Hold the Anti-Abortion Heidi Group Accountable for Misusing Texas Taxpayer Dollars
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Charles Smith, Executive Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Sen. Charles Schwertner, Chair, Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services
Rep. Four Price, Chair, Texas House Public Health Committee
Re: Request for an Investigation of the Heidi Group
We respectfully request that you investigate the Heidi Group, an anti-abortion nonprofit based in Round Rock, Texas, for failing to provide the services for which the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) contracted.
Between 2016 and 2017, HHSC signed two contracts with the Heidi Group, designating nearly $7 million in state funds for the nonprofit. The Heidi Group promised to provide family planning and reproductive health care to low income Texans by helping a network of clinics expand their services. The state of Texas initiated these programs after eliminating state funding for Planned Parenthood, which led to a significant decrease in women’s access to state health programs.
Although it has submitted reimbursement requests to the state totaling nearly $1 million, the Heidi Group has failed to deliver the promised services. In March, Everett told a staffer in the governor’s office, “No, we don’t look good, and no, we’re not doing what I planned to do, and no, we’re not doing what I wanted to do,” according to a voicemail obtained through an open records request by the accountability watchdog Campaign for Accountability (CfA).
As a result, on September 26, 2017, CfA filed a complaint with the Travis County District Attorney requesting an investigation into whether the Heidi Group and Carol Everett violated Texas law by misappropriating taxpayer funds and engaging in deceptive business practices. CfA also asked the IRS to investigate the group’s nonprofit tax status.
In its zeal to defund Planned Parenthood, Texas has wasted scarce resources on a group that is misappropriating taxpayer funds and providing no services, leaving women without access to health care. Texas taxpayers deserve to know where their hard-earned money has gone.
Therefore, Campaign for Accountability, and the citizens who have signed this petition, are asking state authorities to investigate these contracts and hold the Heidi Group and Carol Everett accountable for their actions.
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