Search form

Group 4 Created with Sketch.
Back to HHS Watch

Katy Talento

Former White House Domestic Policy Council Special Assistant

Jennifer Kathryn (“Katy”) French Talento has over a decade of experience working on the Hill, where she consistently demonstrated her anti-abortion, anti-birth control beliefs. She publicly and falsely argued that using birth control reduces one’s ability to have a baby. 

HOW THEIR ROLE AFFECTS ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

While working for the Trump administration, Talento has been credited as a driving force behind policies such as the administration’s rollback of the employer healthcare birth control mandate. Politico reported in May 2019 that Talento was departing the White House.

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT OF NOTE

Legislative Director, Office of U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, 2015 – 2016

Deputy Staff Director, Republican Office, at U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, 2011 – 2013

Director of Speechwriting, Republican National Committee, 2010

Staff Director, Republican Office, U.S. Senate Federal Financial Management Subcommittee, 2005 – 2008

Senior Policy Advisor, Office of U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, 2004 – 2005

Professional Staff, Republican Office, U.S. Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension, 2001 – 2004

TIES TO OTHER ANTI-CHOICE EXTREMISTS

Matt Bowman:

Deputy General Counsel at HHS Matt Bowman and Talento have together been called the “architects of the Trump contraceptive reversal.”

Shephard Smith:

Longtime evangelical activist Shephard Smith has known Talento for years. Smith has worked for decades to promote abstinence-only sex education and similarly harmful policy agendas — and Talento is just one of many Trump appointees Smith claims to have worked with.

Sam Brownback:

Sam Brownback — currently U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom — is the former governor of Kansas, as well as a former senator and congressional representative. Brownback is vigorously anti-abortion and has pushed policies harmful to women’s access to abortion both in Kansas and on the national stage. Talento worked for him in 2004 and 2005.

HIGHLIGHTS

Talento Decried The Safety Of Birth Control And Stated Its Usage Is “Declaring War On Our Own Bodies”:

She wrote in 2015, “Hormonal contraception has brought us all kinds of "liberation" - cancer, unintended miscarriages, the masking of symptoms of reproductive disease until it may be too late to treat or mitigate, changes to our pheromone profile that attract and repel different types of sexual mates, the commodification of children and reproduction, which has led to designer babies, selective abortions and other eugenic trends, and a general disintegration of children's rights as the foundation for the legal structure surrounding civil marriage. This is just one example of the catastrophic effects of declaring war on our own bodies…” [LifeSite News, 1/15/15, accessed via Archive.org]

Talento Suggested Being Transgender Was Equivalent To A White Person Claiming To Be Black But “Trapped In A White Body”:

“I wonder if these elites would be quite so indulgent of this materialist assault on human nature if there were a child or a teenager who demanded racial preferences and affirmative action treatment because he claimed that he was truly black, trapped in a white body.  Walk with me through this thought experiment.” [LifeSite News, 1/15/15, accessed via Archive.org].

Talento Believes Birth Control Is “Breaking Your Uterus For Good”:

“Is chemical birth control causing miscarriages of already-conceived children? What about breaking your uterus for good? Let’s review the three ways chemical birth control works…” [The Federalist, 1/22/15].

Talento Has Worked To Defund HIV/Aids Research By Spreading Lies:

As a Senate Health Committee staffer in 2003, Talento led efforts to defund HIV/AIDS research by forwarding a letter from Russian lawmakers that claimed US funds were being used to fund groups “lobbying in favor of… legalized prostitution” to House/Senate staff and various U.S. agencies. Talento argued in her email that the letter “highlights the policy reasons” behind efforts to block funding for HIV/AIDS research, stating, “Some of the largest grantees and contractors of USAID are involved in these problems, despite their claims otherwise… I can provide documentation of their involvement if you’d like more details.” National Institute of Health employees spent months responding to these claims; no such documentation was found [Buzzfeed News, 1/16/17].

THE WHOLE STORY

Katy Talento Is Anti-Birth Control And Peddles Debunked Claims About Its Uses

Talento Said Birth Control Prescriptions Amount To Medical Malpractice…. 

Talento Is Anti-Birth Control And Argued That Prescribing It Is “Medical Malpractice.” “Would you pay a physician to medicate your arm because it’s working too well—so well that it sometimes punches your annoying neighbor? I mean, punching sure feels good in the moment, but its consequences are inconvenient, costly, and could change your life forever if you go to jail and have a criminal record thereafter, right? ‘C’mon, Doc, gimme some meds for that.’ Your doctor would write you a psych referral, stat. So why does the entire medical profession collectively agree to regularly break another healthy human function for a majority of their patients of a certain age and sex? I’m talking about, of course, fertility. Healthy and functional, it is wondrous. Its consequences can be inconvenient, costly, and forever life-changing. So we’d better ingest a bunch of dangerous, carcinogenic chemicals for a couple decades and break our perfectly functioning fertility until it can no longer menace the earth.” [Katy French Talento, The Federalist, 1/5/15]

Talento Suggested Women Only Use Birth Control To Sexually Satisfy Their Male Partners….

Talento On Birth Control: “There’s Also Economic And Relational Devastation That Has Left Women And Children Abandoned By Men Who Now Feel Entitled To Consequence-Free Orgasms.” “Our reproductive health isn’t the only thing broken by the Pill and other vehicles delivering hormonal contraception. There’s also economic and relational devastation that has left women and children abandoned by men who now feel entitled to consequence-free orgasms. As a result, fewer and fewer women, men and especially children enjoy the stability, prosperity, and human flourishing that marriage between biological parents provides. After all, she could have been using birth control, so it’s not on you—right, bro?” [Katy French Talento, The Federalist, 1/5/15]

… She Also Peddles Falsehoods About Birth Control’s Effects

Talento Has Claimed That Low Dose Birth Control Can Lead To Miscarriages.  “Ladies, did your doctor tell you all the facts before writing that prescription? Did she tell you that the ‘safer,’ lower-dose products could potentially lead to miscarriages of already-conceived embryos?” [The Federalist, 1/22/15]

Talento Argued That The Longer You Stay On The Pill, “The More Likely You Are To Ruin Your Uterus For Baby-Hosting.” “Ladies, did your doctor tell you all the facts before writing that prescription?…Did she tell you that the longer you stay on the Pill, the more likely you are to ruin your uterus for baby-hosting altogether? Is this the freedom and peace of mind you were seeking when you popped that first Pill? Just asking.” [The Federalist, 1/22/15]

Talento Was Instrumental In The Trump Administration Rolling Back The ACA’s Birth Control Coverage

Talento Was An Architect Of The Trump Administration’s Roll-Back Of Birth Control Coverage. “Now on the inside — one at the White House, the other at the Department of Health and Human Services — Ms. Talento and Mr. Bowman have a clear path to prosecute their strong belief that birth control coverage should not be a mandate from Washington. Both are using arguments they honed over years of battle to ensure that a new rule, expected to be issued this month, to roll back the requirement can withstand legal challenge. For some of the Trump administration officials tasked with reversing President Barack Obama’s legacy, the path forward has been somewhat rocky. Turning an ideological viewpoint into legislative or administrative policy able to pass legal muster can be difficult for Washington newcomers. But the architects of the Trump contraceptive reversal, Ms. Talento, a White House domestic policy aide, and Mr. Bowman, a top lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services, have the experience and know-how that others in the administration lack.” [New York Times, 7/10/17]

Talento Has Belittled And Ridiculed Transgender Individuals

Talento Compared Being Transgender To Being Confused About Racial Identity. “In the end, our personhood is an inextricable combination of soul and body.  To damage one is to damage them both.  To reject one is ultimately a rejection of both and the psychological carnage of this self-rejection can not be avoided. The idea that we can separate our true personhood from our body is an ancient heresy that raises its head in different forms in every age. I wonder if these elites would be quite so indulgent of this materialist assault on human nature if there were a child or a teenager who demanded racial preferences and affirmative action treatment because he claimed that he was truly black, trapped in a white body.  Walk with me through this thought experiment.” [Katy French Talento, LifeSite News, 1/15/15]

Connections