Here’s one for the How Much Can We Fuck Women Up files. Teresa Manning has been tapped to be Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services. She’ll be responsible for administering federal Title X family planning funds. The problem? Not only is Ms. Manning rabidly anti-choice, she’s a contraception denier. She doesn’t think anyone needs contraception. I really didn’t think anything else today could make my bad mood worse, was I ever wrong.
Manning is currently listed as deputy assistant secretary for the office in the HHS staff directory.
Manning has worked for the National Right to Life Committee and Family Research Council. She has a long history of making inaccurate statements about contraception, like saying that it doesn’t work, and falsely claimed there was a link between breast cancer and abortion, according to Mic.
In 2001, when Manning worked for the Family Research Council, which has fiercely opposed LGBTQ rights, she said that it was “immoral” and “medically irresponsible” to ensure that women can buy emergency contraceptives over the counter.
Part of Manning’s role is to administer $286 million in federal Title X family planning funds, which benefit low-income populations. Title X is a competitive federal grant program that provides family planning and other health services to an estimated four million low-income uninsured and underinsured people each year. Providers have to demonstrate a capacity to meet needs in community before receiving funds.
Manning would have a role in setting national policy on issues of family planning and contraception and advises the secretary and assistant secretary for the department on a “wide range of reproductive health issues,” according to the HHS website.
Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released a statement on the appointment.
“It is a cruel irony to appoint an opponent of birth control to oversee the nation’s only federal program dedicated to family planning,” Laguens stated. “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.”