The Anti Abortion ‘Replacement’ for Planned Parenthood Isn’t Doing Much—Except Gobbling Taxpayer Money
Earlier this year the California-based network of Obria clinics wrestled a potential $5 million grant from the federal government. The group had positioned itself as the “pro-life” Planned Parenthood, an organization that could divert health grants into something that offered virginity instead of The Pill; the kind of place destined to draw attention from federal agencies sympathetic to a rigid anti-abortion agenda.
And this is a funding stream, by the way, they seemed to have stumbled upon almost completely by accident: As emails obtained by the Campaign for Accountability suggest, the group only first learned of the Title X grant program from an article in Breitbart News, about a year before they were granted almost $2 million.
All of which might lead one to wonder how, exactly, an organization with such a poor track record of translating funding into services captured such a hefty share of a crucial grant program, especially in a moment when many reproductive health clinics are being entirely defunded. The Campaign for Accountability has been aggressively pursuing information about how, exactly, Obria got its hands on millions of dollars of taxpayer funds, which as Mencimer notes are a significant portion of the annual $286 million Title X grant.
Last week, the organization published emails obtained through a Freedom of Information request in which Clare Venegas, Obria Medical Clinics’ president, forwarded a Breitbart article to a policy liaison at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health. It was 2018, and she appeared to have never heard of Title X. “This grant opportunity seems right up our alley,” she wrote, but noted the application would “take quite a bit of time/investment to complete.” Officials subsequently got on the phone and talked her through the process.