Reading Time: 2 minutes

North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) knows that the anti-choice Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship (CPCF) illegally spent $50,000 in taxpayer funds on religious propaganda instead of helping women… yet the state will continue to give them even more.

Because the DHHS never reported the illegal use of funds, the GOP-led legislature passed a budget that included another $400,000 for the anti-abortion clinic.

Amy Littlefield at Rewire has more:

Documents obtained through a public records request revealed the state approved materials that encouraged parents to pray with their children, told men whose partners have had abortions to “handle your personal guilt before God,” and exhorted women to embrace the “blessing” of marriage as “a sacred institution created by God in the Garden of Eden.”

The records provide a window into the monthslong scramble by state officials to determine how much federal block grant money — intended to address maternal and infant mortality in a state with some of the worst outcomes in the country — CPCF had misused on Bible study courses and other religious materials. After it concluded in late 2018 that CPCF had misspent approximately $50,000 in public funding over five years, DHHS never informed the state legislature. Amid a budget battle between the Republican-led legislature and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, lawmakers are poised to give more than a dozen anti-choice fake clinics a record amount of at least $2.64 million in state funds this year. Many of those clinics are under the CPCF umbrella.

That’s a lot of money being wasted on faith-based liars whose primary goal is to steer women toward their God, not help them deal with their pregnancies.

Also disturbing is how the $400,000 CPCF is on the verge of receiving comes with fewer strings attached.

CPCF isn’t the only like-minded group getting money despite these illegal practices, but it’s a solid example of this type of behavior. And the exposure of that group led to some tensions in the state government.

Hours after Rewire.News published our investigation on CPCF’s misuse of federal funds on April 26, 2018, Tara Owens Shuler, perinatal health unit manager in the Division of Public Health at DHHS, wrote a distressed email to a colleague.

I am sure you have gotten the update about CPCF!” she wrote. “I feel like running away…”

The email reflected tensions within the agency after Rewire.News revealed DHHS had allowed the anti-choice groups to use federal money for religious content, including materials intended to help men “discover authentic manhood as modeled by Jesus Christ.”

Imagine if the funds were spent helping women raise a baby or obtain contraception to avoid a pregnancy she wasn’t ready for… instead of getting the Jesus Guide to Masculinity. Taxpayers shouldn’t foot this Christian nonsense, and voters shouldn’t stand for it even if they’re anti-choice. This is illegal, it’s out in the open, and Gov. Roy Cooper (a Democrat) should push for changes before signing off on any budget with this in it.

(Image via Shutterstock)