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HHS Watch is a campaign that examines decision makers at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a full audit into the positions and backgrounds of appointees and continuous monitoring of their actions.

Trump Administration HHS appointees are seeking to undermine proven, popular, and effective reproductive health programs, as well as Americans’ independent reproductive health decisions.

Maggie Wynne, Counselor for Human Services Policy, Office of the Secretary

Margaret A. “Maggie” Wynne currently serves as Counselor for Human Services Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Despite the unassuming title, hers is a very influential role within the Office of the Secretary.

Already, anti-reproductive health changes at HHS have been attributed to Wynne’s influence.

  • The Intercept referred to Wynne as “an early and influential member of the HHS transition team.”
  • VICE News Tonight on HBO named Wynne as a member of the “small group of pro-life activists … reshaping the refugee office’s policy on abortion.” HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Scott Lloyd “worked closely” with Wynne, who was key to the office’s anti-abortion policy both prior to and following Lloyd’s appointment.
  • The New Yorker reported, “Another official behind O.R.R.’s renewed interest in abortion issues is Margaret Wynne … One H.H.S. veteran described Wynne’s job as ‘the main trouble-shooter for all the human-services activities at H.H.S.’ and the point person for any policy issue before it reaches the head of the entire department.” A separate former HHS official said “‘O.R.R.’s policies reflect her choices.’ “

This shouldn’t be surprising, as she has a long history of advocating for anti-reproductive health causes …

  • Prior to serving on the Trump transition team, Wynne served as the Director of Pilgrimage and visitor services for the Saint John Paul II National Shrine where she oversaw outreach efforts focused on schools and Knights of Columbus councils. [LinkedIn, accessed 1/12/18; Margaret Wynne Resume, accessed via American Oversight, 9/15/17]
  • Wynne has been an anti-abortion advocate dating back to at least 1992, when she served as director of the House of Representatives Pro-Life caucus. Wynne has publicly argued against all human embryo research. [Panel Drafts Ethics Plan For Embryo Cell Studies; Rules Would Guide Federally Funded Research, Washington Post, 4/9/99]

… and funding numerous anti-reproductive health, anti-LGBT causes and politicians.

  • Maggie Wynne has contributed at least $15,780.00 to federal and state candidates, committees and ballot initiatives since 1992. [Virginia Public Access Project, accessed 1/12/18; Federal Election Commission, accessed 1/12/18]
  • Maggie Wynne contributed to controversial Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin’s 2012 campaign, just one month after the candidate took to a St. Louis TV station to claim that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” [Federal Election Commission, accessed 1/12/18; Politico, 8/19/12]
  • Wynne has contributed at least $1,400 to Ken Cuccinelli’s various campaigns. Cuccinelli is notoriously biased against reproductive health. The Washington Post editorial board notably excoriated him for his partisan, anti-abortion moves. [Washington Post, 7/27/12]
  • Wynne has contributed at least $750.00 to Pro-Life Caucus Chairman Rep. Chris Smith. [Chris Smith, House.gov, accessed 1/16/18]
  • Wynne contributed to Va4Marriage.org, a coalition which backed a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and civil unions in the state of Virginia. [The Washington Post, 10/31/06]
  • In 2006, Wynne contributed to Life on the Ballot – Parents Right to Know a ballot initiative to amend the California constitution requiring “doctors to give 48-hours’ notice to a parent or guardian before performing an abortion on a minor.” [California Secretary of State, accessed 1/16/18; Life Legal Defense Fund, 1/2/05]

 

Anti-Reproductive Health Appointees

The Trump Administration appointees with influence over critical health policies and programs.

Valerie Huber

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Population Affairs; Chief of Staff, Assistant Secretary for Health

Steven Valentine

Deputy Chief of Staff, Assistant Secretary for Health

Roger Severino

Director, Office of Civil Rights

Scott Lloyd

Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement

Cathy Deeds

Senior Advisor for Special Initiatives, Office of Population Affairs

Mary A. Vigil

Senior Advisor, Office of Population Affairs

Shannon Royce

Director, HHS Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Teresa Manning Wagner

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Population Affairs