The federal office in charge of family planning has a new boss: Dr. Eric Keroack, pictured at right. He doesn't quite reach up to his aesthetic mentor's standards when it comes to the moustache, but Slate has the scoop on his equally shady past:
Keroack's appointment, as deputy assistant secretary of population affairs within the Department of Health and Human Services, did not require congressional approval. The Bush administration picked him on its own. And women's health advocates, editorial pages, and bloggers, along with Democratic members of Congress, are right to think he's a crazy choice for this job.
And then there's this:
Keroack claims that that people who engage in premarital sex experience chronic emotional pain, which lowers their oxytocin levels. This in turn impairs their ability to form healthy relationships down the road. "People who have misused their sexual faculty and become bonded to multiple persons will diminish the power of oxytocin to maintain a permanent bond with an individual," he writes.
Keroack's professional history suggests a mismatch, to put it mildly, with Title X's goal of educating women about contraception and helping them get it. He has lectured widely for groups like the National Abstinence Clearinghouse, which disparages the use of birth control and disseminates medical misinformation.
Slate's final graf is somewhat hysterical ("at a moment when the need for subsidized birth control is rising, and clinics are struggling to pay for basic services…"), but this guy ought to raise a bushy eyebrow or two. Of course, so should the existence of a federal birth control tzar in the first place.