President Donald Trump is expected to appoint Teresa Manning, an activist who opposes birth control and abortion, to run the Health and Human Services office that oversees family planning for low-income Americans, PoliticoPro reported.
Manning, who used to work for the National Right to Life Committee and Family Research Council, has argued in the past that contraception does not work.
“Contraception doesn’t work. Its efficacy is very low, especially when you consider over years, which you know a lot of contraception health advocates want — to start women in their adolescent years when they’re extremely fertile, incidentally, and continue for 10, 20, 30 years,” she told WBUR in 2003. “Over that span of time, the prospect that contraception would always prevent the conception of a child is preposterous.”
Manning also argued that allowing women to buy the morning-after pill over the counter was “immoral” in a 2001 statement while she worked at the Family Research Council. She has also pushed the debunked claim that abortion can increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.
As deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs at HHS, Manning would oversee Title X funds that help low-income women afford birth control and preventative health care.
Following the PoliticoPro report about Manning’s pending appointment, Democrats and pro-choice groups denounced the Trump administration’s choice.
“This is the fox guarding the hen house, and women with low incomes will pay the price. It is a cruel irony to appoint an opponent of birth control to oversee the nation’s only federal program dedicated to family planning,” Dawn Laguens, vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a Monday statement.
“Teresa Manning has spent her career denying science and peddling fiction about family planning and abortion,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said in a statement Tuesday. “Her appointment to oversee our nation’s family planning program is yet another step in the Trump Administration’s dangerous campaign to roll back women’s reproductive rights and undermine the immense progress we have made to reduce teen pregnancy and abortions, both at an all-time low, in part because of funding through the Title X family planning program.”
News of Manning’s pending appointment comes after Trump appointed Charmaine Yoest, an anti-abortion leader, to be the assistant secretary for public affairs at HHS. He also brought on Katy Talento to help shape the White House’s health policy. Talento has claimed that chemical birth control causes abortions and hurts a woman’s chances to have a baby later in life.