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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
07.18.19

Contact: Alexa Barrett, Communications Assistant
Email: alexa@equityfwd.org
Phone: (914) 602 - 3147

HHS Gives Unqualified Ideologues Nearly $1.5 Million for “Teen Pregnancy Prevention”

Among the grantees is Obria, the politically-connected Title X grantee known for refusing to provide abortion services

New York, NY – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this week that it will award nearly $1.5 million of teen pregnancy prevention grant money to at least three unqualified groups that are committed to imposing their views on those they should serve — including refusing to facilitate access to legal abortion services. In response, Equity Forward released new research on HHS’ campaign to undermine proven health care programs in service of anti-abortion ideology.

The research highlights efforts by Valerie Huber, former chief of staff for HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, to eliminate the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), redirect federal funds to ineffective abstinence education programs and empower anti-birth control political appointees in the department. Specifically, Huber granted more power over TPPP to Diane Foley, another abstinence advocate at HHS who compared sex to “super gluing your fingers together” and promoted “fear-based” tactics for sex-ed.

“This is the latest effort in HHS’ campaign to undermine proven health care programs and promote anti-abortion ideology,” said Equity Forward Director Michelle Kuppersmith. “These groups lack the expertise and experience necessary to run these programs. Giving teen pregnancy prevention funds to unqualified groups that are transparently anti-abortion and anti-birth control is a disservice to young people and a harm to public health overall. Sec. Azar must be held accountable for this attempt to hinder a program his office is charged with implementing.”

Among the unqualified grant recipients are Bethany Christian Services, Women's Care Center and Obria, the controversial anti-abortion group that earlier this year received $5 million in Title X family planning money from HHS. Obria recently dropped its lawsuit against HHS, wherein it argued against having to provide the full range of birth control options, and touts a medically unproven so-called “abortion reversal” procedure on its website.

Read the full research HERE.

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Equity Forward is a watchdog organization that works to ensure transparency and accountability among anti-reproductive health groups and individuals.