Obama administration refuses FOIA requests about Planned Parenthood

Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood
Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood

This story from The Federalist explains how the Obama administration responded to Freedom of Information Act requests for all communication, payments, etc. to Dr. Deborah Nucotola of Planned Parenthood.

Excerpt:

Earlier this week, Mary Hasson broke the news here at the Federalist that federal funds went to Planned Parenthood’s salad-munching, wine-sipping, organ-harvesting Dr. Deborah Nucatola for advice on “healthy baby” births.

Hasson requested all communications and documents relevant to any payments to or compensation of fees, consultant fees, reimbursements, etc. to Deborah Nucatola, MD, a Planned Parenthood employee. And she requested that the documents be sent as soon as possible.

The Freedom of Information Act requires the federal government to be transparent, but successfully receiving information from the Obama Administration has gone so poorly — even more poorly than previous administrations — that many media outlets have resorted to suing the federal government to get them to respond to FOIA requests.

In March it was announced that the Obama administration had set new records for censoring information, outright denying access to information, and length of time to fulfill requests. They also, “refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy,” according to the Associated Press.

Since FOIA requests can routinely take years to fulfill, if they’re ever filled, Hasson requested that the Health and Human Services FOIA office expedite her request. She wrote:

“The public has a right to know of any federal monies going to Dr. Nucatola in light of the video, released by the Center for Medical Progress, that includes remarks by Dr. Nucatola that raise questions about whether federal laws may have been violated regarding patients’ informed consent for fetal tissue, and conflict of interest. Expedited processing required because of planned or pending Congressional hearings and the public’s demand for transparency on this issue.”

You’ll never guess what happened next.

HHS denied her request for expedited information on the compensation and payments given to Nucatola. They claimed it didn’t fit the public’s “urgent” right to know:

“Further, in order to meet second prong of the compelling need standard, the requested information must be the type of information that has a particular value that will be lost if not disseminated quickly, and ordinarily refers to a breaking news story of general public interest.”

HHS is arguing that the Planned Parenthood scandal, the very same one that has Planned Parenthood honcho Cecile Richards panicking and running every public relations response in the book, is not a “breaking news story of general public interest!”

To be sure, while HHS denied Hasson’s expedited FOIA request, they could at some point in the years to come respond to Hasson’s simple information request. Or, then again, maybe not.

And in fact the White House has gone a step further and actually lied about the video in order to provide cover for Planned Parenthood, which is not surprising when you think about how much money Planned Parenthood gives to the Democrat Party at election time.

What’s the answer to this? Where do we go from here?

I think the answer lies in efforts to shed more light on what Planned Parenthood is actually doing. If we can’t do it through FOIA requests, then we can always try other ways to try to shine light on what Planned Parentood is really doing.

One way I have seen that done is with mandatory ultrasound laws, such as the one signed into law by Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin. The Stream has an article about how that is relevant to these Planned Parenthood videos.

Excerpt:

Scott Walker has done the women of Wisconsin a signal service, and advanced the respect for human life, by pushing and signing a bill that mandates ultrasounds before abortions. As in his battle with corrupt, cash-grabbing public employee unions, Walker faced down a wave of vilification that spilled over into hatred, and he never flinched. This is the kind of political courage we need in a president, on a wide range of issues from religious freedom to foreign policy, from budget battles to Supreme Court appointments.

[…]But abortion profiteers like Planned Parenthood fought like wildcats to stop the ultrasound bill. If the procedure doesn’t change any minds, why would you think they would do that? Ultrasounds are safe, non-invasive procedures that most expectant mothers request at least once during each pregnancy. Their only outcome is usually a photo that goes on the fridge, and is Tweeted to friends. Why would doctors who specialize in aborting children, not delivering them, object to providing this service? Might they fear that women could change their minds once they saw their babies?

Pro-lifers such as Gov. Walker hoped that this is precisely what would happen. Dropping the sick pretense that abortion is a morally neutral decision which the state has no business attempting even to influence, Walker boldly said as much. He wants to encourage Wisconsin women not to destroy their unborn Wisconsin children, and to do that he wants to offer them more information, an extra medical procedure that is routine, standard and safe. The groups that profit from selling human organs want to give women less information, to urge them to make a lethal decision in the dark. Could the contrast be any clearer? One side wants to tell the truth in the service of life, the other to keep it hidden in service of death.

If you want to stop abortion, the answer is to provide people with more information of what abortion is, and the motives of the people who provide abortions, and the motives of the people who want taxpayers to subsidize it. We have to be able to talk about it to your neighbors in detail, and explain what really happens to the unborn baby during an abortion.

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