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Texas redirects women’s health care funds to shady anti-abortion group

(Credit: Shutterstock/Photo montage by Salon)

Trump’s HHS might comply with Texas’ lead by taking cash from precise health care and giving it to the Christian proper

It’s unlikely, nevertheless, that the president actually believes abstinence-centered schooling is best than clinically confirmed contraception strategies for women’s health care. Instead there’s good purpose to consider that this transfer, as is typical within the Trump administration, is political corruption and cronyism. It may higher be understood as a technique to take cash away from efficient health care organizations like Planned Parenthood and provides it to conservative Christian organizations that haven’t any capacity or curiosity in offering actual health care. In different phrases, this cash is payback to the spiritual proper for supporting a thrice-married, porn star-dallying, pussy-grabbing adulterer.

For proof of how this works, look to Texas, which has redirected tens of millions of dollars away from confirmed household planning organizations like Planned Parenthood to a shady anti-abortion group referred to as the Heidi Group. That outfit is so incompetent, , is so incompetent that Texas Health and Human Services was pressured to claw again tens of millions of dollars from a earlier grant as a result of the Heidi Group failed to fulfill its contract to join low-income women within the state with clinics or personal physicians who might present reproductive health care providers.

But regardless that the group failed so spectacularly and its head, Carol Everett,  “it’s not as easy as it looks because we are not Planned Parenthood,” the state of Texas has quietly renewed the Heidi Group’s  contracts, awarding it a complete of $13.four million — solely days after taking again $four million for failure to meet the phrases of the primary contract. The Texas Freedom Network and Campaign for Accountability, which found the contract renewal by way of an open data request, into precisely why a group that the state is aware of can’t or won’t present enough health care to weak low-income women continues to be getting grant renewals.

“Women’s health care is clearly not a precedence,” Dan Quinn, communications director at the Texas Freedom Network, told Salon. “The precedence right here appears to be paying off political supporters with public tax dollars, even when they’re utterly incompetent.”

“Tright here is not any means [the Heidi Group] might truly supply the providers that this system ought to be providing,” stated Blake Rocap, . Nonetheless, the state “simply gave them the identical sum of money for yr two, figuring out that they aren’t offering the providers and may’t do the work.”

The Heidi Group has acquired two sorts of grants, each created by the state in what was supposed to be an effort to substitute women’s health care providers after Texas reduce Planned Parenthood off from authorities funding. First, there have been direct grants to cowl providers immediately offered to women; second, there have been grants for promoting and outreach, in order that women who had misplaced their health care by means of recognized suppliers like Planned Parenthood might work out the place the options have been. The failure to present direct health care led to the $four million returned to the state, because the Heidi Group could not invoice for providers not rendered. But, as Katie O’Connor of the Center for Accountability, , argued, there are additional questions concerning the cash the group stored for the vaguer promoting and outreach functions.

“From my perspective, it’s simply been a black field,” she stated. “I don’t assume we have now any actual notion of the place that cash has gone.”

In  (which incorporates Austin), it argues that the Heidi Group “failed to present deliverables together with a 1-800 quantity to assist women discover healthcare, enhancements to subcontractors’ web sites, and improved entry to contraceptives,” and that at the least six of the 20 health care suppliers the group was supposed to find a way to direct women towards didn’t meet state requirements.

The Texas health fee “blamed the contract renewal on a technical glitch of a brand new contracting system,” as . Both Rocap and Quinn are skeptical of this excuse. Rocap identified that the contracts giving the Heidi Group $13.four million have been signed after the group’s grants have been canceled the primary time round. Quinn famous that greater than six months had elapsed, giving the state loads of time to revise the phrases of the contract. 

There’s ample cause to consider that the Heidi Group’s incapability to join women with reproductive health providers is about one thing greater than incompetence. Before the group positioned itself as a reproductive health care supplier, it primarily ran a collection of disaster being pregnant facilities, intentionally deceptive pseudo-clinics that attempt to disgrace women out of getting abortions, moderately than serving to them forestall being pregnant within the first place. Heidi Group head Carol Everett herself has an extended public document suggesting that she not solely is aware of nothing about reproductive health care however is actively hostile to women who select to have non-reproductive have intercourse.

Texas Health and Human Services didn’t reply to Salon’s requests for remark. The company’s spokeswoman, Carrie Williams, advised Politico, “If a contractor is not performing properly or assembly its targets, we’ll modify the funding, simply as we have executed earlier than.”

Which sounds good on paper, however when the cash is sitting in an account earmarked for the woman who thinks contraception leads to bestiality, meaning it isn’t going to different organizations that may be able to, or a minimum of desirous about, delivering actual reproductive health providers to actual women. Even if Everett is finally blocked from receiving the complete $13.four million grant the Heidi Group was awarded, she continues to be stopping women from providers she believes empower unnatural and perverted conduct.

But even when Heidi Group fails but once more to get reimbursements for direct providers, as appears probably, it should in all probability retain entry to the funds meant for poorly outlined promoting and outreach objectives. Which is one other illustration of why it is affordable to worry the Trump administration’s redefinition of Title X funding and its objectives, particularly when the HHS official answerable for distributing these funds, Valerie Huber, , which took cash that was supposed to go towards intercourse schooling and used it to bore youngsters with a “simply say no” message that  earlier than marriage.

“When Texas shifted funding from Planned Parenthood health centers to anti-abortion counseling centers like the Heidi Group, the results were disastrous — 45,000 women lost care,” Dana Singiser, vice president of public policy at Planned Parenthood, said in a statement. “This type of public health crisis is exactly what the Trump-Pence administration is trying to impose on women across the country now.”

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