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Cathy Deeds

Senior Program Analyst, Administration for Children & Families

Catherine “Cathy” Anne Deeds’ anti-abortion views have driven her career for two decades; she has worked with a number of extremist organizations including Students for Life America, Susan B. Anthony List and the Family Research Council. She joined Trump’s HHS as a Senior Advisor for Special Initiatives within the Office of Population Affairs. After leaving that position in April 2018, she later returned to the agency as a Senior Program Analyst at HHS’ Administration for Children & Families (ACF). Deeds also worked at HHS during George W. Bush’s administration as the deputy director for the Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives (now the Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives.)


The Administration for Children & Families (ACF) encompasses a number of offices, including those that oversee family aid programs as well as foster care and adoption. ACF also includes the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is charged with caring for migrant children who arrive at the border unaccompanied or are separated from their families by U.S. officials at the border. Former ORR head Scott Lloyd personally intervened to prevent young migrant women in the agency’s care from ending pregnancies, forcing many of the young women to sue for their right to abortion access, and has been accused of mismanaging the tracking of separated children.

Deeds works across these issues within ACF’s Office of the Assistant Secretary under Assistant Secretary Lynn A. Johnson. In her former role as Senior Advisor for Special Initiatives, Deeds advised the Office of Population Affairs, the office responsible for administering and overseeing the Title X family planning program. Title X provides birth control for low-income people, which has been under attack by Trump appointees like Valerie Huber and Steven Valentine.


Executive Assistant to the President, Students for Life America, 2014 – 2017 

Outreach Coordinator, Minnesota Catholic Conference, 2011 – 2012 

Director, Congressional and Public Affairs, Office of Special Counsel, 2004 – 2006 

Deputy Director, Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, HHS, 2001 – 2004 

Policy Analyst, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1997 ­– 2000 

Vice Chairman of Susan B. Anthony List Executive Committee (and former board member of the group), 1998 

Deputy Director, Government Relations, Family Research Council, 1994 – 1997 

Free Congress Foundation, a now-defunct organization focused on “the Culture War,” 1987


Lynn A. Johnson:  

Deeds works for ACF Assistant Secretary Lynn A. Johnson. In her work at HHS, Johnson has been intimately involved in the family separation crisis. Johnson has defended an HHS rule designed to discriminate against LGBTQ and non-Christian people by stating that “religious freedom is a fundamental human right.” In her Senate confirmation hearing, she avoided giving direct answers to questions about the importance of birth control access.

Theresa Manning:

As an advisor in OPA, Deeds worked for Theresa Manning, the office’s former deputy assistant secretary. Manning is a longtime anti-abortion activist who has “made a career out of denying women their right to reproductive health care services.” She has falsely claimed that “contraception doesn’t work” — yet in her role at OPA, was in charge of the Title X family planning program. Earlier in her career, Manning worked as special counsel and as an attorney, respectively, for the extremist Family Research Council and National Right to Life Committee.  

Kristan Hawkins:

Prior to working at HHS, Deeds was Kristan Hawkins’ executive assistant. Hawkins, who is president of Students for Life of America and a self-proclaimed “abortion abolitionist,” has enjoyed extremely close ties to the Trump Administration. She praised HHS for its “pro-life ideology,” remarking that the agency is “working diligently to try to reverse some of the things that happened during the last eight years of the Obama administration.”


The National Catholic Register Described Deeds In 1998 As A Former Susan B. Anthony List Board Member And Current Vice Chairman Of The SBA Executive Committee. Deeds Told The NCR In An Interview:    

“SBA seeks qualified women who are committed to public service in their state. We also need more pro-life votes in Congress. [SBA seeks] dedicated spokespersons who will elevate the abortion issue, educate their colleagues and the public, and end this national tragedy.” [National Catholic Register, 11/22/98

Ignoring Evidence, Deeds Wrote In A 2000 Op-Ed That Contraception Does Not Help Reduce Unintended Pregnancy:

“The ‘most significant’ legislative trend noted and supported by NARAL lies in ‘contraceptive coverage laws,’ which are gaining acceptance in many state legislatures. The measures are backed by NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and other pro-abortion groups that have long lobbied for more funding and access to contraception — under the false assumption that contraception helps reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions. These new ‘coverage’ laws go much further, forcing these groups' agenda on unwilling health care providers and individuals who may not see all ‘contraceptive’ methods as equal.” [National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United State Catholic Conference, 3/3/00]


Deeds’ Extremist Anti-Abortion Positions Have Long Driven Her Work

In 1987, Deeds Worked For The Now-Defunct Free Congress Foundation, An Organization Focused On ‘The Culture War.’ “Free Congress Foundation is politically conservative, but it is more than that: it is also culturally conservative. Most think tanks talk about tax rates or the environment or welfare policy and occasionally we do also. But our main focus is on the Culture War. Will America return to the culture that made it great, our traditional, Judeo-Christian, Western culture? Or will we continue the long slide into the cultural and moral decay of political correctness? If we do, America, once the greatest nation on earth, will become no less than a third world country.” [Free Congress Foundation, accessed via]

  • While At Free Congress, Deeds Declared Her Opposition To Abortion As Government-Sanctioned Murder. “…we need a whole movement, on a single issue, just dealing with abortion because government is sanctioning killing of children…" [Studies In Political Economy, Summer 1991]

Deeds Organized A 1989 Anti-Abortion Demonstration To “Rattle The Consciences” Of Pro-Choicers. “[Deeds organized a pro-life demonstration in Washington, DC] to ‘rattle the consciences’ of those who support legalized abortion.” [Washington Times, 11/13/89]

Deeds Worked At The Right-Wing Group Family Research Council, An Organization Known For Its Extreme Anti-Reproductive Health Stances.  

While At FRC, Deeds Spoke Out In Favor Of The So-Called “Partial-Birth Abortion” Ban. “‘These historic votes on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act showed us something important about our nation's people. There is tremendous consensus among Americans to curb the no-holds-barred destruction of the unborn and to curb the trauma inflicted on women in tough circumstances,’ Family Research Council Deputy Director of Government Relations Cathy Deeds said on Monday. She continued: ‘Congressmen and congresswomen who have never cast a pro-life vote showed they understood that there are limits to what can be done to the unborn. Family Research Council calls on President Clinton to join them and to live up to his claim to want to make abortion 'rare.' We urge the President to sign the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act making it the first piece of pro-life legislation to receive his support in reaching his often talked about goal. Words against abortion are not enough for those who mourn what is happening to a nation that places self-interest above every other concern — even life.’” [Washington Dateline, 4/1/1996]

Deeds Is Anti-LGBTQ; She Has Led Campaigns To Deny LGBTQ People Their Rights

As An Outreach Coordinator At The Minnesota Catholic Conference, Deeds Led The 2012 “Minnesota For Marriage” Ballot Campaign To Amend The State Constitution To Define Marriage As Heterosexual In Nature. “In November 2012, Minnesota voters will have a chance to defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman from rogue courts and legislators who believe it is their right to redefine and undermine this vital social institution… Your support is vital to help other Minnesotans see the timeless institution of marriage as the bedrock of civil society and the strongest environment for raising children. To become informed and involved, and for regular marriage amendment campaign updates, please sign up at You can also contact MCC outreach coordinator Cathy Deeds at (651) 256-7583 or email her at” [Catholic Defense League of Minnesota]