March 29, 2019 Press Release

BREAKING: HHS To Fund At Least One Anti-Abortion Organization With Federal Family Planning Dollars

Equity Forward immediately files FOIA request with HHS for information on anti-reproductive health grantee Obria

03.29.19 – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the 2019 grantee recipients of funding from Title X, the nation’s only family planning program, which serves four million low-income people annually. Shockingly, today’s grant recipients include at least one anti-abortion center network, Obria, which does not offer birth control; Obria does peddle dangerous, medically unproven “services” like so-called “abortion reversal.”

In light of today’s news, Equity Forward immediately filed a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with HHS, requesting information related to the agency’s correspondence with grantees, including Obria.  

“It’s clear that Trump’s health department and Secretary Alex Azar have made it their agenda to restrict our access to high-quality, comprehensive and medically sound reproductive health care. This latest announcement is just one of many harmful decisions that will limit low-income people’s access to legitimate care,” said Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward. “Yet again, Azar has decided to make decisions at the behest of the anti-abortion lobby, completely disregarding the advice of medical experts and of the scientific committee. The goal of our nation’s health department should be to expand access to health care, not roll it back for millions of women and their families.”

Just yesterday, Politico reported on how states are struggling to serve patients as the Trump administration attacks Title X.  Equity Forward has long been tracking HHS’ efforts to dismantle the nation’s family planning program. Earlier this year, Equity Forward issued an original report detailing the sabotage of our nation’s family planning program, and its extensive HHS Watch campaign provides comprehensive information on the officials most hostile to the program, including Valerie HuberDiane Foley and Steven Valentine.  

Today’s announcement follows the release of the Trump administration’s final domestic gag rule, which prohibits health care providers who receive Title X funding from referring patients to safe and legal abortion services. Equity Forward has filed suit against HHS for public records related to the outsized influence that the anti-abortion lobby may have had in sabotaging Title X.