Keroack Resigns; Pregnancy Bias Claims Rise

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersDr. Eric Keroack, who has been embroiled in controversy since he was appointed as the Health and Human Services Department’s chief family planning officer in November, abruptly resigned his post on March 29, Reuters reported.Keroack’s selection by President Bush was met with strong criticism from women’s groups over his anti-abortion stance and his previous work with five Massachusetts “crisis pregnancy” centers. Massachusetts state Medicaid officials took an undisclosed action against Keroack earlier in the week, which led to his departure.In his federal position, Keroack oversaw $283 million in family planning grants used to provide contraception to low-income women, but his opposition to contraception provoked 107 House Democrats and three Republicans to call for his resignation in December.”It’s a good day for women’s health,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said. “Keroack was unqualified to run the nation’s family planning program. The nation’s family planning program should be run by a champion for women’s health and safety.”More News to Cheer This Week: The ‘Yogyakarta Principles’ for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights were introduced at the U.N. Human Rights Council’s session in Geneva by a group of 29 advocates, the New York-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission announced March 29. The principles recommend a strategy for how governments should treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and address rape and other forms of gender-based violence; extrajudicial executions, torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment; medical abuses; repression of free speech and assembly; and discrimination in work, health, education, housing, access to justice and immigration.Several thousand women marched in Mexico City to support a bill that would legalize abortion in the capital city, the Associated Press reported March 29.

Portugal Tests European Stance on Abortion

Portugal, one of four European nations where most abortions are illegal, will vote next month in a referendum to liberalize its laws. The election occurs amid efforts to challenge Portuguese and Irish anti-choice laws in European court.