Fake Clinics Are Not the Answer
AUSTIN, Tex. — In its quest to “defund” Planned Parenthood and end access to clinical abortion care, the federal government under the Trump-Pence administration is poised to recreate a public health disaster that has blighted the already heavily damaged reproductive health care safety net in Texas, where lawmakers recently replaced seasoned medical providers with Bible-thumping grifters.
In 2016, an organization of crisis pregnancy centers — using deception and coercion in an attempt to dissuade people from seeking abortion care while presenting themselves, through advertising and aesthetics, as medical clinics — applied for a Texas family planning grant. The Heidi Group told the state of Texas that with just $1.6 million in taxpayer dollars, it could transform itself from a small religious nonprofit that had never provided comprehensive reproductive care into Planned Parenthood minus the abortion referrals.
Ms. Everett’s first application for Title X funding was made together with California’s Obria Group. Like the Heidi Group, Obria is led by one woman on a religious crusade, Kathleen Eaton Bravo, and first sought local funds (which it has been accused of misdirecting) before turning its attention to Title X.
Ms. Bravo has promised her supporters that Obria will never provide hormonal contraception, saying she’ll contract with other providers to fulfill that need, and the federal government liked her proposal. It awarded Obria $1.7 million, but gave nothing to the Heidi Group. Ms. Everett persisted with her next application as Vita Nuova, simultaneously filing suit against the federal government under the presumption that Vita Nuova will be denied Title X funds because it intends to refuse care to L.G.B.T.Q. clients, in violation of federal law (for now).