Texas anti-abortion group stole millions earmarked for women’s health services, watchdog agency says
AUSTIN — An anti-abortion group that has received millions in state funding is being accused of breaking laws, according to a complaint a watchdog organization filed Tuesday.
The complaint by the Campaign for Accountability, a nonpartisan group focused on government accountability and ethics, alleges that the Heidi Group committed theft under state criminal law by taking funds for services they never intended to provide. The watchdog is asking the Travis County district attorney’s office to investigate.
The Heidi Group received a $1.6 million grant from Texas last summer under the Texas Healthy Women program. Texas awarded the organization nearly $7 million total in contracts to boost women’s health and family planning after the state cut off funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in 2011.
The nonprofit was founded in the 1990s and is best known for advocating alternatives to abortion.
According to tax forms, the nonprofit Campaign for Accountability found that the Heidi Group had negative net assets nine out of the 14 years examined, making the provider technically insolvent.
“Prosecutors should look into whether the Heidi Group and its founder and executive director, Carol Everett, misappropriated taxpayer funds by failing to deliver the services pledged in state contracts, but nevertheless continued to submit reimbursement requests,” legal counsel Katie O’Connor said in a news release. “Texas taxpayers deserve to know where their hard-earned money has gone.”