Human Coalition

Human Coalition is an anti-abortion group led by extremists with concerning views on abortion and gender. Human Coalition manipulates big data to target and discourage people from getting abortions and has abused state and federal funding to spread its religious beliefs.


Summary Extremism Key Players & Related Groups Influence Financials

Summary

Human Coalition is a Texas-based Christian anti-abortion organization that uses big data and online marketing to target abortion seekers, steer them into its anti-abortion centers (AACs), and ensure that their pregnancies are brought to full term. The organization was founded in 2009 by Brian Fisher as a way of manipulating search engine optimization (SEO) to direct people seeking information on abortions toward Human Coalition webpages in order to discourage them from having an abortion. Human Coalition was originally founded with the name Online for Life and had much smaller operations until right-wing fracking billionaires & publishers of The Daily Wire Farris and Joann Wilks donated over $2 million in 2011 to grow the program. Following this donation, Human Coalition expanded its operations to open contact centers, anti-abortion centers, a “social support program,” and a virtual clinic. In 2019, Human Coalition launched Human Coalition Action, the anti-abortion political advocacy arm of the organization.

Human Coalition has contracted with the Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) programs in Texas and North Carolina, the two states in which Human Coalition is most active. In Texas, Human Coalition receives Temporary and Needy Assistance for Families (TANF) dollars, which are intended for direct cash assistance to low-income people, not for anti-abortion counseling. In North Carolina, Human Coalition was caught using state funds for religious purposes in explicit violation of its contract. As mentioned, the organization also relies on data and technology to target and harass people who are what it refers to as “abortion-determined” or located in “abortion-dense cities.”

Throughout its history, Human Coalition has been run almost exclusively by men, and many of the people involved have ties to concerning groups and peddle extremist views. Key leaders in Human Coalition have referred to abortion as “lynching,” “Black genocide,” and a “holocaust”; have compared abortion to slavery; have advocated for enforcing “Biblical teachings about the complementary differences between men and women”; and have even held membership in secretive right-wing networks of bigoted influence.

Extremism

Human Coalition Talks About Abortions And Those Who Seek Them In Inaccurate And Offensive Ways

Human Coalition Regularly Refers To People As “Abortion-Determined” Or As Living In “Abortion-Dense Cities.” “Human Coalition operates six ‘lab-driven’ divisions in key abortion-dense cities. These departments continually test and optimize their practices so that we listen to and serve the abortion-determined community with greater effectiveness.” [Human Coalition, 2021]

Human Coalition Compares People Who Have Abortions To “Children Learning To Walk.” “We are also called to hold back those who are staggering, stumbling, tripping. Those who have lost control and are falling toward slaughter. We are to catch them and keep them from falling further, much like a child learning to walk who begins to fall.” [Human Coalition, Imago Dei Sermon, 2017]

Human Coalition Refers To Extramarital Sex As “Unrighteous.” “In very subtle ways, we often rejoice in someone’s unrighteousness. It could be congratulating a young man after he spends the night with an attractive woman (iniquity), or wanting to be included in the gossip (iniquity), and many other subtle forms.” [Human Coalition, Love Never Fails Sermon, 2017]

Human Coalition Founder And Former President Brian Fisher Compared Having An Abortion After Rape To Being Robbed And Then Murdering A Bystander. “We agree it isn’t fair when a woman is raped and then faces the crises and hardships that come with an unplanned pregnancy. In fact, it is tragic. But does it give her or anyone else the moral right to kill an innocent human being? Imagine you are robbed and beaten at gunpoint. You have months of suffering and healing ahead of you, and it may take years to recover from the psychological impact. The crimes committed against you were unfair – do you now have the right to kill an innocent stranger on the street because you’ve been victimized?” [Human Coalition, 5/27/14]

Human Coalition Founder And Former President Brian Fisher Diminished The Very Real And Dangerous Health Problems People May Face During Pregnancy. “It’s worth noting a few cautions and clarifications when dealing with this issue: the ‘health’ of the mother and the ‘life’ of the mother are two very different things. For decades, the ‘health of the mother’ has been used to justify abortion for almost any reason. Because ‘health’ is virtually impossible to define, a woman who is even mildly upset that she is pregnant can abort her child under this ambiguous phrase. Be wary of this critical distinction.” [Human Coalition, 5/27/14]

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Human Coalition Manipulates Big Data To Target Pregnant People

Human Coalition Was Renamed From Online For Life—An SEO Organization Focused On Manipulating Big Data. “Human Coalition was renamed a few years ago from Online for Life, and focuses on online search engine optimization – which uses keywords women searching for pregnancy-related services online might use – as well as crisis pregnancy centers.” [The News & Observer, 6/21/19]

Human Coalition Uses A Variety Of Internet-Based Strategies To Deceive People. “A recent Media Matters for America (MMFA) report highlighted the anti-choice Human Coalition – responsible for multiple pieces in the New York Times’ opinion pages – as another CPC organization taking advantage of technological tools. It pointed out that, in addition to the strategically targeted Google ads, Human Coalition web pages appear to be legitimate clinics providing abortion care and directing would-be patients to call the hotline ‘to speak to a specialist.’ As MMFA noted, ‘According to the organization’s website, the contact center focuses on staffing ‘paid, trained call agents’ in order to ‘convert in-bound calls, chats, and texts into kept appointments’ at CPCs in and beyond Human Coalition’s network.’” [Rewire, 5/12/17]

Google Searches For Abortion Clinics In Human Coalition Cities Yield Deceptively Sponsored Ads From Fake Abortion Clinics Connected To Human Coalition. “If people Google ‘abortion’ and a location targeted by the Human Coalition, they will see an advertisement at the top of their page for a nonexistent clinic that provides ‘Free Abortion Consultations.’ For example, when searching for ‘abortion’ and ‘Pittsburgh,’ the first ad on Google is for ‘Pittsburgh Women’s Clinic,’ a facility that does not exist but claims to offer ‘Free Abortion Consultations.’” [Media Matters for America, 5/10/17]

[Google Search for “Abortion Pittsburgh,” Accessed 6/11/21]

[Google Search for “Abortion Raleigh,” Accessed 6/11/21]

This Continues To Hold True For Pittsburgh And Raleigh And Is Now Also True For Two New Human Coalition Cities: Cleveland And Dallas.[Google Search for “Abortion Cleveland,” Accessed 6/11/21]

[Google Search for “Abortion Dallas,” Accessed 6/11/21]

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Human Coalition Prides Itself On A Businesslike Approach To Pregnancy Care

Human Coalition Takes A Businesslike Approach To Abortion Healthcare. “Mr. Fisher and his group [approach] abortion counseling the way the general manager in ‘Moneyball’ approaches building his baseball team’s roster. Instead of on-base percentage and runs scored, the Human Coalition’s variables include ‘market penetration’ – a measure of how effective a pro-life clinic is at reaching out to women seeking abortions – and ‘effective rate,’ which measures how good a clinic is at persuading a woman not to obtain an abortion once she’s in the door.” [The Washington Times, 3/22/17]

Human Coalition Refers To Its Clinic Locations As “Strategies.” “On its main website, locations are called ‘strategies.’” [The News & Observer, 6/21/19]

Human Coalition’s Call Center Touts That Its Directors Have Backgrounds In For-Profit Centers. “[S]taffed with paid, trained call agents and managed by a director with years of experience operating for-profit centers. Their goal is to convert in-bound calls, chats, and texts into kept appointments at pro-life pregnancy centers across the country, including the seven clinics owned and operated by Human Coalition.” [Human Coalition, 2021]

Human Coalition Founder & Former President Brian Fisher Touted Human Coalition’s Secretive But Influential Status. “In a March 2017 speech for the hate group Family Research Council (FRC), Fisher told attendees, ‘Human Coalition is one of the larger pro-life groups in the country that no one has ever heard of.’” [YouTube, 3/22/17, via Media Matters for America, 5/10/17]

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Human Coalition Is Aware Of Its Deceptive Tactics And Tests Them For Effectiveness

Human Coalition Founder & Former President Brian Fisher Admitted The Organization’s Work Relies On Deception. “‘The abortion-determined woman will not walk into a pregnancy center voluntarily,’ said Brian Fisher, president and co-founder of anti-abortion group the Human Coalition, in 2017.” [The Nation’s Health, 7/18]

Human Coalition Tests Its Deceptive Practices To See Which Are Most Effective At Manipulating People’s Psychologies. “To better reach their target demographic, Human Coalition clinics serve as laboratories to test everything from marketing techniques and counseling strategies to what color to paint the walls. … The Human Coalition also adapted a ‘happiness scale’ to determine the state of mind of women seeking abortions. The scale revealed that women who are unhappy or anxious are more likely to want abortions, whereas women who are happy and calm are more likely to want to keep their children. The pro-life group responded by redesigning clinic counseling rooms.” [The Washington Times, 3/22/17]

Human Coalition Test-Ran A Program To Manipulate People’s “Neglect” By Giving Them Gift Cards For Coming Into Its Deceptive Clinics. “In his March 2017 speech to FRC … [Brian] Fisher explained that it comes as ‘no surprise’ that most ‘abortion-determined’ people are single and have largely been ‘neglected and abandoned by the father of the baby.’ He continued that when patients are married, ‘the husband oftentimes is the person coercing the wife to abort their child.’ Fisher said that the group once ran a test in which it encouraged these people to keep appointments with CPCs by ‘offering them gift cards’ to subsidize their travel to the centers.” [Media Matters for America, 5/10/17]

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Despite Receiving Money From Multiple State Governments, Human Coalition’s Website Is Full Of Christian Language, Prayer, And Ideology

Human Coalition Says That The United States Should “Tremble” Before God As An Uncivilized Country. “Abortion is a stain on America. And the God who gives life will not hold us guiltless. Thomas Jefferson wrote, ‘I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that His justice cannot sleep forever.’ We tremble as well. … We are for … society that needs all its children to live and thrive if it is to be called ‘civilized.’” [Human Coalition, 2021]

In Its Published Sermons, Human Coalition Says The United States Must Be Punished For Abortion. “Psalm 106:35-46 – God punished His chosen people for their sin, particularly for sacrificing their children to the gods of the Gentiles. He is righteous and must punish the United States as well for sacrificing 60+ million of our children since 1973.” [Human Coalition, Imago Dei Sermon, 2017]

In Its “Points Of Scientific Proof,” Human Coalition Passes Off Its Religious Beliefs As “Science.” “[F]rom the moment of conception, pre-born babies possess the seven characteristics that define life … But the pre-born baby also has one additional characteristic, which may not be strictly scientific but is true nonetheless: he or she is a bearer of God’s image—a human being created with intrinsic value.” [Human Coalition, 5/12/16]

Human Coalition Says You Are “No Different Than Who You Were At The Moment Of Conception.” “In other words, who you are today is no different than who you were at the moment of conception. A few things have changed – your size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency … but other than those non-essentials, you are the same person today as you were then.” [Human Coalition, 5/12/16]

Human Coalition Characterized A “Bright Flash” That Results From A Dye In Laboratory Processes As A Sign Of Life. “Recently scientists marveled at the discovery of a bright flash of light that occurs at the moment of conception: Human life begins in [a] bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film. An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception. Scientists had seen the phenomenon occur in…animals but it is the first time it has been also shown to happen in humans … This burst of fluorescence is just one of the many examples by which science confirms what the Bible makes clear: Life begins at the moment of conception, complete with its own distinction, dignity, and divine purpose.” [Human Coalition, 6/8/16]

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Influence

In Texas, Human Coalition Is A Contractor For the State's A2A Program

Human Coalition Is One Of Two Contractors In Texas’s A2A Program. “For fiscal year 2019, HHSC provided A2A services through two contracted service providers, Texas Pregnancy Care Network (TPCN) and Human Coalition (HC). … HC delivered services through clinics in Grapevine and Fort Worth, mobile clinics, and a virtual clinic utilizing tele-counseling and online delivery of educational material and classes. HC also provided material assistance and care coordination through its clinics and online.” [Texas Health and Human Services, 12/2019]

Human Coalition Is Funded In Texas By TANF Dollars. “Each biennium, funding for the A2A program has remained stable or increased … A2A receives federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant and state General Revenue funds. For fiscal year 2019, HHSC contracted with TPCN and HC to provide A2A services. … HC was awarded a new contract on June 1, 2018. For fiscal year 2019 … HC expended $3,782,317.51 in General Revenue and $1,500,000 in TANF funds.” [Texas Health and Human Services, 12/2019]

[Texas Health and Human Services, 12/2019]

Even Texas Pregnancy Care Network—An Anti-Abortion Center Network—Has Criticized Human Coalition’s Misleading And Deceptive Tactics “Tension and competition between contractors has at times revealed claims of unprofessional or misleading tactics. The Texas Pregnancy Care Network said in contracting documents that Human Coalition deceptively advertised itself as a medical facility that might perform abortions and targeted ads to internet users who searched Google for ‘abortion clinics.’ Meanwhile, Human Coalition said its advertisements are effective at reaching women contemplating abortions and that its staff followed up with women more frequently than a typical pregnancy center would. Contracting documents written by a former employee portrayed pregnancy centers as unprofessional – places where volunteers sometimes don’t answer the phone or are unprepared to speak with someone having an emotional crisis – in contrast to Human Coalition’s own heavily trained employees and regimented protocols.” [The Texas Tribune, 6/8/21]

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In North Carolina, Human Coalition Is Subject to Little Oversight And Has Violated Its A2A Contract

Human Coalition Is A Contractor For North Carolina’s A2A Program. “In 2017, as a part of its appropriation to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship (‘CPCF’), North Carolina awarded Human Coalition a two-year grant totaling $600,000. The funding was intended to enable Human Coalition to develop a Continuum of Care pilot program to assist women experiencing unexpected pregnancies to carry their pregnancies to full term.” [Campaign for Accountability, 3/20/19]

Human Coalition Does Not Meet Oversight Standards In The State Of North Carolina. “According to the Better Business Bureau’s charity review, Human Coalition did not meet standards, with one of the reasons being inadequate board oversight.” [The News & Observer, 6/21/19]

There Is Little Oversight Of Human Coalition’s Activities—Even Legislators Don’t Know Much About Its Operations. “‘Our main concerns are we just don’t know really what our money is being spent on. Human Coalition is very clearly an anti-abortion organization, and its goal is to dissuade people from getting abortions,’ [Tara] Romano [Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina] said. ‘It doesn’t seem like [its state funding] is being spent on health care, and [it’s] getting money from DHHS.’ When the $1.2 million in Human Coalition came through the House HHS committee, Rep. Gale Adcock, a Wake County Democrat, said what she had read about the group seemed one-sided, and she asked why it was getting money. Rep. Josh Dobson, a Marion Republican, said then that it was just part of a comprehensive approach to care.” [The News & Observer, 6/21/19]

Human Coalition Used State Funds For Religious Activities… “The funding was intended to enable Human Coalition to develop a Continuum of Care pilot program to assist women experiencing unexpected pregnancies to carry their pregnancies to full term, but the organization appears to be using the appropriated funds to support religious activities in violation of the United States and North Carolina Constitutions, as well as the explicit terms of its CPCF appropriation. … Both the state and federal constitutions prohibit the use of public funds to promote or endorse religious activities. … For example, the organization’s volunteer applications ask whether applicants have ‘made a personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ,’ and how they rate their ‘knowledge of what the Bible teaches about abortion.’ Similarly, while pairing women with trained mentors is an explicit requirement of the Continuum of Care program, Human Coalition’s mentoring program is designed to ‘help connect clients to the church.’” [Campaign for Accountability, 3/20/19]

… Even Though Its Contract With the State Prohibits The Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship’s Use For Religious Purposes. “[T]he CPCF appropriation agreement explicitly provides that Continuum of Care funding ‘shall be used for nonsectarian purposes only.’” [Campaign for Accountability, Accessed 5/13/21]

Human Coalition Delivered Minimal Results On Its Contract With North Carolina. “Human Coalition has spent hundreds of thousands of state taxpayer dollars to push anti-abortion faith-based ‘counseling’ and other services with minimal achievements met and a poor record of reporting their metrics to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. … The few dozen people they’ve served in this way doesn’t seem to provide the commensurate level of service typically associated with one million dollars in state funding.” [ReproAction, 2/18/20]

Despite These Shortcomings And Contract Violations, North Carolina Legislators Suggested Quadrupling Human Coalition’s Budget In 2019. “Public health officials say the nonprofit Human Coalition didn’t provide information they needed to determine ‘the effectiveness or cost of expanding the model’ carried out with state funding at a Raleigh clinic. However, the group’s funding was raised from $300,000 to $1.2 million in both the House and Senate proposed budgets. … A DHHS report on Human Coalition’s pilot program was submitted April 30 to legislative committees and staff. Human Coalition did not submit costs or a timeline, the report said, and ‘no potential savings have been identified.’ DHHS did not recommend expanding the program.” [The News & Observer, 6/21/19]

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Human Coalition Has Sought to Expand Operations Into Tennessee and Arizona

Human Coalition Receives Money From The Tennessee State Legislature. “Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, unsuccessfully attempted Wednesday to amend the budget to remove $4.2 million in funding proposed by the governor to out-of-state conservative nonprofits, including … $3 million to the Human Coalition, an anti-abortion group.” [Tennessean, 4/28/21]

Human Coalition Is A Suspected Potential Contractor For Arizona’s Proposed A2A Program. “Rep. Athena Salman, D-Tempe, warned in a tweet she suspects the funds will be distributed to the Human Coalition, a Frisco, Texas-based non-profit that contracts with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission as a hotline for Alternatives to Abortion, the program on which Arizona’s pilot would be based. The program, with an annual budget of tens of millions of dollars, offers services such as financial counseling and support groups for new parents, according to the Texas Tribune.” [Arizona Capitol Times, 5/22/19]

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Human Coalition Action Drafted And Spread The Every Mother Matters Act (EMMA), Which Would Effectively Ban Abortion

The Every Mother Matters Act (EMMA) Is A Piece Of Anti-Abortion Legislation That Human Coalition Action Has Been Shopping Around Various States (So Far, Successfully In Arkansas And Texas). “[EMMA] would ban abortion care unless the patient had first received irrelevant and intrusive information – likely from biased entities opposed to abortion. While it’s being billed as an innocuous effort to set up an informational hotline, the truth is that this is another assault on abortion access from politicians intent on banning abortion entirely. … [EMMA] is Unnecessary: Every state requires that a patient consent before undergoing any medical treatment and that the consent be ‘informed.’ This bill would add yet another layer of needless bureaucracy between [people] and the reproductive health services they need. [EMMA] is Harmful: This bill would force people seeking care to endure additional delays – requiring them to jump through more bureaucratic hoops and putting government agencies and contractors between [individuals] and their doctors. [EMMA] is Demeaning: This bill isn’t about protecting the life or health of any[one] – it’s about making it even harder for people to make their own personal medical decisions. Once again, some politicians – who don’t think [people] can be trusted to make their own decisions about their health – are trying to impose more onerous and demeaning restrictions and ultimately block people from care.” [ACLU Arkansas, 2/3/21]

Human Coalition Drafted Arkansas’s EMMA Legislation And Plans To Bring It To Other States. “Arkansas is the first state to sign into law its version of EMMA. Human Coalition Action worked alongside Representative Jim Dotson to sponsor the bill and see it through passage.” [Human Coalition Action press release, 2/25/21]

Human Coalition Drafted Texas’s EMMA Legislation. “Today, Human Coalition Action applauds the introduction of the bi-partisan Every Mother Matters Act (‘EMMA’) by Texas State Senator Angela Paxton and Representative Jeff Leach, with Senate joint-authors Bettencourt, Campbell, Hall, Hughes and Lucio. The legislation … was created with the input of Human Coalition Action.” [Human Coalition Action press release, 2/25/21]

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Human Coalition Action Leaders Have Worked With Federal And State Policymakers

In 2017, Human Coalition Was Eyeing “Potential Leverage Points” In Which It Could Affect Policy… “Most concerningly, Human Coalition describes having a ‘first class legal team’ looking for ‘potential leverage points’ as well as increasing its ‘government relations’ efforts at both the ‘federal and state level.’” [Media Matters for America, 5/10/17]

…An Effort Spearheaded By Human Coalition VP Of Government Relations & Human Coalition Action Executive Director Rev. Dean Nelson… “During his March 2017 speech to FRC, [Brian] Fisher explained that Human Coalition had only recently begun to have a presence on Capitol Hill. Fisher continued that although Human Coalition isn’t focused on legislative efforts, it has attempted to connect with ‘different elected officials and agencies’ about how its ‘data and [its] experience with the 1.2 million abortion-determined population’ can help anti-choice lawmakers. He noted that Human Coalition has gotten ‘a very warm reception from the officials and the agencies’ that it has spoken to and that there was ‘deep interest’ in Human Coalition ‘providing macro-data’ that could aid anti-choice policy making. These efforts are headed by Dean Nelson, Human Coalition’s national outreach director.” [Media Matters for America, 5/10/17]

…Which Culminated In Human Coalition Launching Its Anti-Abortion Political Advocacy Arm—Human Coalition Action—In 2019. “Additionally, in 2019, Human Coalition launched Human Coalition Action, which advances pro-life policies and issues in the political realm.” [Human Coalition Annual Report, 2020]

Human Coalition VP Of Government Relations & Human Coalition Action Executive Director Rev. Dean Nelson Met With President Trump And Vice President Pence As Well As House And Senate Members. [Human Coalition Annual Report, 2020]

Rev. Dean Nelson (seated, wearing a bow tie) meets with Vice President Pence [Human Coalition Annual Report, 2020]

Human Coalition Collaborated With Anti-Abortion Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “Human Coalition Action consistently met with the highest level officials, like Attorney General Ken Paxton in Texas, to collaborate on essential pro-life policy issues.” [Human Coalition Annual Report, 2020]

Human Coalition Supported Adding Abortions To Hate Crime Laws. “Today, Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced an amendment to a bill to address hate crimes committed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment would require the Attorney General to include abortions committed because of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, or disability of an unborn baby in the crime reports required under the bill. … The amendment is supported by … Human Coalition Action.” [Senator James Lankford Press Release, 4/20/21]

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Financials

Human Coalition Regularly Spends Less Than 8 Percent Of All Spending On Client Services

In 2016, Human Coalition Spent 6 Percent Of All Spending On Client Services, About As Much As It Spent On Key Leadership Salaries, Advertising, And Promotion Each And Just Slightly More Than It Spent On Travel

[Human Coalition Form 990, 8/31/17]

In 2017, Human Coalition Spent 7 Percent Of All Spending On Client Services, About As Much As It Spent On Key Leadership Salaries, Advertising, And Promotion Each And Only About Double What It Spent On Travel

[Human Coalition Form 990, 10/10/18]

In 2018—Despite Huge Revenue Growth—Human Coalition Spent Less Than 2 Percent Of All Spending On Client Services, Significantly Less Than It Spent On Key Leadership Salaries, Advertising, And Promotion And Travel Each

[Human Coalition Form 990, 11/13/19]

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