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Supervisor Horn revives grant for Life Perspectives (Updated!)

September 10, 2010 - 10:58 am

San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn has revived a $20,000 grant for Life Perspectives, a non-profit group that has used county money to promote annual fundraisers for religious programs.

Last week, the county cancelled the $20,000 grant for the group’s annual Life Walk fundraiser after CityBeat reported (here and here) on the religious nature of the group’s “Whole Life Curriculum.” Horn vowed to craft another grant for the group.

On Friday, Horn added an item to the Board of Supervisor’s Sept. 14 agenda that would change the purpose of  previous grant so that Life Perspectives may use the money to

…help cover the costs of a mental health consultant, editing, proofreading, graphics, printing and personnel expenses associated with developing and publishing a Group Leader Guide for the book Changed.

The Board of Supervisors must approve the change before it can go through. However, there is still the lingering question of the money Life Perspectives has already spent and whether it can or should be returned. Between 2008 and 2009, the county gave Life Perspectives $60,000 for its Life Walk fundraisers. County Counsel John Sansone has said that the county is evaluating “what action, if any, can be taken regarding the past grants and will need to advise the Board of Supervisors on this.”

Written by Life Perspectives’ founder and president Michaelene Fredenburg, who had an abortion at the age of 18, Changed: Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved One’s Abortion Experience costs $25 on Amazon.com. The book is a central part of the group’s Abortion Changes You program, which has involved a subway campaign in New York City and an interactive web site.

Through the summer, San Diego churches have been fundraising for a regional advertising campaign for the Abortion Changes You program through a consortium called “Healing the Culture San Diego.” According to an insert in a local church mailer:

How will the money raised to advertise for the Abortion Changes You Outreach be spent?

A community collaborative, “Healing the Culture, San Diego,” that includes healing ministry directors, diocesan officials, culture of life parish coordinators, representatives of multiple denominations, and Christian business leaders will develop a final media buying plan that is dependent on how much is raised during the campaign. Market research will first be conducted to determine the most effective ways to reach the targeted audiences within San Diego and Imperial Counties with the available resources. Forms of advertising will include: bus, trolley, and mall ads, billboards, web-based advertising, college and local newspaper ads, and radio commercials. Television commercials will be aired only if significant funds are raised.

According to the document, the group hopes to raise between $150,000 and $300,000. So far, the website says the group has raised $34,000.

More information has been added to this story since its initial publication. It also has been edited to reflect that this technically is not a new grant, but an amended purpose to the old one that had been cancelled.

See below for Fredenburg’s letter to the county requesting the grant amendment.


Dear Caylin,

At current abortion rates, 1 in 3 women will terminate a pregnancy in the United States by the time they are 45.[1][1] In addition to the men and women who have experienced abortion firsthand, family members and friends may also be impacted. Life Perspectives developed the Abortion Changes You outreach to communicate to men and women touched by abortion that they are not alone and that healing resources are available.

Abortion Changes You provides a space set apart from politics, from labels, from debate. It is a safe environment for individuals from different backgrounds and viewpoints to explore their emotions and begin to heal. Core resources include http://www.AbortionChangesYou.com and the book Changed: Making Sense of Your Own or a Loved One’s Abortion Experience.

For most men and women accessing resources such as the Web site and/or the book Changed will be sufficient to cope with troubling emotions. However, some individuals may benefit from individual or group therapy. The development of a Group Leader Guide for the book Changed will allow therapists and peer counselors to effectively utilize Changed in a group setting.

Life Perspectives is requesting a $20,000 grant from the County’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund to help underwrite development of this Group Leader Guide. The grant will help cover expenses associated with developing and publishing the guide including costs for all or part of the following: mental health consultant, Life Perspectives staff support (Michaelene Fredenburg will co-author the guide), editor, proofreader, graphic artist, printing.

A copy of the book Changed has already been provided to your office for review by appropriate County departments to ensure the project meets grant requirements.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Michaelene Fredenburg

President, Life Perspectives

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. sallysmothers permalink
    September 11, 2010 - 4:19 pm 4:19 pm

    What an arrogant little SNEAK, that Mr. Horn! While I don’t believe that the pro-life organization should have to return the grant money given to them in years past, I think giving them MORE $$ would be a flagrant rebuke of Constitutional principles, which, along with “State’s Rights,” seems to be something that Republicans care SO deeply about (when it suits them).

  2. kbgressitt permalink
    September 12, 2010 - 12:37 pm 12:37 pm

    Here is some information that might inform the Board of Supervisors’ decision:

    – First, a few excerpts from Changed, a “core resource” of Fredenburg’s proposed program, presented with her formatting:

    Your emotions may be directed outward
    at other people or at God, …

    This is all a normal part of moving through the grieving process.

    Writing a letter that expresses your feelings to the individuals involved, …
    reading the letter to yourself,
    and then destroying the letter can be helpful.

    As the letter
    is torn into little pieces,
    imagine the harmful emotions towards others, yourself, or
    God

    disintegrating. …

    Many people who have experienced abortion find great comfort and hope through the prayers and support of others and in the assurance of God’s love and forgiveness.

    Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm.

    – The book refers people seeking “post-abortion” help to its affiliated website http://www.AbortionChangesYou.com, which then refers folks to a zip code search function. My zip code, 92028, produced five agencies, all of which are private organizations with noted religious affiliations: Fallbrook Pregnancy Resource Center, Pregnancy Resource Center – Vista, Birth Choice of San Marcos, alternatives womens center in Escondido and Rachel’s Hope/La Esperanza de Raquel in Escondido.

    – Fredenburg has yet to make public any legitimate professional expertise that is relevant to writing a group therapy guide; although, Garry H. Strauss wrote the afterward for Changed. Strauss is a professor of psychology at the evangelical Christian college, Biola University, and a member of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, whose ethical standards derive from the following Statement of Faith: “The basis of this organization is belief in God, the Father, who creates and sustains us; Jesus Christ, the Son, who redeems and rules us; and the Holy Spirit, who guides us personally and professionally, through God’s inspired Word, the Bible, our infallible guide of faith and conduct, and through the communion of Christians.”

    All told, it appears that Horn and Fredenburg have neglected to include in their revamped grant application the fact that Fredenburg’s post-abortion healing efforts have the same religious tone as her other pursuits, a tone that is fine in all ways — except that in our country we don’t use public funds for the promotion of religion.

    What is it that Horn and Fredenburg don’t understand about that? Is it the passion of faith, the pursuit of mission, the arrogance of office, the power-addled death throes of a corrupted politician, or the idiocy of a man who simply thinks he can get away with Hornswoggling the taxpayers yet again?

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