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TPCN: Ask Us No Questions

An organization funded entirely by tax dollars insists it is a "private business" free from public scrutiny

By Jordan Smith, Fri., Jan. 26, 2007

I visited, called, and wrote the Texas Pregnancy Care Network in an attempt to determine the nature and cost of its entirely state-funded programs and in particular to review the "educational" materials, purchased with state funds, that it intends to provide pregnant clients. I was turned away at TPCN's locked door. Later that day I received the following e-mail.

From: "Vincent Friedewald"

Subject: Approved Educational Materials

Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 14:13:25 -0600

Dear Ms. Smith:

I understand you visited TPCN's offices this morning asking to review the educational materials Texas Pregnancy Care Network (TPCN) has purchased and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has approved for distribution to Service Providers participating in the Texas Alternative to Abortion Services Program. As a small, private business, TPCN unfortunately does not have the time or the financial resources to accommodate guests from the general public here at TPCN for non-business related purposes such as yours. I am sure you understand.

HHSC has informed me that you have been provided a copy of a spreadsheet specifically identifying the titles and publishers of the materials approved by HHSC. I encourage you to contact the publishers directly to obtain copies of the materials, if you have not already done so. I am sure they would cooperate with your request without any charges to you, provided you agree to return the materials to them in a reasonable time.

My co-worker who greeted you this morning explained you mentioned "open records." Again, this is a small, private business, and accordingly, that is not a matter for TPCN. You should direct inquiries regarding open records to HHSC's Open Records Coordinator.

Kindest regards,

Vincent E. Friedewald III, Esq.

Executive Director

Texas Pregnancy Care Network

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