Trump Administration Gives Family Planning Grant to Anti-Abortion Group

By: Kenneth Vogel, Robert Pear, The New York Times, March 29, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration took an important step on Friday in its push to restrict access to abortion and contraception, announcing that it would give as much as $5.1 million in family planning funds to a nonprofit organization funded by allies of the Catholic Church.

The grant from the Department of Health and Human Services went to the Obria Group, a Southern California-based nonprofit that describes itself as being “led by God” and that aims to siphon patients — and money — away from Planned Parenthood.

The Title X changes and the grant to Obria suggest that the Trump administration is “more interested in courting religious ideologues than in providing real health care to low-income Americans,” said Alice Huling, counsel for a […] watchdog group called the Campaign for Accountability, which this month sued the administration seeking Obria’s communications with the Department of Health and Human Services.

But a pair of tax filings identified by the Campaign for Accountability include donor information, perhaps accidentally. The filings show millions of dollars of support from groups associated with the Catholic Church, which opposes abortion and many forms of contraception.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which comprises the country’s Catholic leadership, donated $2.5 million, according to the filings and the conference. And the Roman Catholic Bishop of Orange, which is affiliated with the Catholic diocese in California’s Orange County, donated another $560,000. A spokeswoman said the money came from the sale of roses on Mother’s Day.

Other donors include wealthy Southern California social conservatives, such as the real estate investor Charles J. Schreiber Jr., who for a time was the chairman of the board of Obria. He and his wife have contributed more than $1.1 million to the group.

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