Personal Health

Trump's Health Care Adviser Has Her Own Dangerous Brand of Fake News

Katy Talento believes that birth control is synonymous with abortion.

Photo Credit: CSPAN

Katy Talento has been appointed a health care adviser for Donald Trump's Domestic Policy Council. However, some of her completely unscientific claims should raise red flags.

According to the Trump transition team, Talento is "an infectious disease epidemiologist with nearly 20 years of experience in public health and health policy." 

So, how does she not know how birth control works? According to a Federalist article she wrote in January 2015, Talento linked birth control pills with miscarriages in a completely false claim. 

"There is a third mechanism, right there in the labels for most of these [birth control] products," Talento argued. "Preventing a fertilized egg (i.e., after conception) from hunkering down in the wall of the uterus, where it can grow normally... 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." 

"She thinks that birth control essentially leads to abortions, that women take birth control and that aborts their fetuses, which is not the case," "Young Turks" co-host Ana Kasparian explained in a January 15 segment. 

Alhambra Frarey, an ob/gyn and fellow at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Alan B. Copperman, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at Mount Sinai Hospital, also found Talento's remarks troubling

“We see women all the time who conceive on birth control pills and go on to have perfectly normal pregnancies," Frarey said, asserting Talento's claim about birth control causing abortions is “absolutely unproven.” 

“If a woman knows she’s pregnant, she should stop the birth control pill,” Copperman added. “But there have been many women who have conceived while on the Pill over the years, and women can be reassured that there’s no common adverse effect on the babies." 


Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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