Contraception "demeaning to women", says new Bush appointee

21 November 2006

by Jessica Reed

A Woman's Concern is persuaded that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness - A woman's concern organisation, under Director Erik Kerouac.

Just when you let a sigh of relief after South Dakota rejected the ban on abortion a couple of weeks ago, it is time to worry again. If the rumor circualted for a few days on the Internet and the feminist blogopshere, it is now official: George W. Bush has just appointed Eric Keroack as the new chief for family-planning programs; and will dispose of a budget of $283 million to run them. The Department of Health clearly states that such a budget and grants are "designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons."

Alas, it turns out that the Ted Haggard mayhem did not teach Bush anything: Keroack is a christian conservative who "regards the distribution of condoms as demeaning to women". He is also the medical director of A woman's concern, a non-profit organisation which supports sexual abstinence until marriage (in their words, women maybe should "consider the A word"), and states that condoms do not protect against HIV/AIDS 100% of the time.

...Not to mention that according to the organisation, cohabitation is a bad idea: "living with your boyfriend or girlfriend outside of marriage could lead to more trouble than you bargained for".

Journalists, activists, feminists and even right-wing bloggers did not take the news very well. And with reason, when the health of million of women is directly at stake, and when sexual health policies are so obviously tainted both with denial and ignorance.

And while we are talking about women's reproductive rights issues, this week Nicaragua's president also signed the abortion ban into law

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