Watch CBS News

Birth control and abortion critic in charge of family planning programs leaves HHS

Birth control mandate rollback
Trump rolls back birth control mandate, citing religious freedom 03:08

Teresa Manning, the Health and Human Services official who oversaw family planning programs and was critical of birth control and abortion, has left HHS, the agency confirmed. 

Politico, citing two sources familiar with the situation said Manning was fired, although HHS said she resigned on Friday. Manning, who in the past has dubbed contraceptives as "anti-family" and once worked for the pro-life National Right to Life Committee and the Family Research Council, was appointed by President Trump in May to the role of deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs. Part of her role included overseeing $286 million in Title X family planning funds, intended to provide various family planning services to low-income individuals.

The reason for Manning's departure is unclear. 

An HHS spokesman said in a statement, "Teresa Manning resigned her position as the deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs. HHS would like to thank her for her service to this administration and the American people. 

Taking Manning's place as acting deputy assistant secretary in that role is Valerie Huber, who joined HHS last summer. Huber is a longtime proponent of abstinence-only education programs. 

Manning was formerly an adjunct professor at George Mason University's law school in Northern Virginia. In 2015 she lost a lawsuit against the University of Iowa's law school over her claim that she was passed over for a job because of her political views. Manning gained attention for controversial remarks in the past.  

In a 2003 NPR interview, Manning was skeptical of birth control's effectiveness, saying it was not necessarily reliable in preventing pregnancy over a long period of time. 

"Of course, contraception doesn't work," Manning said in the 2003 NPR interview, according to The Washington Post. "Its efficacy is very low, especially when you consider over years — which a lot of contraception health advocates want to start women in their adolescent years, when they're extremely fertile, incidentally, and continue for 10, 20, 30 years. The prospect that contraception would always prevent the conception of a child is preposterous."

HHS has been without permanent leadership since former HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned in September over private jet trips he charged to taxpayers. Eric Hargan is currently serving as the acting secretary.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.