“Fertility” App Developed by Catholic Group That Opposes Contraception/Abortion

Hundreds of thousands of women around the world have downloaded FEMM, an app that tracks fertility by collecting data about menstruation and sexual activity. An investigation by The Guardian, however, revealed that the app is funded by the Chiaroscuro Foundation, which supports organizations that oppose birth control and abortion rights, including Susan B. Anthony List and its associated Super-PAC Women Speak Out. The group’s president, Sean Fieler, has contributed millions of dollars to anti-abortion candidates running for federal office, as well as to local races in states hostile to abortion rights, including Alabama.

The app’s information library was found to promote “natural” birth control to avoid possible “illness and degrading health” caused by hormonal and other contraceptive methods. However, the featured “experts” are members of an organization called the Reproductive Health Research Institute, which is affiliated with other anti-abortion groups, sharing a New York street address and phone number with the World Youth Alliance. These experts are not OBGYNs and, in most cases, are not licensed to practice medicine in the US (where a majority of the app’s users reside).

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