Femm app, which sows doubt about the pill, promoted by Obria group that was awarded $1.7m by Trump administration
US federal grants intended to help poor women obtain contraceptives are being used to promote a menstruation tracking app funded and operated by anti-birth control andanti-abortion campaigners.
The Femm app sows doubt about the birth control pill and promotes itself as a natural way for women to avoid or achieve pregnancy. The app collects womens most intimate data, including details on menstruation, sex, mood and prescription drugs. Its developers say it has been downloaded more than 400,000 times.
The app is led by the nonprofit Femm Foundation, whose board opposes abortion, and whose leaders have repeatedly refused to answer questions from the Guardian onhow effective the method is as a contraceptive. One of the foundations leading board members, Sean Fieler, is a prominent Republican political donor and a vocal supporter of Trumps anti-abortion policies.
A grant proposal by Obria Group, a network of crisis pregnancy centers based in California, show the centers asked for $5.9m per year. It was later awarded $1.7m per year in funding approved by the Trump administration, and has the potential to receive $5.1m over three years.
The Femm Foundations methods and app are being used as key components of Obrias natural family planning program promoting the value of abstinence.
Femm was a prominent part of the Obria Groups proposal for Title X funds. The Obria Group said in its application it wanted to use the Femm app and educational material at 21 clinic locations in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Santa Clara counties.
The Title X program was designed to provide poor women with effective medically approved contraceptive services. Obria Group originally requested $5.9m per year to serve 12,000 patients across four counties in California.