Obria, the anti-abortion group that’s tapping into “wellness” culture
August 30, 2019 2:51 PM   Subscribe

The group is hoping to win over millennials — and replace Planned Parenthood. Earlier this year, Obria received a $1.7 million federal grant through Title X, a program aimed at providing family planning services to underserved Americans. The program was designed, in part, to help people get affordable contraception like birth control pills and IUDs. But critics say Obria clinics don’t actually provide those things. Instead, the group encourages “natural family planning,” a method of birth control that relies on tracking the monthly menstrual cycle and is generally less effective than hormonal contraception.
Around the same time that Obria received its Title X grant, the Trump administration finalized a new rule banning grantees in the program from providing or referring patients for abortions. In response, Planned Parenthood pulled out of the program earlier this month.

That leaves Obria and groups like it in a prime position to take Planned Parenthood’s place providing federally subsidized family planning services to low-income Americans — except that those services won’t include birth control pills, IUDs, or possibly even condoms.

“Now that Obria has Title X money,” Kuppersmith said, “people who traditionally would have gone to a Planned Parenthood for subsidized care might be forced, almost, to go to an Obria.”
(previously)
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (23 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Will these motherfuckers just stop lying
posted by schadenfrau at 3:06 PM on August 30, 2019 [67 favorites]


Time to re-up my contribution to the Abortion Care Network.
posted by sugar and confetti at 3:09 PM on August 30, 2019 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I got to the received 1.7 million through title x before the screaming started in my hindbrain.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:14 PM on August 30, 2019 [8 favorites]


I just did some incognito googling to try to figure out if they were the same people that run the mobile crisis pregnancy centers that sometimes park outside of abortion clinics, but apparently not (they look like blood donation vans, only pinker and more evil). Those people have copied the Planned Parenthood aesthetic enough that I could see how it would be confusing for a random passer-by, though really - I think the most telling thing is that there's no way that Planned Parenthood has money for that sort of outreach right now.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:16 PM on August 30, 2019


Obria’s CEO, Kathleen Eaton Bravo, says she became an anti-abortion advocate after having an abortion.

"I'm going to become anti-choice in juuuuust... one second... let me take care of one thing... OK, done, that's it, no more abortions for anyone else." Really, it was that fast. She had her abortion and within 30 minutes decided nobody else should be able to.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:20 PM on August 30, 2019 [24 favorites]


Their offices are open odd hours -- the one in Olympia, Washington is open an hour a week. I wonder what that's about. Making their numbers look more impressive?
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:23 PM on August 30, 2019


This is just one example of the government grant grift when it comes to organizations attempting to reshape the morals of low-income people under the guise of fighting poverty. Ineffective as anything other than a vacuum for tax dollars.
posted by Selena777 at 5:34 PM on August 30, 2019 [10 favorites]


The mobile anti-choicers are ThriVe
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:28 PM on August 30, 2019 [2 favorites]


The technical term for 'natural family planning' is pregnancy.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:34 PM on August 30, 2019 [22 favorites]


People have known that the rhythm method doesn't work pretty much as long as the concept has existed.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:38 PM on August 30, 2019 [3 favorites]


The same people who castigate poor people for having children that they cannot afford to look after, want to take away the means of not having children that they cannot afford.
posted by PollyWaffle at 7:32 PM on August 30, 2019 [6 favorites]


The technical term for 'natural family planning' is pregnancy.

It's called "The Withdrawal Method" because if you follow this method, you're going to have to WITHDRAW money from your bank account to buy a crib...
posted by mikelieman at 8:39 PM on August 30, 2019 [2 favorites]


Just say no to the "Rhythm Method."
posted by Marky at 8:49 PM on August 30, 2019


Hey don’t knock the withdrawal method like that! When used correctly, it’s more effective than the sponge (96% for withdrawal, 91% for the sponge, comparing perfect use)
posted by LizBoBiz at 9:48 PM on August 30, 2019 [4 favorites]


Thanks, LizBoBiz. I was also going to jump in to defend the withdrawal method (assuming the penis-having partner is capable of doing it correctly). The rhythm method, on the other hand...
posted by cnidaria at 9:57 PM on August 30, 2019


According to your own link, the sponge is 76-88% effective while withdrawal is 78%. not sure where the 96% comes from. The other MAJOR downside of the withdrawal method is that it is solely dependent on a man putting a woman's health and well being over his own pleasure and frankly- that 78% is only that high IF it is done correctly every time. Which means even if done perfectly it still has a 22% failure rate. Consider how many men get their wives pregnant as method of control or how easily a man can vanish from a woman's life after she gets pregnant leaving her no recourse, the withdrawal method is not an acceptable method of birth control in any but the most egalitarian and rarefied relationships, which frankly, isn't much of them.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:01 PM on August 30, 2019 [21 favorites]


‘Natural family planning’/‘fertility awareness method’ can in fact be pretty reliable (NHS says up to 99%), if you are following it carefully. But following it carefully means daily commitment to tracking various different things, spending months learning your own body’s patterns well enough before you rely on this, and not doing anything that can disrupt cycles/signs, like waking up at different times of day or travelling a lot or being very young. It’s not an inherently stupid idea, it’s just not a low-maintenance or low-commitment one either.

If you really want to prevent abortions, you shouldn’t be encouraging reliance on this, you should be promoting long-acting reversible contraception methods like IUDs and implants and handing them out like they’re confetti.
posted by Catseye at 10:46 PM on August 30, 2019 [22 favorites]


*endless screaming*
posted by Scattercat at 12:09 AM on August 31, 2019 [3 favorites]


Also, it's not like you have to just do natural family planning, in theory. Combining it with a condom is more effective than either of the methods alone. But that's largely not relevant in this case, since they aren't going to ever provide any other type of birth control.

One if the reasons why I feel like I was raised in an alternate universe was that I was in fact taught 'his & hers' birth control, with a little table of what methods could be combined and being told that all partners were responsible for bringing a method. The his & hers language is super dated now, but this was a US public school in the early 2000's.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:15 AM on August 31, 2019 [4 favorites]


Marky, are you saying you don't want to be part of the rhythm nation?
posted by jpziller at 11:33 AM on August 31, 2019


According to your own link, the sponge is 76-88% effective while withdrawal is 78%. not sure where the 96% comes from.

96% is cited on the page specifically for that method as the perfect-use efficacy. 78% is the real-world efficacy among couples that use that method, which even then should probably be taken with a grain of sale due to selection effects.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:18 PM on August 31, 2019 [2 favorites]


I’ve just downloaded the app so I can leave a cautionary review—anyone else?
posted by stillmoving at 6:18 PM on August 31, 2019 [1 favorite]


> The same people who castigate poor people for having children that they cannot afford to look after, want to take away the means of not having children that they cannot afford.

i've worked so many jobs where i had the freedom to quit but where many of my coworkers didn't, specifically because those coworkers had kids. which led me toward the realization that having one child traps three people: the child themselves, plus both parents.

i think that the moneymen who prop up conservative institutions have had that same realization themselves. a part of the conservative attack on birth control and abortion is driven by deep-seated hatred of women — but another part of it is seated in cold financial analysis. if poor people have children, they can't drop out of the system in quite the same way that poor people without children do, and if poor people drop out of the system, that reduces supply of labor and therefore increases costs for capitalists.

when the romans invented the word "proletarian," it meant "one who produces offspring" — i.e. a roman citizen without any property, who was understood as only being valuable to the ruling classes insofar as they could produce more roman citizens.

this prole right here is on strike.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:23 AM on September 1, 2019 [7 favorites]


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