Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Attack on Dr. Keroack

The Liberal blogosphere has gone on the attack against Bush's appointment of Dr. Eric Keroack as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs over at the Department of Health and Human Services. It seems that Dr. Keroack believes that abstinence is the safest way to avoid pregnancy and STD's, and is on the board of an pro-abstinence organization that teaches the risks and costs of contraception. Slate's Amanda Schaffer finds this unacceptable, since his office oversees the family planning services financed by the federal government. She gives a link to the Office of Family Planning, which describes the functions of that office, and the fact that its budget is $288 million for 2005.
She neglects to mention that his office also oversees Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs, which oversees the federal funds spent on abstinence education. This office has a budget of $30.7 million for 2006.
You could make the case that the Secretary overseeing both programs should be equally committed to both, or that he should be nine times more committed to contraception because his office spends 9 times more on artificial birth control than on abstinence.
Or you could ask yourself whether it is possible to be genuinely evenhanded between the two philosophies of believing that sex in any context is an entitlement on the one hand and that marriage is the proper context for sex on the other.

Exaggerated Abortion Statistics?

Pro-lifers have known for some time that the deaths from illegal abortion have been greatly exaggerated. Ramesh Ponuru summarizes the case in his book The Party of Death . Here is a more recent accusation.

Paul Tully, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) general secretary, commented: "The author of this story works for one of the most wealthy and politically powerful pro-abortion lobby groups in the world, the Wall Street-based Guttmacher Institute. The "research" was funded by the Hewlett Foundation, a notoriously pro-abortion body.

"Reports of the study claim that Dr Singh found out about the rate of admission to hospital following complications from unsafe abortion. This is not what she did. Dr Singh's "findings" were not factual data established by research, but guesses extrapolated from estimates.

"The burden of the study is clearly to promote the killing of more unborn babies in poorer countries, regardless of the fact that women do not want abortions.

"Marge Berer (Editor, Reproductive Health Matters), supports Singh's study, saying: "When legal restrictions on abortion are reduced, the rate of deaths and morbidity decreases greatly." This is contradicted by hard data from Poland, which imposed new legal restrictions on abortion in the mid 1990s and consequently showed improved maternal and infant health."

I wish Mr. Tully were more specific, or that LifeSite News had given a link to further information. This is a serious charge, if true. It needs further corroboration than given here. Does anyone know anything more specific?