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Conservative Review: House Subcommittee Chair Calls for Investigation Into AmeriCorps “Abortion Doulas”

April 26, 2016
News Stories

Conservative Review - Nate Madden

A House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman is calling for an investigation into government funded community health centers, following a report that some had been training AmeriCorps volunteers to act as “doulas,” or women trained to assist other women through childbirth, during abortion procedures.

“I am deeply disturbed by a recent report summarizing an investigation conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service [CNCS] Office of Inspector General [OIG], which found numerous violations of the law involving AmeriCorps members serving as doulas to accompany women while they had and abortion,” reads a letter sent by Rep. Tom Cole (R-O.K.)--Chairman of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies--to CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer on Tuesday.

“I urge you to immediately initiate a rigorous investigation into all grantees and sub-grantees in the AmeriCorps program to determine whether there are other violations and to correct them.”

According to the OIG report released Monday, “Between 2013 and 2015, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), Bethesda, MD, allowed a few AmeriCorps members to provide emotional support (doula care) to women during abortion procedures at three New York City clinics operated by the Institute for Family Health (IFH), a sub-grantee.”

This would mean that federal dollars and volunteers for the federal government agency were instructed to violate the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, that both authorizes the AmeriCorps program and prohibits that its resources be used to “provid[e] abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services,” according to the report.

“I am outraged by the terrible misuse of taxpayer dollars under the direction of the National Association of Community Health Centers,” said Cole in a press release. “While participating in the Community HealthCorps program, it is absolutely unacceptable that AmeriCorps members were wrongfully instructed and encouraged to assist in abortion-related procedures and services at community health centers.”

“Such activity is expressly prohibited by federal law. Abortion-related procedures should never be funded by taxpayers. Given these disturbing developments, I believe this grantee should be immediately terminated from the HealthCorps program.” 

The CNCS said in a statement to The Hill that it was “deeply disappointed” in the findings and that its response to the investigation would be to implement “tough detailed reforms” to hold sub-grantees more accountable.

Online: Conservative Review