Anti-Abortion Fake Clinics and Your Tax Dollars

| Reproaction

By: Shireen Shakouri

As of April 2022, the California-based Obria Group is no longer receiving Title X grant money through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). [1, 2] Under the Trump administration, anti-abortion fake clinics looked for increasing ways to line their pockets with federal tax dollars they should have never had any claim to – money intended to support comprehensive health care, domestic violence prevention, sex trafficking awareness, and in some cases, to feed needy families. But Obria went even further, being the only anti-abortion fake clinic to receive Title X family planning dollars, totaling $1.7 million annually for the past three years. [3]

That all ended on April 1 of this year. Under the Biden administration’s HHS, Obria is no longer included as a grant recipient. [2, 4] Furthermore, under the leadership of HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the agency has beefed up funding and other support to comprehensive reproductive health care providers in response to waning abortion access caused by Texas’ cruel abortion ban, SB8. [5] These pursuits include increasing Title X grant funding to abortion care providers, [6] enforcement of nondiscrimination against health care providers, and enforcement of emergency medical treatment and labor act.

This is a refreshing change of pace, but not wholly unexpected. Secretary Becerra was the defendant in NIFLA v. Becerra, a 2018 case heard by the Supreme Court in which an anti-abortion fake clinic network, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, sued the state of California for enacting a common-sense, easy-to-follow law that regulated anti-abortion fake clinics. Unfortunately, the court ruled against Becerra, then attorney general of the state, allowing anti-abortion fake clinics to continue their deception and stigmatizing of abortion-seekers.

However, the courts are not the only tool we have to beat back against the plague of anti-abortion fake clinics. In the case of many fake clinics, they still receive other federal and state-level public funding, even Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF dollars, [7] which needs to end. But, they are no longer Title X awardees, and that is cause for celebration.


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