In the latest (and strangest) sigh-worthy news, a new addition to President-elect Donald Trump’s health-care policy team, Katy Talento, seems to actually believe birth control causes miscarriages and abortions. She also believes it limits a person’s ability to have children later on, despite science saying otherwise.
Talento will serve on Trump’s Domestic Policy Council, focusing on healthcare policy, according to Talking Points Memo. That scares me, as someone who uses birth control–and it should scare anyone who uses birth control, or wants other people to access birth control. The Trump team announced her position, stating that Talento is “an infectious disease epidemiologist with nearly 20 years of experience in public health and health policy, as well as government oversight and investigations and program evaluation.”
That sounds all fine and dandy, but then how does she not understand how birth control actually works? It’s not that hard of a concept–nor is it new, either. She even published an article in The Federalist back in 2015 about the risks of birth control–some of them valid (like cardiovascular issues), while others were medically false (such as linking birth control to miscarriages), as NY Mag pointed out.
According to the Talking Points Memo, she wrote in the article that progestin in birth control causes miscarriages:
“Preventing a fertilized egg (i.e. after conception) from hunkering down in the wall of the uterus, where it can grow normally,” she wrote. “Progestin in birth control thins the endometrial lining (uterine wall), but a fertilized egg needs a thick, fluffy, blood-rich uterine wall to attach to and begin growth. Without it, the embryo can’t survive, and a miscarriage occurs.”
But that’s not actually true, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The organization states that there is no link between miscarriages and taking birth control before pregnancy. While Talento also believes birth control can cause fertility problems, having cited one 2012 study, that is also not medically backed either (besides the one study).
Talento also made wild statements about birth control inducing deliberate miscarriages, providing no evidence whatsoever, stating:
“Chemical birth control causes abortions and often has terrible side effects, including deliberate miscarriage.”
While I’m not a scientist, and don’t pretend to be, I know that when you make medical and scientific claims, it should be based on overwhelming evidence. That being said, I also respect other people’s opinions, even when they disagree with mine, but there’s a difference between disagreeing and trying to falsely sway other people’s beliefs with inaccuracies and lies that are actually dangerous to women’s bodies and health.