A Changing of the Guard Doesn’t Mean Texas’ Fake Clinics Will Start Providing Quality, Non-Biased Care

| Reproaction

By: Shireen Shakouri

Here at Reproaction, we’ve been tracking the anti-abortion fake clinic group Human Coalition for years. They have been the subject of a Reproaction direct action and multiple written pieces and campaign materials calling out their president’s unsavory comments about immigrationrape, and the Holocaust, as well as the shaming and particularly manipulative recruitment tactics they deploy in their fake clinics and during sex education programs in schools. Notably, they changed the name of their centers not long after Reproaction’s direct action and probably also in light of bird-dogging highlighting their problematic rhetoric and deceptive tactics. The fake clinics operated by Human used to be known as Cura Women’s Care Clinics; now they are known as ”The Women’s Clinic” or “Women’s Care Clinic of (city name).” And this is no accident—we have strong reason to believe they change their public-facing name intentionally as they get bad publicity so it’s easier for them to deceive more people.

In late May 2018, Texas granted Human Coalition more than $8 million for anti-abortion counseling as part of Texas’ Alternatives to Abortion program. Part of this grant comes from $3 million in state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars, commonly known as welfare grants intended to feed low-income families. [1]

Human Coalition’s work promises its funders that it will reach women “most likely” to obtain abortions, and uses the model of their seven fake clinics operating nationally, of which two are mobile units, which are coach busses that fake clinic chains convert into roving ultrasound rooms. They’ll park outside of real clinics or on college campuses in their tricked-out RVs, all to trick people out of seeking the care they need. Texas has a Human Coalition fake clinic and one mobile unit, both in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Though the group plans to open more fake clinics in Texas by the end of the year and their grant dictates that they must serve more than 21,000 clients, their services are mostly virtual. They run a call center out of their Plano headquarters, and will deliver their anti-abortion counseling via phone, teleconference, and video calls to their clients. [1] Their brick-and-mortar centers are simply called, “The Women’s Clinic” and their mobile units are called “Women’s Mobile+Clinic.”

But interfacing with clients wouldn’t be enough even if Human Coalition was a comprehensive reproductive and sexual health provider, because Texas is not meeting the healthcare needs of its population. After the state dropped Planned Parenthood from its network ending the provider’s ability to collect Medicaid from patients and in effect “defunding” Planned Parenthood in Texas, [2] it began collecting potential new providers to fill the gap, some earning multi-million dollar contracts. Despite the existence of providers eligible to serve Texas women through the public program and high incentives to see clients, most of these groups failed miserably. According to The Texas Observer: “Almost half of the approximately 5,400 providers in Healthy Texas Women didn’t see a single patient in the program in fiscal year 2017, according to data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Of the 2,900 providers that did see patients, more than 700 saw just a single person. Only about 1,500 saw more than five patients. Of the 27 providers that served 1,000 or more, 11 were labs, which don’t actually see patients and advocates say skew the data.” [3]

Earlier this fall, the same outlet reported that the largest of these would-be providers, The Heidi Group, served less than five percent of the clients they promised to see per their contract. Two weeks after the article was published, the state cancelled its contracts with the group, which was comprised of clinics that don’t provide reproductive healthcare, anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (also known as fake clinics), and individual doctors. Despite Heidi Group’s flagrant underperformance in FY17, and state lawmakers’ awareness of the fact, their proposed funding over the past couple years yo-yoed slightly but was inevitably granted and promised to continue to FY2019 at expected levels until this month. [3, 4] According to The Texas Tribune, Heidi Group will have to repay the state more than $29,000 and possibly up to $1 million for services not rendered. [5]

Human Coalition’s addition to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s grantees suggests the state hasn’t learned from its mistakes with The Heidi Group, and plans to double down on fake clinics rather than actually meeting the healthcare needs of the population. Though the state hasn’t stated such, it appears that Human Coalition’s promissory service to 21,000 Texans will fill the albeit-small gap left by The Heidi Group’s family planning grant and account for the 30 percent increase in patients reported by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission last year. In all for 2017, The Heidi Group served approximately 17,000 in their ‘family planning’ capacity, though services were limited to anti-abortion counseling and will remain such with Human Coalition at the helm. [4]

It makes me wonder: How far will Texas lawmakers and the pro-life movement at large go to cover up for the failures of these fake clinics? How long will taxpayers let their dollars go to waste – especially money earmarked to feed needy families? I refuse to sit by while sham healthcare is passed off as not only a suitable, but the only option for low-income women.


  1. https://rewire.news/article/2018/08/14/texas-takes-millions-from-low-income-families-to-give-to-anti-choice-virtual-clinic/
  2. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-planned-parenthood-texas-births-20160203-story.html
  3. https://www.texasobserver.org/without-planned-parenthood-almost-half-the-providers-in-texas-womens-health-program-saw-no-patients/
  4. https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-anti-abortion-family-planning-group-promised-to-serve-70000-women-it-served-3300/
  5. https://www.texastribune.org/2018/10/12/texas-cancels-health-contracts-anti-abortion-heidi-group/
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