Watchdog org. filing complaint against anti-abortion group with state contract

By: Ken Coleman, Michigan Advance, January 14, 2019

A nonpartisan consumer watchdog group plans to file a complaint on Monday calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as well as Attorney General Dana Nessel and Auditor General Doug Ringler, to investigate and terminate Michigan’s contract with Real Alternatives, an anti-abortion pregnancy and parenting support services firm.

Campaign for Accountability (CFA), a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., said Real Alternatives has received $2.6 million over five years to run the Michigan Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program (MPPSP).

CFA, however, claims that Real Alternatives has both misused taxpayer funds and failed to provide adequate health services to Michigan women, according to a copy of the complaint exclusively obtained by the Advance. The Harrisburg, Pa.-based group has faced an audit over a similar program in its home state.

The Michigan complaint is expected to be filed with the offices of Whitmer, Nessel and Ringler.

“Real Alternatives has grossly mismanaged Michigan’s alternatives to abortion program,” said Alice Huling, a lawyer with CFA. “It seems its leaders have lied to state officials, engaged in self-dealing and wasted scarce taxpayer resources leaving women without health care services. The state should immediately investigate and shut down this ineffective program.”

Real Alternatives, Huling further claims, has consistently failed to meet its own stated program goals for implementing the MPPSP and providing services to Michigan women.

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