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A Georgia Republican Senator Donated Her Salary To Anti-LGBTQ And Anti-Abortion Organizations

Loeffler, the richest member of Congress, is fighting for her seat against Democrat Raphael Warnock in a January runoff election.

Posted on December 2, 2020, at 4:38 p.m. ET

Jessica McGowan / Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler speaks to supporters during a "Defend the Majority" rally on Nov. 19 in Perry, Georgia.

Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who will fight to retain her seat during a Georgia runoff election in January, donated large portions of her Senate salary to anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ rights organizations.

Among these organizations are several “crisis pregnancy centers” that often pose as abortion clinics in order to dissuade people from getting the procedure, and an adoption agency that has a strong anti-LGBTQ ethos and bans same-sex couples from using it.

Loeffler is the wealthiest member of Congress. She and her husband hold a roughly $500 million stake in the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange, Forbes reported, estimating that the couple’s net worth is at least $800 million.

Because of this, Loeffler pledged to donate her $174,000 congressional salary to Georgia charities each quarter. Over the last two financial quarters, she donated $26,600 to seven anti-abortion pregnancy centers, and $3,800 to Covenant Care Adoptions, an anti-LGBTQ agency.

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Covenant Care Adoptions, a nonprofit adoption and counseling agency based in Georgia, requires that all adoptive parents be “husband and wife” who agree to the Statement of Faith listed on its website. The statement says that "the term 'marriage' has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union," and that "any form of sexual immorality (including ... homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God."

The statement also says, "Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person," and it is “imperative” that anyone who works for or volunteers with Covenant Care Adoptions or who wants to adopt a child through the organization “share these beliefs.”

Loeffler’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on her choice to donate to Covenant Care Adoptions, or whether she agrees with the organization’s anti-LGBTQ statement.

She has served in the Senate for less than a year, after being appointed to the seat in January, and has been an ally of President Donald Trump’s. She faced a challenge from fellow Republican Rep. Doug Collins as well as Democrat Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s all-party primary in November. Loeffler was forced into a runoff against Warnock, as neither candidate passed the necessary 50% vote threshold they needed to win the seat in November. The runoff will take place Jan. 5.

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Of the seven crisis pregnancy centers Loeffler donated to this year, one is the Georgia branch of Obria Medical Clinics, a California-based company that has been embroiled in controversy over the past few years.

In 2019, Obria obtained a $5.1 million federal grant of Title X funding that would be doled out over three years, specifically intended to subsidize clinics providing birth control. Obria does not provide patients with any kind of contraception, instead recommending abstinence or the highly ineffective “rhythm method,” which recommends people only have sex while they are not ovulating in order to not conceive.

Obria’s grant was a part of the Trump administration’s attempt to redistribute Title X money to conservative, anti-abortion organizations instead of Planned Parenthood, which previously received a large portion of the grant. (The money was legally barred from being used for abortions.)

Campaign for Accountability — a progressive watchdog group that sued Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services for information about its use of federal family planning funds — argued in 2019 that Obria is in violation of the requirements for receiving the grant. Before the Trump administration altered the grant requirements (triggering ongoing lawsuits), it included providing contraception and abortion counseling, services Obria does not provide.

In response, an HHS spokesperson said in a statement to Politico that it would not force Obria to comply with the contraception requirements.

Obria also says on its website that it provides “abortion pill reversal,” an unproven idea that suggests that taking a hormone called progesterone can halt the termination of a pregnancy after a pregnant person has taken the first of two pills required for a medication abortion. There is no evidence this is possible, and no clear understanding of possible side effects. Two major studies of abortion reversal were shut down for ethical and safety issues.

Obria CEO Kathleen Eaton Bravo also faced pushback from abortion rights advocates after the Guardian unearthed her 2015 interview with the Catholic World Report, in which she said that Christianity began to “die out” in Europe “when its nations accepted contraception and abortion.”

“With Europeans having no children, immigrant Muslims came in to replace them, and now the culture of Europe is changing,” she said.

Loeffler donated $3,800 of her Senate salary to Obria over the last two financial quarters. Obria did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump will campaign for Loeffler and Republican Sen. David Perdue, who is also in a runoff, in Georgia on Saturday.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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