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Heidi Stirrup, HHS

Heidi Stirrup

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy, Administration for Children and Families

Heidi Hiltgen Stirrup has made her anti-abortion views clear over her decades of experience in Washington as a lobbyist, advocate and government aide. She joined the Trump administration as the the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) White House Liaison and was promoted to her current position of Assistant Secretary of Policy at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in July 2018.

HOW THEIR ROLE AFFECTS ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

Stirrup provides advice and counsel to the head of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on its policies and programs, which encompass those run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), foster and child care programs, Social Services Block Grants and more. Stirrup’s extremist anti-abortion views can now influence a myriad of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policies, particularly those affecting young people.

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT OF NOTE

Deputy White House Liaison for Political Personnel, Boards and Commissions, HHS, 2017 – 2018

2011 – 2017: Subcommittee Policy Coordinator, Subcommittee on Health, U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means, 2011 – 2017

President, Faithful Catholic Citizens, 2008 – 2009

Senior Legislative Advisor, Venable LLP (Stirrup was a registered lobbyist), 2003 – 2008

Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives, 1998 – 2003

Director, Government Relations, Christian Coalition (“grassroots, pro-family activist organization for people of faith”), 1995 – 1998

Director, Congressional Relations, Associated General Contractors of America, 1985 – 1995

TIES TO OTHER ANTI-CHOICE EXTREMISTS

Ralph Reed:

Stirrup worked with Reed when he was the Founding Director of the Christian Coalition. At this time, Reed told the New York Times that it “oppose[d] abortion in every case except when the mother’s life is in danger." Reed rallied Evangelical Christians to vote for Trump in the 2016 election and was implicated in the divisive Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal earlier in his career.

HIGHLIGHTS

Stirrup Said That Abortion Was “Intrinsically Evil”:

In a 2008 advertisement for Faithful Catholic Citizens, Stirrup said that “abortion is intrinsically evil.” [Faithful Catholic Citizens, 0:20, accessed 8/31/18; Faithful Catholic Citizens YouTube Channel, accessed 8/31/08].

Stirrup Argued That Birth Control Encourages “Sexual Promiscuity”:

“The welfare system provides rewards to young women for certain behavior: have sex, get pregnant, don't get married and the state will take over for the baby' s father and will manage the family. This system has produced skyrocketing illegitimacy rates, generations of women and children dependent upon the state who don't know the value of work. When the state hands out condoms and birth control pills, it necessarily encourages sexual promiscuity. When the state provides an economic safety net, they do so without encouraging marriage or working to prevent the pregnancy at the outset by advocating abstinence.” [Heidi Stirrup Prepared Testimony, Federal News Service, 2/29/96].

Stirrup argued that the Secretary of Health and Human Services strategy to prevent teenage pregnancies “must not be a condom distribution plan,” adding that “abstinence is essential and must be a national priority. It is the only foolproof solution to prevent pregnancies.” [Heidi Stirrup Testimony, Federal News Service, 3/12/96]

Stirrup Has Said That The “Basic Family Unit” Was Under Attack From “Homosexuality” And “Illegitimacy”:

“Few will dispute the fact that there is a moral and social decline in America today beginning with the decay of the very basic unit of our society, the family. The basic family unit has been under attack from illegitimacy, promiscuity, adultery, divorce and homosexuality. It is the increasing rate of our of wedlock births, however, that is particularly shocking and troubling and which demands attention. Our federal public policy should encourage marriage, help families stay together and discourage out of wedlock births.” [Heidi Stirrup Hearing Testimony, Federal News Service, 2/29/96].

THE WHOLE STORY

Heidi Stirrup Has Spent Decades Spewing Her Anti-Abortion, Anti-Birth Control and Anti-LGBTQ Beliefs Personally And Professionally

Stirrup Is A Staunch Opponent Of Abortion Rights And Birth Control And Promotes Abstinence Education…  

Stirrup Called Abortion “Intrinsically Evil” 

Stirrup Said That Abortion Was “Intrinsically Evil.” In a 2008 advertisement for Faithful Catholic Citizens, Stirrup said that “abortion is intrinsically evil.” [Faithful Catholic Citizens, 0:20, accessed 8/31/08]

[Faithful Catholic Citizens, 0:20, accessed 8/31/08]

Stirrup Has Been Outspoken Against Birth Control And Advocated For Abstinence To Be A National Priority

Stirrup Has Argued That Birth Control Encourages “Sexual Promiscuity.” Heidi Stirrup claimed that “when the state hands out condoms and birth control pills, it necessarily encourages sexual promiscuity.” [Heidi Stirrup Prepared Testimony, Federal News Service, 2/29/96]

Stirrup Has Advocated For Abstinence To Be A National Priority, And For An Increase In Funding For Abstinence Education. Stirrup argued that abstinence must be a “national priority,” because it is the “only foolproof solution to prevent pregnancies.” [Heidi Stirrup Testimony, Federal News Service, 3/12/96]

  • Stirrup Recommended An “Increase Funding In Abstinence Education” During A Senate Finance Hearing. “[I]ncrease funding for abstinence education. There is no question that successful practice of abstinence will reduce the number of out of wedlock pregnancies.” [Heidi Stirrup Hearing Testimony, Federal News Service, 2/29/96]

…Despite Her Anti-Birth Control Stance, Stirrup Disparaged Single Mothers And Argued Against Providing Them With Financial Assistance

Heidi Stirrup: “Rapid Expansion Of Welfare…Subsidizes Unwed Motherhood Making Husbands Quite Dispensable”

Stirrup Stated That Welfare Expansion To A “Young Girl” Is “More Attractive Than Entry Level Jobs” And “Subsidizes Unwed Motherhood.” “While some may question whether welfare causes illegitimacy, it is certainly true that welfare cash and assistance provides a perverse economic support system for it. A young girl on welfare can get a cash grant, food stamps, medical care, day care, a transportation allowance, and in many cases a rent allowance. This rapid expansion of welfare benefits make welfare more attractive than entry-level jobs and subsidizes unwed motherhood making husbands quite dispensable. In fact, for many fathers, welfare provides an automatic escape hatch. They do not have to take responsibility for their children -- the government will.” [Heidi Stirrup Prepared Testimony, Federal News Service, 2/29/96]

Heidi Stirrup Claimed That Government Welfare Assistance Allows Young Women To “Continue Having Children Outside Of Marriage”

Heidi Stirrup Argued Against Providing Financial Assistance To Single Mothers Because “Financial Support Is What Allows This Behavior To Continue.” “Defenders of the welfare state argue that young women do not have babies just to get their government check. There are perhaps a variety of reasons, but nonetheless, the financial support is what allows this behavior to continue. Taking away the cash incentive could be the single most immediate step to break the cycle of illegitimacy and dependency. Remember, these federal welfare dollars are taxpayer dollars and while Americans generally feel an obligation to support the unfortunate, there is little support for tax dollars being spent to sustain a child fathered by a young man who disappears and leaves mother and child to be wards of the state.” [Heidi Stirrup Prepared Testimony, Federal News Service, 2/29/96]

Stirrup Made Offensive, Outlandish Remarks About LGBTQ Couples And Sexual Assault

Stirrup Said That The “Basic Family Unit” Was Under Attack Because Of “Homosexuality”

Stirrup Has Said That The “Basic Family Unit” Was Under Attack Because Of Same-Sex Relationships. “The basic family unit has been under attack from illegitimacy, promiscuity, adultery, divorce and homosexuality. It is the increasing rate of our of wedlock births, however, that is particularly shocking and troubling and which demands attention. Our federal public policy should encourage marriage, help families stay together and discourage out of wedlock births.” [Heidi Stirrup Prepared Testimony, Federal News Service, 2/29/96]         

Stirrup Wanted To Talk About Rape In A “More Uplifting Way”

Stirrup Criticized An Anti-Rape Commercial Claiming She Wanted Rape To Be Talked About In A “More Uplifting Way” And Suggested The Commercial Could Be Construed As “Demonizing Marriage.” “Well, let's--let me first suggest that the message here, of course, is that men never have a license to rape, never have a right to rape. And what we want to do is make sure that we do not confuse the message with the visuals. And I'm afraid that some of these visuals, particularly the one with the wedding scene, may, in fact, send mixed messages. The idea, again, that men who were on the altar sharing their vows with their wife does not give them license to rape their wives. But the image, I'm afraid, is one that's demonizing marriage, and that's the wrong message that we need to send…I guess what I'd like to see is a more uplifting way. No means no. And, men, no matter what, if they share their vows with their wives, do not have license to rape. And that is a correct message. I'm afraid, however, that the visual may conflict with that message. [NBC News Transcripts, 10/10/97]