Texas renewed contract for anti-abortion group after nixing funds last year

By: Renuka Rayasam, Politico Pro, March 1, 2018

AUSTIN, Texas — Just days after scrapping family planning and women’s health funds for a controversial crisis pregnancy center over poor performance last summer, Texas renewed its investment in the organization, according to new documents shared with POLITICO.

Last August, the Texas health commission clawed back $4 million from the Heidi Group, a nonprofit that counsels women against abortions, after finding it failed to build a statewide network of family planning and women’s health providers as promised. The decision to pare back the contract, originally worth $7 million in 2017, appeared to be a quick admission by the state that its strategy for bolstering depleted family planning services wasn’t working.

Days later, however, the state handed the Heidi Group $13.4 million in family planning and women’s health funds for two years, according to new documents from Texas Freedom Network, a nonprofit group that supports reproductive rights. The group obtained the contract renewals this week through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Everett had even admitted to the governor’s office that her group had struggled to meet its targets last year, according to a voicemail obtained by Washington-based watchdog group Campaign for Accountability.

“No, we don’t look good, and no, we’re not doing what I planned to do, and no, we’re not doing what I wanted to do,” Everett said on the March 2017 voicemail, which was obtained through an open records request and released in September.

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