WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to help lead health policy in the White House is a Senate aide with a record of strong rhetoric against birth control and abortion.
Trump’s transition team announced Thursday that Katy Talento would work on health care policy for the White House Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates domestic policy-making. She was most recently legislative director for Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, a Republican who is a fierce opponent of abortion.
In articles published in the last few years, Talento has linked some forms of birth control to abortion, a prominent belief among anti-abortion groups.
“Is chemical birth control causing miscarriages of already-conceived children? What about breaking your uterus for good?” she wrote to begin a January 2015 column for The Federalist. She had earlier written another column for the conservative publication with a similar premise.
Talento studied epidemiology at Harvard University and the first job listed on her LinkedIn profile is as a research instructor at Georgetown University Medical Center, where she helped oversee an unspecified NIH-funded study. She then worked at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which provides services for HIV/AIDS patients, before she moved to politics. She’s held positions in several different congressional offices, including the Senate health committee.
More recently, from 2013 to 2015, Talento was vice president for corporate affairs at MosquitoZone International. The firm, according to its Facebook page, helps major oil and mining companies mitigate the risks for malaria, dengue, and other infectious diseases at their overseas sites.