June 4, 2021 Press Release

SUBJ: REPORT: Misuse of Funds and Lack of Oversight in Anti-Abortion Programs Using Public Dollars


June 4, 2021

Contact: press@equityfwd.org



NEW REPORT: Equity Forward Maps Trends Showing Misuse of Funds and Lack of Oversight in Anti-Abortion Programs Using Public Dollars

Today, Equity Forward releases a new report, Mapping Deception: A Closer Look at How States’ Anti-Abortion Center Programs Operate, that examines programs in 13 states where millions of public dollars each year fund centers that have a primary mission of discouraging people from having abortions. These centers, known as anti-abortion centers (AACs), and the programs they run, Alternatives to Abortions (A2A) programs, have been shown to not only peddle false medical information and engage in coercive and deceptive tactics—but also to misuse funds that should otherwise support programs for low-income people and families. 

To better understand how AAC networks and A2A programs operate and the harm that they cause, researcher and report author, Rachel Wormer, mapped A2A programs across states and analyzed the replication of these programs across state lines. 

The four major patterns explored in the report outline:

  • The increase in states using state and federal public dollars to fund A2A programs;

  • The misuse of public dollars, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds, by several state programs; 

  • The lack of oversight by states of these programs, which exacerbates misuse of public funding; and

  • The tactics shared by state legislatures to escalate and expand A2A program overreach.


Alternatives to Abortion programs have ballooned over recent years into multi-million-dollar enterprises that are funded, in some cases almost exclusively, with tax dollars. There is a growing and concerning pattern of misuse of public money by these programs in several states that led us to take a closer look,” said Molly Bangs, director of Equity Forward. 


“What is clear from our analysis is that states are providing minimal oversight and lack detailed reporting that the public should expect for programs of this size. And state after state is able to replicate these programs with ease because of a sophisticated network of anti-abortion groups that share tactics across state lines. These programs siphon money away from truly supporting low-income individuals and those in need of quality healthcare, and instead places it in the hands of organizations that spread biased, false, and harmful information—and have been left unchecked for too long.”


The report can be found at Equity Forward’s website




Equity Forward is an accountability organization that produces investigative research on domestic and global human rights, gender equity and sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice.