September 28, 2017 In The News, Texas, Themis Project

Anti-Abortion Group Hit with Legal Complaints for Misusing State Funds

By: Alex Zielinksi, San Antonio Current, September 26, 2017

A national watchdog group has filed a pair of legal complaints against the Heidi Group, an anti-abortion organization that Texas hired to connect low-income women to reproductive health care.

The Campaign for Accountability argues that the Austin-based group misused millions of state, county and federal dollars and misled the public by failing to deliver its major health care promises. The Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group has asked Travis County to investigate the Heidi Group for theft and asked the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to revoke the group’s nonprofit status.

The Heidi Group, led by anti-abortion activist Carol Everett, was initially selected by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission in August 2016 to help jump-start Texas’ brand new Healthy Texas Women program, the state’s Medicaid voucher program for low-income women. The new women’s health program was the state’s attempt to fill the void left after the Texas Legislature slashed state family planning grants by 66 percent, ousting Planned Parenthood from the Women’s Health Program — effectively forcing 82 family planning clinics to close.

HHSC gave the Heidi Group $7 million in contracts to create a resource for Texas women to find inexpensive reproductive health care providers across the state. It failed.

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