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HHS Watch Teresa Manning Wagner

HHS Watch is a campaign that examines decision makers at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a full audit into the positions and backgrounds of appointees and continuous monitoring of their actions.

Trump Administration HHS appointees are seeking to undermine proven, popular, and effective reproductive health programs, as well as Americans’ independent reproductive health decisions.

Teresa Manning Wagner, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Population Affairs

*NOTE: On Friday, January 12, Teresa Manning Wagner was escorted from the premises at the Department of Health and Human Services after resigning her position. The full circumstances of her departure are not known. Valerie Huber – who had never previously held a government position and who built a career promoting abstinence-only, anti-contraception education – has been named Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Population Affairs. Click HERE to read Equity Forward’s statement on the Friday night shakeup.*

Teresa Manning, a “former anti-abortion lobbyist” with scant experience in any health issues, was appointed by the Trump Administration to oversee the office responsible for administering Title X family planning grants. Her only experience with birth control has been denying its efficacy throughout her career as she worked for and alongside anti-abortion and anti-contraception forces.

  • Teresa Manning was appointed to HHS in May of 2017. She is a former “anti-abortion lobbyist.” [National Catholic Reporter, 1/17/03; The Hill, 5/1/17]
  • In November 2017, OPA released new anti-contraceptive research priorities which included: “investigating reasons for and barriers to discontinuing reversible contraceptive methods. The primary focus is to conduct research leading to increased services related to discontinuing reversible contraceptive methods, such as removal of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), i.e., intrauterine devices/systems and implants” and “evaluating alternative options to improve the fertility process in individuals and couples trying to conceive through vaginal intercourse. The primary focus is to conduct research leading to the increased ability of couples to conceive through vaginal intercourse without the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), intrauterine insemination, or ovarian hyperstimulation.” [FY18 Office of Population Affairs Research Grant Priorities, 11/8/17]

This is, of course, in line with past roles and associations enumerated right in her personal resume…

  • Manning lists Helen Alvare as a reference, an Antonin Scalia Law School professor nicknamed “‘birth control’s worst enemy’,” who has “dedicated her life’s work to the defense of the unborn”” [Teresa Manning resume, 7/12/17, National Catholic Register, 9/11/12]
  • Manning authored a chapter in the book Opposing Viewpoints: Sex, in which she claimed sex researcher Alfred Kinsey undermined sexual morality. Within the chapter Manning asserted that “Planned Parenthood and its research arm, the Alan Guttmacher Institute…mask their sex-on-demand advocacy behind pseudo-scientific credentials to promote extramarital sex and government-funded contraception worldwide. All this has developed as outgrowth of the Kinsey fraud and the sexual revolution he helped to launch in our culture.” [Opposing Viewpoints: Sex, 3/1/04, page 23]

… and it’s safe to assume someone who thinks the government has no role in birth control would oppose Title X protections.

  • In January 2003, Manning was part of a panel that included New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith where she said that “family planning is something that occurs between a husband and a wife and God and it doesn’t really involve the federal government.” [C-SPAN, 1/21/03]