Dr. Eric Keroack Is Forced to Quit
Legal troubles force Dr. Eric Keroack, head of the Office of Population Affairs, and the man in charge of the federal program that funds birth control and reproductive health services for 5 million poor women annually, to resign:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 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 on 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 on Thursday. "As a result of this action, I accepted his resignation as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Population Affairs."
Keroack had been criticized by Democrats in Congress because he had worked for clinics in Massachusetts that opposed the use of birth control. HHS has said that Keroack has in fact prescribed birth control to women as part of his practice.
Keroack never responded to requests for interviews to clarify his stance on prescribing birth control to women.
HHS did not give any details about what action Massachusetts took against Keroack.
As head of the Office of Population Affairs at HHS, Keroack oversaw a program that funds birth control, pregnancy tests, breast-cancer screening and other health services for 5 million poor women annually.
Keroack previously served as medical director for A Woman's Concern, a chain of Boston-area pregnancy clinics that discourage the use of birth control and advocate abstinence as a way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Amid all the rejoicing, allow me to point something out. The reason Dr. Eric Keroack is no longer head of the Office of Population Affairs is a lucky break--some action taken against him by the Office of Medicaid.
Lucky breaks shouldn't be the mechanism by which we insure that the people overseeing funding for women's reproductive healthcare are qualified professionals.
Dr. Eric Keroack should never have been appointed to his position in the first place for one basic reason: he's not competent. It's not that he's controversial--he runs scam pregnancy clinics, and, allegedly, doesn't believe in contraception. It's that he's incompetent*--his statements and writings denote an inability to interpret scientific data. That is (or should be) a disqualifying handicap for any job applicant who wants to head the Office of Population Affairs.
*[Bias Alert: As you know, Dr. Keroack is an Ob/Gyn--the bestest and beautifulest of all physicians. As such, I simply can't bring myself to believe he's deliberately lying, so I'm going with incompetence.]
When Dr. Eric "Oxytocin Magic" Keroack was appointed I did write a post examining his oxytocin beliefs. Unfortunately, it somehow managed to disappear in the bottomless pit that is my drafts folder, never to be heard from again. In view of Dr. Keroack's resignation, and to highlight the magnitude of the dodged bullet, I think it might be a good idea to resurrect the post at this time. [Part I and Part II]