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From Live Action By Kelli – March 29, 2019 –

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that The Obria Group, a pro-life medical organization, has been awarded a $1.7 million grant per year for the next three years — a total of $5.1 million — in Title X federal family planning funding in California. This is a direct result of the Trump administration’s rule change, which requires that Title X funding recipient organizations must separate, both physically and financially, their abortion businesses from their non-abortion family planning services. In addition, groups receiving funding are no longer allowed to refer for abortions. Before the rule change, agencies were required to refer for abortions, which meant that pro-life facilities wouldn’t qualify for the funding. That has now changed, as previously reported by Live Action News:

The new HHS rule reportedly “[p]rohibit[s] referral for abortion as a method of family planning” and “eliminates the requirement that Title X providers offer abortion counseling and referral,” according to the press release. “It protects Title X healthcare providers so that they are not required to choose between participating in the program and violating their own consciences by providing abortion counseling and referral.” (emphasis added) Prior to the rule change, Title X recipients were required to refer for abortion. Section 59.14 of the rule states: “A Title X project may not perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning, nor take any other affirmative action to assist a patient to secure such an abortion.”

Planned Parenthood tweeted today that as a result of the Title X rule change, many of its affiliates just learned that they have lost funding in Wisconsin, Hawaii, North Carolina, Virginia and Southwest Ohio.

The Washington Examiner points out that the new rules “are being contested by states and pro-abortion rights groups who say that they amount to a ‘gag rule’ for doctors. The organizations have said they would have to either re-build their facilities or turn down the funds entirely because of the rule.” The family planning grants, they note, “are intended to pay for birth control, testing of sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer screenings for 4 million low-income people” and are not supposed to go toward abortion. However, when funding goes to a facility that provides not just family planning, but abortions using the same buildings, doctors, and staff, that money is fungible. That means no matter what, that funding is helping to prop up the facility’s abortion business.

“Many women want the opportunity to visit a professional, comprehensive health care facility—not an abortion clinic—for their health care needs; today, HHS gave women that choice,” Obria CEO Kathleen Eaton Bravo said in a statement, quoted by The Daily Signal. “Our goal is to basically say we’re going to build a model of comprehensive, holistic medical clinics so that a woman [facing an unplanned pregnancy] never has to darken the door of a Planned Parenthood again,” Bravo told The Daily Signal. “We are her health care provider,” she said. “It is a brand that has been desperately needed for 45 years, to unite the [pro-life] movement under this medical model.”

In a fact sheet released by The Obria Group, the organization notes that the Title X funding will be used toward:

  • Pregnancy information and counseling that includes pregnancy testing, prenatal education and care, and ultrasound examination
  • Family planning services, such as reproductive planning, preventative services, and training in fertility awareness-based methods (natural family planning)
  • Services for adolescents, such as sexual risk avoidance education, and counseling

The groups adds, “These services will be provided by seven grant subrecipients at 21 family clinic locations serving more than 90 cities across four California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and Santa Clara.”

The group also noted in a press release that “Obria is a nonprofit affiliate network that operates 21 health clinics and 11 mobile clinics in five states with 78 licensed medical professionals providing comprehensive health care services including: pregnancy testing and counseling, prenatal care through delivery, HIV/AIDS testing, pregnancy ultrasound, breast and cervical cancer testing, well-woman care and pap smears, STD testing and treatment, sexual risk avoidance education, adoption referral, and post-abortion support. Obria clinics do not provide contraceptives and do not do abortions, offering women and their families healthy, life-affirming care.”

Live Action president and founder Lila Rose serves on Obria’s National Advisory Board.

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