Health

Federally Funded Clinics Now Emphasize Abstinence

The California-based Obria Group endorses health centers that appear to be modeled after faith-based crisis pregnancy centers, designed to persuade women to continue their pregnancies.

Thousands of California women seeking reproductive health services through a federal program will possibly find themselves in clinics that now focus on advocating abstinence and natural family planning as a form of birth control.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) granted $1.7 million to Obria in fiscal year 2019, with the possibility of renewal for two more years for a total of $5.1 million. This is part of a larger effort by religious conservatives in the Trump administration to transform women’s health care services.

HHS officials announced on July 15 that they would start immediately withholding funds from clinics that do not comply with several provisions of Title X. Clinics have until March 4, 2020 to guarantee that operations related to abortion are separate from non-abortion services.

Obria clinics will not offer hormonal birth control or sterilization, but encourage clients to use online apps, developed with funding from religious conservatives, to stray them away from sexual risks as their only option in life and instead to an option of self-control.

Compiled by Olivia Boyd, WI Intern

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