously the medical director for A Woman’s Concern, a nonprofit Christian pregnancy counseling center that opposed the distribution of contraceptives as “demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality, and adverse to human health and happiness.”

The appointment was criticized in editorials and on op-ed pages across the country. And that was before Keroack’s very unscientific views on hormones and intimacy became known, prompting RH Reality Check to put together the “Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Terrified that Dr. Eric Keroack is in Charge of the U.S. Federal Family Planning Program.”

Be terrified no more.

“It’s a good day for women’s health,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards said in a statement issued Thursday.

“The Bush administration must replace Keroack with a legitimate, mainstream public health expert who supports family planning and access to birth control,” Richards added. “More than 17 million women in our country need access to affordable birth control. The nation’s family planning program should be run by a champion for women’s health and safety.”

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