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Trump’s health policy hire thinks birth control causes abortions
Which is simply not true.
On Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump‘s transition team announced the addition of Katy Talento to the Domestic Policy Council, where she will work on healthcare policy. An infectious disease epidemiologist, Talento worked on Trump’s campaign over the summer and with the Senate for 12 years on a wide range of policy issues. She has also made the inaccurate claim that “birth control causes abortions and often has terrible side effects, including deliberate miscarriage.”
In a 2015 article for the Federalist, Talento, who is not an OB-GYN, mentions the abortion claim without backing it up, then correlates a fertilized egg not being able to attach to your uterine wall (due to the progestin in the pill) to a miscarriage. However, hormones in the pill prevent ovulation, meaning there is no egg in the first place. Even if an egg does become fertilized and a woman is using birth control, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has found no link between birth control and miscarriage.
She also goes on to say in the article that birth control can cause infertility. “Let’s say your life stage changes and you’re ready to try to have a baby,” she wrote. “You go off the pill or the intrauterine device or whatever you’re taking. It takes a few months for the effects of the birth control to wear off and then you’re good to go, right? Wrong.”
Experts have also repeatedly found that whether you’re on birth control for one month or 10 years, it doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant when you stop. “With a few notable exceptions, immediately after you stop using birth control, your fertility will go right back to what it was destined to be,” Dr. Paul Blumenthal, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, told Parenting magazine.
However, Talento is not the only one on Trump’s team who doesn’t understand how birth control works and why women need to access to it. Trump’s Human and Health Services secretary pick, Tom Price, has said that “not one” woman struggled to pay for birth control in the United States. I guess he hasn’t checked the statistics that more than half of women in the U.S. have struggled to pay for birth control.
Jessica Machado is the IRL editor of the Daily Dot. Previously, she was an associate editor at Rolling Stone. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, Elle, Vice, Salon, BuzzFeed, Guernica, Bitch, Bust, the Cut, the Awl, the Toast, among others.