Public documents from the University of Texas show that the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) has only one funding source, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, an organization with a history of supporting Planned Parenthood abortion mills. The amount of funding provided – approximately $4.6 million.
Texas Alliance for Life, a pro-life nonprofit organization in Texas, obtained the documents through a public information request.
As can been seen from the letter from the Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer to Texas Alliance for Life, there have been just two grants to TxPEP – both from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. One for a grant of $1,911,797, and the other for $2,666,861. The total from this one funding source – $4,578,658. The letter has been attached below.
The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation is named for the wife of Warren Buffett. An article published in Life Site News by Abby Johnson, a former director of Planned Parenthood, states that Buffett has been a huge donor – $21 million a year huge – of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). This money has been used to provide funds for women to obtain abortions, or to partially subsidize their abortions.
As can be seen from its website, TxPEP (also “project”) is associated with the University of Texas at Austin. The caption on their home page is “Assessing the Impact of Reproductive Health Legislation.”
The project states that it “is a five-year comprehensive effort to document and analyze the impact of the measures affecting reproductive health passed by the 82nd and 83rd Texas Legislatures.”
In a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas, Texas Alliance for Life cites TxPEP as “a foundation with a history of supporting Planned Parenthood.” Moreover the nonprofit charges, “Since its inception in 2011, TxPEP has been highly critical of the Texas Legislature’s recent laws to defund Planned Parenthood and increase informed consent and safety standards at abortion facilities.”
As noted by Texas Alliance for Life, TxPEP often testifies against pro-life legislation. Moreover, TxPEP publications are cited as “expert testimony” by Planned Parenthood and others suing to challenge pro-life laws in court.
TxPEP released a study in mid-November claiming that since the passage of House Bill 2, more Texas women are likely to try to perform abortions themselves. Texas Alliance for Life noted that an associate scholar of the Charlotee Lozier Institute, Dr. Michael New, wrote an article in the National Review saying the study has “numerous methodological shortcomings.” “In fact it provides absolutely no credible evidence whatsoever that self-induced abortions have increased in Texas since HB 2 went into effect,” he wrote.
House Bill 1295 passed during the 84th Texas Legislature and signed into law by Texas Governor Abbott in June of 2015, enables the public to know who is funding organizations like TxPEP and others. It was authored by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake), sponsored by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), and amended by Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) and Rep. John Zerwas, M.D. (R-Richmond).
In a statement obtained from Texas Alliance for Life, Rep. King was quoted as saying, “I was happy to offer this commonsense legislation along with Sen. Hancock, Rep. Capriglione, and Dr. Zerwas. Organizations like TxPEP use the credibility of Texas’ universities to further their agendas.”
The state representative from Weatherford added, “TxPEP consistently opposes reasonable pro-life bills in the legislature and testifies in court against laws we have passed. Texans, as well as the Legislature, need to know who is funding this research.”
Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life said, “This is not the first time we’ve seen large donors use darkness to hide their identities from public scrutiny, particularly when they fund claims that are unsubstantiated and false.”
Pojman added, “We thank these legislators for shining the light of transparency on TPEP so the public can judge whether their claims have merit. We believe they do not.”
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and an associate family court judge. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2