[HEALTH] Trump Appoints Anti-Contraception, Anti-Abortion Activist to Government’s Largest Family-Planning Program

This article originally appeared at Vita di Donna on 23 May 2017 and can be read here (in Italian). Associazione Vita di Donna Onlus is a non-profit organization based out of Rome, Italy, that aims to protect women’s health and reproductive rights, headed up by Dr. Elisabetta Canitano.

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In an ongoing mission to ensure every department under the United States government is run by people who want to destroy those departments from the inside out, President Donald Trump will appoint Teresa Manning as the Department of Health and Human Services’ deputy assistant secretary for population affairs. This will put her in charge of almost $300 million in grants under the Title X program, which provides family planning funding for about 4 million poor and uninsured Americans; however, Manning’s history shows an alarming and often false belief against most family planning measures, including contraception and abortion.

Manning, a former analyst for the highly conservative Family Research Council and lobbyist with the National Right to Life Committee, has been incredibly vocal against basic contraception. In a 2003 interview with National Public Radio (NPR), she said the following:

“Of course, contraception doesn’t work. Its efficacy is very low, especially when you consider over years — which 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. The prospect that contraception would always prevent the conception of a child is preposterous.”

Manning has repeatedly and publicly objected to the use of RU-486 (mifepristone), also known as the “abortion pill,” as well as the morning-after pill, which does not terminate a pregnancy. In a comment that shows a shocking lack of understanding about the morning-after pill, Manning said in 2001, “A major, if not dominant, mechanism of the morning-after pill is the destruction of a human life already conceived.”

In further comments on abortion, Manning has called it the “destruction of a human life” and a “legalized crime” and, in a Family Research Council brochure, that “the effects of abortion are very similar to the effects of rape.” In addition, she has argued that because there is a financial incentive to get paid for performing an abortion, doctors cannot be trusted to advise whether their patient would need an abortion as a health-preservation measure, calling it a “conflict of interest.”

She has also spread incredibly misleading information about reproductive science: in 2000, Manning wrote that “the link between abortion and breast cancer is now undisputed,” citing endocrinologist Joel Brind, whose conclusions about this link have in fact been widely disputed and shown to be specious at best by others in the scientific community.

With Teresa Manning running a government program designed to help people prevent unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, these 4 million low-income and uninsured Americans can be sure that the Title X family planning program will no longer be useful in actually helping with family planning. This is just one more in a series of decisions by Trump to fill national health agencies with people working to seriously undermine the health of American women.

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