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Greg Abbott’s preferred anti-abortion contractor, The Heidi Group ordered to pay back $1.5 million

November 8, 2019

Greg Abbott’s preferred anti-abortion contractor, The Heidi Group ordered to pay back $1.5 million 

Austin, TX – “An anti-abortion group that came under fire for failing to provide services to thousands of Texas women must repay $1.5 million in overpayments and prohibited costs, state investigators said Thursday.” [Houston Chronicle, November 7, 2019]

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Aimee Arrambide issued the following statement:

“Carol Everett has no business sitting on any influential state committee, much less trying to deliver or facilitate healthcare to anyone. Ever. We welcome the state holding the Heidi Group accountable for $1.5 million in state funds. We demand the Heidi Group return ill-gotten state funds and we call on the state to make sure extremists with no qualifications don’t influence, administer, or grift from state programs designed to provide healthcare to Texans.

The Heidi Group is a case study for any state attempting to play politics with the care of its citizens – it doesn’t work.”

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BACKGROUND: Timeline of Texas’ anti-abortion agenda propagating the Heidi Group

  • January 2007 – Medicaid Women’s Health Program launches. The Federal government pays $9 out of every $10 of the program.
  • March 2011 – Targeting Planned Parenthood, the state rejects the federal government’s guidelines and 9 to 1 matching dollars. The state budget for women’s health and family planning is slashed by 2/3rds, essentially dismantling the women’s health safety net in the state. 82 clinics specializing in preventive healthcare close, the majority of which were rural, independent providers.
  •  January 2o13 – Texas Women’s Health Program, a state-run program that prohibits trusted providers like Planned Parenthood from participating, launches. In 2013 claims for contraception under the new program had dropped by 50 percent compared to claims under the federal program in 2011.
  • January 2013 – Greg Abbott appoints Carol Everett to the “Choose Life” Committee, a group that makes recommendations on how to spend money from the state’s anti-abortion license plate program.
  • Early 2014 – Carol Everett, who is unqualified to advise on any healthcare matters, gets appointed to the Women’s Health Advisory Committee, which was created to get input about the consolidation of the state’s family planning programs.
  • May 2016 – Carol Everett applies to be a part of the state-run family planning programs. She sends an email to anti-abortion activists detailing how she was pushing for millions to help ‘poor women of Texas’ and said: “It is no exaggeration to say this is the greatest possibility for expansion of pro-life care for the poor ever.”
  • August 2017 – As reports come out about the Heidi Group not meeting its targets, the state announces it will reallocate more than $4 million originally given to them.
  • October 2018 – The state announces that it will end its contract with the Heidi Group after an investigation from The Texas Observer showed that Carol Everett’s organization only served 3,300 patients out of the 70,000 promised.
  • July 2019 – Carol Everett creates a new anti-abortion organization, ‘Vita Nuova’ and sues the federal government a day later in an attempt to receive Title X money.
  • November 2019 – The Heidi Group is ordered to pay back $1.5 million.