DNC on Valerie Huber’s Assignment to HHS Global Affairs Office

DNC Women’s Media Director Elizabeth Renda released the following statement on abstinence-only advocate Valerie Huber’s new assignment to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Global Affairs, where she is “expected to strip references to sexual and reproductive health as well as sex education from the agency’s global health documents.”


“Valerie Huber’s assignment to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Global Affairs is a disgrace. The abstinence-only agenda Huber has dedicated her life’s work to not only lacks any basis in fact, but has proven to be ineffective and damaging. The decision to give her dangerous, extremist agenda a global platform is disturbing. This news of Huber’s new assignment comes just one day after the administration’s attempt to rip access to birth control away from women across the country was blocked nationwide in a court of law. Make no mistake, the Trump-Pence administration chose to include Huber in their Department of Health and Human Services to further their crusade to roll back women’s access to contraception and reproductive health care. Democrats will never stop fighting against their ceaseless efforts to interfere with women’s access to reproductive education and health care.”


Here’s what you need to know about Valerie Huber:


Huber has dedicated decades of her career to advocating for abstinence-only, anti-contraception programs.


According to Planned Parenthood, the abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs Huber fights for “have been proven to be ineffective, lack basis in fact, and encourage feelings of shame and confusion. They also leave teenagers at heightened risk of unintended pregnancy and STDs.”


At HHS, Huber led the effort to gut the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP).


After her appointment to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), which oversees the office that administers funding for TPPP, the Department of Health and Human Services quickly changed grant criteria for the program into an abstinence-only based program, using rebranded terms like “sexual risk avoidance.”


She blatantly ignores evidence that demonstrates birth control leads to a decline in teen pregnancy rates.


Huber has consistently ignored the fact that contraception is responsible for the decrease in the teen pregnancy rate in the United States. In a statement given to PBS on the research proving that birth control lowers the teen pregnancy rate, Huber said, “As public health experts and policymakers, we must normalize sexual delay more than we normalize teen sex, even with contraception.”


Huber promoted an abstinence program with a sexist curriculum.


Huber advocated for an abstinence program whose teacher guide, obtained by the Huffington Post, “tells the story of a knight who gets upset after the princess he is trying to save instructs him on the best way to save her.” It reads:

“He never returned to the princess. Instead, he lived happily ever after in the village, and eventually married the maiden … Moral of the story: Occasional assistance may be all right, but too much will lessen a man’s confidence or even turn him away from his princess.”