Texas officials have recently awarded a $1.65 million contract to The Heidi Group under the state’s new Healthy Texas Women program. $18 million was allocated to the Healthy Texas Woman fund after a law was signed by current Texas Governor Greg Abbot banning Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds.
Who would have thought in Texas, a state who has made it abundantly clear through that women cannot be responsible for their own reproductive health, would want to ensure women have access to health care? If there’s a part of you which is cynical, you would be right.
The Heidi Group is owned by Carol Everett, a former abortion clinic owner turned pro-life advocate, and, according to the latest available IRS filing, is also the non-profit’s sole employee. As of now, the Heidi Group website lists only 4 employees, none of whom are clinicians.
Just another grift.
The Heidi Group changed it’s “What We Believe” mission statement in preparation for the grant – the former statement read: “We believe that sinners- including those who have had an abortion- can be saved by God’s grace.” The current mission statement now reflects the vision of the Healthy Texas Woman’s Fund, which is that “The Heidi Group exists to assist women with the situations of life, starting with their health.” One look at The Heidi Group’s Facebook page, and it is overwhelmingly clear that Carol Everett is neither pro-life nor pro-woman’s health.
Money that used to go to a responsible organization (Planned Parenthood) that actually cared about women’s health and wellbeing, has been reallocated to a malignant religious conservatives with a mission to stop any and all abortions being performed in the state of Texas – which includes woefully ignorant claims made by Everett that STI’s and HIV can be spread when aborted fetuses enter the sewer system and that “if multiple abortions or a history of breast cancer in her family then it’s raised by 100%.” If Everett’s theory on abortions was correct, I would have breast cancer RIGHT NOW.
The award by the HHSC to The Heidi Group has prompted criticism from many critics, some of which will follow:
- Progress Texas advocacy director Lucy Stein: “Texas health officials have no business inserting anti-abortion activist Carol Everett and her anti-abortion group in between Texas women and their access to health care. HHSC needs to be held accountable for funding this fraud, and Texas taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for this sham.”
Representative Jessica Farrar (D-Houston), chairman of the Texas Legislature’s Women’s Health Caucus: “We cannot have a biased ideology driving the health care of the women of this state”.
Stacy Pogue, senior policy analyst for Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities: We are surprised to see an award made to an entity before they appear to have any doctors or clinics ready to serve women, and we would be concerned about any awardee that doesn’t have expertise in providing family planning services specifically.”
Executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Heather Busby: “It’s very inappropriate that the state would contract with an organization that has never performed the services required by the contract … The Heidi Group is an anti-abortion organization; it is not a healthcare provider.”
Both Progress Texas and Rep. Farrar have since submitted requests to the Texas State Auditor’s office asking for an investigation into the grant awarded to The Heidi Group. One can only hope that the Auditor’s office will agree with those critical of the grant – that The Heidi Group is nothing more than another grift of the taxpayers to line the pockets of religious frauds and charlatans.
God Bless (the women in) Texas! You’re going to need it.