For Fiscal Year 2014-2015, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development provided a $35,000 grant to the United Neighbors of Fitchburg, formerly known as the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center (CNC). In 2012, Reform CCHD Now reported serious problems with CNC, including the fact that CNC was listed as a “community partner” with the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.
Summary of Problems
- CNC is listed as a “community partner” with Planned Parenthood.
- CNC’s Youth Development Supervisor created a presentation on teen pregnancy which promotes Planned Parenthood.
- CNC co-sponsored TeenAIDS events, which promote condom use.
- Is a member of a coalition that supports same-sex marriage.
Page 12 of the CCHD’s most recent grants list shows that Cleghorn Neighbor Center received a grant for $35,000 for fiscal year 2014-2015. Even though in 2012, the Reform CCHD Now Coalition revealed that Cleghorn was listed as a “community partner” on Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts’ (PPLM) application for Title X funding in 2011, there has been no explanation for this listing and Cleghorn continues to receive Catholic money.
Page 55 of PPLM’s Title X grant application, PPLM lists Cleghorn as a “community partner” with Planned Parenthood.
Pages 25 and 26 of PPLM’s Title X grant application states that it brought Cleghorn on as a “community partner” in order to generate greater referrals and broaden its outreach efforts.
Page 30 of Planned Parenthood’s application form specifies its goals regarding community outreach and states its intentions regarding its community partners. Of note, PPLM says “Each organization has become a referral partner for PPLM’s Title X health centers, and received a PPLM health services brochure, postcards, and magnets to distribute to community members.”
While it is possible that PPLM may have lied or made a mistake on its Title X application form, which could be a federal offense, it is highly unlikely considering the fact that Cleghorn’s Youth Development Supervisor created a teen pregnancy presentation which promoted Planned Parenthood.
Cleghorn’s contact us page lists Dalmarie Baez as Cleghorn’s Youth Development Supervisor.
On January 31, 2014, Delmarie Baez created a presentation on teen pregnancy on a website called “Prezi.” Baez’s presentation encourages teens to seek the services and advice of Planned Parenthood, and suggests that “if the teen is scared to talk to their parent … Planned Parenthood is confidential.”
In the event that one may suggest that perhaps this is some other “Delmarie Baez,” and not the one who works for Cleghorn, what follows is another presentation by the same person, which references the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center:
But the problems with Cleghorn don’t end with its associations with Planned Parenthood. In 2008, Cleghorn co-sponsored a TeenAIDS event. TeenAIDS is a program that encourages condom use.
In 2007, Cleghorn again participated in a TeenAIDS event in celebration of World AIDS Day.
As mentioned above, and to be clear, TeenAIDS promotes condom use.
In addition to all this, Cleghorn is in violation of the CCHD’s grant guideline on coalition memberships, which states, “CCHD will not fund groups that are members of coalitions which have as their organizational purpose or coalition agenda, positions or actions that contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.”
The Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, along with four “Catholic” charity and social justice organizations, is a member of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA).
In June of 2013, MIRA applauded the end of the Defense of Marriage Act, celebrating the “rights” of same-sex immigrant couples. MIRA’s executive director, speaking on behalf of the entire coalition, said, “We commend the Supreme Court for striking down DOMA, the Obama Administration for immediately recognizing the decision’s impact on the rights of same-sex immigration petitioners.”
As has been demonstrated, Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, also known as the United Neighbors of Fitchburg, is in violation of CCHD grant guidelines on several fronts. It is listed as a community partner of Planned Parenthood, and in confirmation of this, Cleghorn’s youth director created a presentation on teen pregnancy which promotes and encourages recourse to Planned Parenthood. Cleghorn has a history of participating in TeenAIDS events, which promote condom use. And Cleghorn is a member of a coalition which celebrated the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is a violation of the CCHD grant guidelines on coalition memberships.
We cannot see any reason why an organization with this list of violations is continuing to receive CCHD funds.