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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881
press@prochoice.org

National Abortion Federation Denounces Appointment of Dr. Keroack to Oversee Federal Family Planning Funds

Saporta: "Dr. Keroack should not be entrusted with the oversight of the Title X program and the health of millions of Americans."

Washington - The National Abortion Federation (NAF) today denounced the appointment of Dr. Eric Keroack as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs (DASPA). DASPA oversees Title X, the nation's family planning program, which provides high-quality family planning and preventive health care services to over five million low-income individuals annually.

This appointment raises serious concerns because Dr. Keroack is currently the Medical Director for A Woman's Concern (AWC), six crisis pregnancy health centers located in the greater Boston area. Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) are designed to discourage pregnant women from seeking abortions, and in many instances they misinform and intimidate women to achieve their goal. Dr. Keroack's support of biased counseling is troubling given Title X's long-standing commitment to medically accurate information. In addition, AWC health centers will not distribute, encourage the use of, or offer referrals for contraceptive drugs and devices.

"CPCs intentionally mislead women to prevent them from accessing a full range of reproductive health care options including contraception and abortion," National Abortion Federation (NAF) President and CEO Vicki Saporta said. "Instead of providing legitimate health care services for women, CPCs exist to dissuade women from considering abortion."

NAF has joined with a coalition of health care and women's organizations in sending a letter to Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services, to express serious concerns over the appointment of Dr. Keroack.

"Dr. Keroack should not be entrusted with the oversight of the Title X program and the health of millions of Americans," Saporta said. "For more than 35 years, the Title X program has been a hallmark of quality preventive care, enabling practitioners to provide family planning services to low-income individuals."

In June 2006, NAF released a comprehensive report detailing the many ways Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) have deceived and intimidated women. The report, entitled Crisis Pregnancy Centers: An Affront to Choice (PDF file, 211K), highlights numerous instances where CPCs have harassed and given false information to women, leaving them feeling betrayed and misled. The report also discusses legal action taken against CPCs.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org

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