Thursday, March 16, 2017

Republicans Gave an Anti-Abortion Group $1.6 million to Improve Women’s Health. Here are the results.

James Woods  March 15, 2017

Eight months ago, Texas gave a conservative, anti-abortion organization $1.6 million to improve women’s healthcare.

The results were predictable.

Texas health officials were forced to cobble together a new program last year after slashing state family planning grants by 66 percent. That cut in funding allowed them to remove Planned Parenthood from the state Women’s Health Program, effectively shutting down more than 80 women’s health clinics in the state.

The new money was earmarked specifically to help connect low-income women to other health care providers around the state. But according to an Associated Press report on Tuesday, the Heidi Group, who received the contract, has accomplished next to nothing since taking the check.

Carol Everett, the Heidi Group’s leader, promised that 20 pre-selected clinics could each reach 50,000 patients in one year by crafting marketing campaigns and building websites.

But according to the AP report, none of that actually happened:

“An Associated Press review found the nonprofit has done little of the outreach it promised, such as helping clinics promote their services on Facebook, or airing public service announcements. It hasn’t made good on plans to establish a 1-800 number to help women find providers or ensure that all clinics have updated websites. Neither the group nor state officials would say how many patients have been served so far by the private clinics.”

According to Everett, a prominent anti-abortion activist who believes that HIV can be transmitted through drinking water, it’s not her group’s fault. She stated that the clinics either “don’t have time” to work with them or don’t want to use the website designs and social media campaigns that her group designed for $1.6 million.

“It’s not as easy as it looks because we are not Planned Parenthood.”

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, continues to fight to remain open in Texas.

Last month, a judge ruled that the health organization shouldn’t be cut from Texas Medicaid coverage.


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