Update on Eric Keroack

There is so much media coverage and conversation going on about new Department of Health & Human Services appointee Dr. Eric Keroack that we figured it might be more helpful to provide a round-up than it would be to add to the fray. Read on to catch up on what's being said about the new director of the federal family planning program:


  • The New York Times calls Keroack's appointment a "Family Planning Farce." The first line of the article: "It sounds like a late-night parody of President Bush's bad habit of filling key posts with extreme ideologues and incompetents." It could be, but this isn't SNL: the new director of Title X family planning dollars doesn't appear to believe in birth control.
  • The Washington Post's editorial was entitled, "To Oversee Family Planning: Someone Whose Clinics Won't Offer It."
  • The Boston Globe's "Not Family Friendly" asserts that while Keroack's appointment should not be a total surprise to anyone who has followed this administration, "to name an opponent of family planning to oversee the nation's family planning program is perverse even by the standards of a government that doesn't much believe in government."


Interviews from the Supreme Court Steps: Late Term Abortion Cases

Rewire editor Scott Swenson and associate editor Tyler LePard went to the Supreme Court on November 8 and talked with demonstrators from both sides about the late term abortion cases before the Court.

For more on that day, read Scott's reflections and Tyler's reflections.

And think about adding your comments! What do you make of this video? The footage mostly shows comments from anti-choice protesters, including an extended interview with Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition. The ambiguity in these arguments is fascinating.

How would you respond?

Watch the footage below the fold.


Planned Parenthood Podcast from the Supreme Court

On November 8, Planned Parenthood Federation of America senior staff attorney, Eve Gartner, stood before the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and presented oral arguments in our crucial case Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In her arguments, Eve urged the court to sustain the essential principle that no abortion restriction can endanger a woman’s health or risk a woman’s life. When she finished, she recorded a podcast on the steps of the Supreme Court to share her reactions and thoughts with you.

Listen to the podcast at SaveROE.com.

CBS Qualifies Use of “Partial Birth Abortion” for Its Reporters

CBS News Senior Vice President, Standards and Special Projects Linda Mason, in an email to CBS staff:

"We thought that 'partial birth' is a color phrase for people who are anti-abortion rights," said Mason. "This is a procedure usually done after 20 weeks. Therefore, 'late term' is appropriate. Now, some colleagues have come back to me and questioned this because the name of the law before the Supreme Court is the 'Partial-Birth Abortion.' When people refer to the case, they should call it by the correct name. But a CBS reporter should call the procedure a 'late term abortion.'"

Where is the “Pro-Life” Lobby? The Sequel

Today is Election Day 2006, the day that political pundits and average Americans alike have been wondering about for months, because the faces of government are likely to look a lot different tomorrow than they do today. There has been a lot going on in light of this election, and conservative interest groups have a lot of election issues on their plates. But considering the significance of abortion to so many of these "pro-lifers," does it surprise anyone else that so few of these groups are talking about the abortion-related Supreme Court cases that begin tomorrow?

Send a Text Message for Reproductive Health?

While Rewire likes to be ahead of the curve in terms of our use of technology, we certainly haven't mastered it all. We are glad to report about good use of technology for reproductive health advocacy, even when it isn't us.

Women's Voices, Women's Vote have been going at it hard this election season, trying to get out the female vote in America - 20 million eligible women didn't vote during the last election. And among their strategies? Besides releasing all of their TV ads on YouTube (like our friends at NARAL Pro-Choice America have done), they're making use of another increasingly popular technology: cell phone text messaging, or SMS.[img_assist|nid=1315|title=Click Here to Watch the Video|desc=|link=none|align=middle|width=640|height=505]

New Study Suggests Breast Cancer/Oral Contraception Link

A new study released this week suggests that there is a link, (a fairly significant-sounding link actually), between breast cancer and oral contraceptives. What the study has going for it is that it was published in the very legitimate, peer-reviewed journal Mayo Proceedings, from the Mayo Clinic. But while we are not inclined to question the integrity of the Mayo Clinic, we do think there are some serious questions to be considered about the report.

Far-right Groups Botch Science on Abortion & Breast Cancer

A study from Oxford researchers was released this week that once again concluded that there is no data to support the claim from radical anti-choice activists that abortion (induced or spontaneous) causes breast cancer. This research only further bolsters the arguments from the American Cancer Institute (a federally-funded branch of NIH), the Mayo Clinic, a US Congressional report and others that say there is conclusive evidence that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer. But for some reason, the far-right Canadian website, LifeSite, was quick to write that this new research is flawed, and to reaffirm their claim that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. What on earth is going on here? How can they keep making these claims? Some people are inclined to think that it’s just because they’re so ideologically constrained that they can’t see the science sitting right in front of them. But if you read their article, you get an even more comical picture: they have absolutely no ability to logically evaluate the science, and (why is this typical of the far-right?) they will continue on message regardless of the research and regardless of how ridiculous they look.

FRC Against Dybul: Putting a Gay Man in Charge of AIDS Prevention Like a “Fox in charge of the henhouse”

Remember that post about David Kuo's new book Tempting Faith? People have been wondering out loud after its release this week if the Religious Right would freak out and live up to the titles given them by some in the Bush Administration ("whackos," "nuts," etc.) Well, whether they've read the book or not, check this out...

Referring to Mark Dybul, the Bush Administration's appointee to direct the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council (FRC) had this to say:

Will Product (RED) Shake Up HIV Advocacy?

Product (RED), an initiative conceived by Bono to get international brands to market and support the Global Fund for AIDS, TB, & Malaria, officially hit American shores Friday. I have a feeling that many readers are wondering what on earth it is and that most readers cock their heads when they hear “Bono” and “Global Fund” in the same sentence (albeit for dramatically different reasons, depending on what you think of Bono). Regardless, you won’t be wondering for much longer. But the question I have to ask is, “Why didn’t you know in the first place?”