If there is one thing Donald Trump knows about, it is hiring the best people. However, hiring the best people is, apparently, something that can mean different things to different people. Or at least to Donald Trump. “The Best People” in his case appears to refer to those who are related to him by blood or marriage, those with extensive ties to Russia like Mike Flynn, or ties to fascist groups like Sebastian Gorka, or — as is the case with literally every one of his other appointees — people who are adamantly unqualified for the post they have been assigned.
Falling into the later category is Teresa Manning, the new deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Population Affairs — whose specific job it is to oversee Title X funds, which cover things like family planning, STD tests, mammograms, etc. Now, given that this is a Trump appointment, it is probably not shocking that Manning is an anti-choice weirdo who has worked for two separate anti-abortion groups. It is probably not even surprising that she doesn’t think funds for family planning should even exist in the first place. What is perhaps a tad more surprising is that — unlike most people who have been around for the past century — Manning is not so sure that birth control actually does anything to prevent pregnancies.
In fact, Manning is quite certain that birth control actually increases the incidence of abortions! How that is possible, no one knows, but she’s sure of it.
Via Mother Jones:
Manning has questioned the efficacy of contraception in preventing pregnancy, and also said the government shouldn’t play a role in family planning—the foundational ideas behind the federal family planning program she will now be tasked with overseeing. In a 2003 radio interview, Manning noted that pro-choice advocates “promote contraception and birth control as a way to reduce the incidence of abortion. There really is no evidence to support that. In fact, the incidence of contraception use and the incidence of abortion go up hand in hand.” She also said that pro-choice advocates view abortion as a backup form of contraception for when birth control fails (oral contraception is effective over 99 percent of the time when taken properly): “Of course, contraception doesn’t work. Its efficacy is very low especially when you consider over years,” she said. Manning continued: “The prospect that contraception would always prevent the conception of a child is preposterous.”
Manning also believes that the morning after pill causes an abortion, rather than prevents fertilization, because, clearly, she just has no idea how the human body even works.
Here is a picture of the insides of a woman’s body, as drawn by a 16th century barber surgeon. As you can see, her insides are actually just a giant snake.
That is a rather generous assessment of where Teresa Manning’s current understanding of human biology is — somewhere around 16th century barber surgeon. If we are lucky, she will use Title X funds to address the problem of our wandering wombs causing hysteria, and at the very least we’ll get some vibrators out of the deal. Perhaps she will even lend some of her wisdom to the NIH, and there will be leeches enough for everybody!
All of this aside, it’s pretty darned crappy that this lady is in charge of Title X, because we’ve actually been doing pretty well at preventing unwanted pregnancies over the last few years! Teen pregnancy has really gone down! The incidence of abortion has also decreased — in all states, not just those that have enacted absurd anti-abortion laws. We now have 200,000 fewer abortions a year than we did when Bush II was in office, and that is due to the affordability and availability of birth control.
It is worth noting, by the way, that Lady Anthony Comstock over here once tried to file a discrimination suit against the University of Iowa Law School, which she claims did not hire her to teach there because she is a conservative who hates abortion. She did not win it, on account of the fact that she actually was not hired because she said she would only teach law writing and not law analysis, and the job required her to be able to do both of those things. In light of this Ms. Manning must be very excited to finally be hired for a job she is not at all qualified to do.