Trump to name anti-abortion advocate to lead federal family planning programs

Trump to name anti-abortion advocate to lead federal family planning programs
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President Trump has picked an anti-abortion advocate to lead federal family planning programs.

Teresa Manning, who has worked for the Family Research Council, will serve as the deputy assistant secretary for population affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, The Hill confirmed Monday. The news was first reported by Politico. 

In her role, Manning will help oversee the distribution of Title X funding, which goes to clinics providing contraceptive and preventive health services. 

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Manning, a law professor, sued the University of Iowa in 2012, claiming she was passed over for a job because of her stances on politics and abortion. 

A federal jury rejected Manning's suit in 2015. 

Planned Parenthood derided the news Monday, calling Manning an "ideologue" and highlighting some of her past statements about contraception. 

In an interview in 2003, Manning questioned the efficacy of contraception. 

"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, over that span of time," she said.

"The prospect that contraception would always prevent the conception of a child is preposterous. Over a 30-year period a woman is very likely to conceive at least once, if not twice, and Family Planning Perspectives, the publication which writes on all this, admits that in its articles. It is very interesting what’s happened to the justification of contraception and then the justification of abortion, because contraception doesn’t work.”

Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens on Monday called on the Trump administration to withdraw Manning's appointment.

“We are at the lowest rate of unintended pregnancy in 30 years and a historic low for teen pregnancy because of access to birth control. Someone who promotes myths about birth control and reproductive care should not be in charge of the office that is responsible for family planning at HHS," Laguens said in a statement. 

The Trump administration also announced the hiring of anti-abortion advocate Charmaine Yoest as the assistant secretary for public affairs at HHS. 

Yoest was president of Americans United for Life, which pushed for tougher restrictions on abortion at the federal and state level.