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Round Rock-based anti-abortion group’s state contract slashed

An anti-abortion group awarded almost $7 million to spice up women’s health and household planning, after the state minimize off Planned Parenthood and different abortion suppliers, is falling brief and can obtain far much less cash consequently, Texas officers stated this week.

The choice comes a yr after Texas employed the Round Rock-based Heidi Group to assist strengthen small clinics specializing in women’s health, as Planned Parenthood does, however that don’t supply abortions. In March, The Associated Press discovered the Heidi Group had little to point out for its work and hadn’t carried out promised outreach efforts.

The evangelical nonprofit began within the 1990s and is greatest recognized for selling options to abortion.

More than $5 million in taxpayer funds pledged to the Heidi Group was for household planning providers. But the small nonprofit hasn’t met its objectives and it now plans to serve solely a fifth of the almost 18,000 women initially projected, stated Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

As a outcome, the group will now as an alternative obtain lower than $1 million for household planning. Williams stated contract delays contributed to the objectives not being met.

“They didn’t reach their own targets during this first year of ramp-up. We’re adjusting the amounts to make sure we are maximizing services for women through our contractors,” Williams stated in an e mail. Williams informed the American-Statesman that different contractors served areas that the Heidi Group was purported to serve.

The Heidi Group is led by Carol Everett, a outstanding anti-abortion activist who’s seen as an influential conservative pressure within the Legislature.

Everett informed the Statesman that she is OK with the state’s choice as a result of she continues to be rising her community of suppliers. She stated that when the nonprofit was given the contract final yr, she needed to begin from scratch by coaching suppliers.

“We want the program to work, and we want the program to work for everyone, and we want every woman in Texas to be provided for,” Everett stated.

She stated that the household planning providers the Round Rock-based Heidi Group offers consists of testing for sexually transmitted illnesses in addition to contraception.

Everett has beforehand stated some clinics weren’t cooperating with outreach efforts regardless of her greatest efforts and that promoting she deliberate had been stalled by delays in state funding. Earlier this yr, Texas health officers acknowledged to the AP there had been early struggles beneath a separate $1.6 million contract with the Heidi Group.

That smaller contract was for the group to assist increase a state women’s health program that gives low-cost breast exams, contraception and most cancers screening. Planned Parenthood and different abortion suppliers are banned from collaborating after Republicans lawmakers minimize off their funding in 2011.

Planned Parenthood and its supporters say the struggles present the dangers of counting on unproven suppliers to serve low-income women. Everett stated in March she hoped to function many as 70,000 women underneath the women’s health program. Williams stated the precise variety of women served isn’t but out there.

This story included materials from The Associated Press and Statesman employees author Julie Chang.

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