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Anti-abortion activist resigns from HHS post

Anti-abortion activist Teresa Manning resigned from her post as deputy assistant secretary for population affairs on Friday, a Health and Human Services Department spokesman tells CNN.

“HHS would like to thank her for her service to this administration and the American people,” the spokesman’s statement read. It did not provide a reason for Manning’s resignation.

Valerie Huber, an advocate for abstinence education, has been named acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, the spokeman said. Huber previously served as chief of staff for the assistant secretary for health at the department.

The Washington Post first reported Manning’s resignation.

Because of her anti-abortion advocacy and public skepticism of birth control, Manning was a controversial choice to lead the HHS family planning division when she was appointed by President Donald Trump last May.

As deputy assistant secretary for population affairs, Manning was tasked with helping to oversee Title X funding — money for contraceptive and preventative health services, according to the HHS website.

In a 2003 interview with NPR, Manning expressed doubts over the efficacy of contraception, claiming it “doesn’t work.”

“Its efficacy is very low, especially when you consider over years — which, you know, 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, over that span of time,” she said in the interview.

“The prospect that contraception would always prevent the conception of a child is preposterous,” Manning added.