Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, May 2, 2017

Contact:  Leigh Moyer, (520) 623-5252 x 313,  

Trump Appoints Birth Control Foe to Population Affairs Job

Manning Appointment Is Latest Attack on Women's Rights, Efforts to Curb Unsustainable Human Population Growth

WASHINGTON— The Trump administration on Monday reportedly assigned Teresa Manning to be deputy assistant secretary for population affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. The position is responsible for an approximately $286 million budget and helps to set national policy on family planning, contraception and teen pregnancy.

Manning is an anti-contraception, anti-abortion advocate who has publicly questioned the effectiveness of birth control in preventing pregnancy. She has also indicated that the government should not play a role in family planning. In her new position Manning will oversee Title X, which, among other things, ensures that millions of low-income women have access to birth control.

“It's dangerous and absurd to put an anti-contraception activist like Manning in charge of the Office of Population Affairs,” said Leigh Moyer, a population organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This vital program should be headed by someone who will ensure that all women have access to the family planning tools they want and need. Manning is a threat to women's reproductive rights and could reverse years of work to prevent unintended pregnancies.”

The news comes on the same day that the Trump administration killed the “Let Girls Learn” initiative, an international program started by the Obama administration that was aimed at promoting global access to education for young girls. In late January, shortly after his inauguration, Trump reinstated and expanded a “global gag rule” that bans federally funded organizations providing international health care from discussing abortion. He also signed legislation allowing states to deny Title X funding to clinics that provide abortion services.

“Access to contraception and education are fundamental human rights," said Moyer. "They're also the most effective and equitable way to address unsustainable human population growth.”

Every day 227,000 people are added to the planet, putting enormous pressure on the environment and wildlife. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the rate of unintended pregnancies dropped to 45 percent in 2011, and teen birth rates are at historic lows. Experts believe both trends are likely driven by increased access and more effective forms of contraception.

The Center's Population and Sustainability program advocates for rights-based, common-sense solutions, including universal access to contraception, reproductive healthcare and family planning services, education and equality for women and girls, and reducing our environmental footprint.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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