Daleiden to judge: It is ‘critical’ Planned Parenthood not hide documents in baby parts sales
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – David Daleiden believes it is “critical” that a federal court not allow Planned Parenthood employees to stonewall the release of documents related to the harvesting and potential sale of aborted babies’ organs and tissue, he says in a document publicly released today.
The University of Washington has paid Planned Parenthood for fetal remains to use in experiments conducted in its Birth Defects Research Laboratory (BRDL) for years.
Daleiden filed a Public Records Act request for the publicly funded university to turn over “all documents that related to the purchase, transfer or procurement of human fetal tissues” since 2010. Zachary Freeman of the Family Policy Institute of Washington made a separate request the same week.
A handful of employees at the nation’s largest abortion provider and others at the university then sued for, and won, a temporary restraining order preventing the release.
“I believe that the BDRL is an important case study to understand the fetal trafficking phenomenon,” said Daleiden in a personal declaration to U.S. District Judge James Robart. “As a decades-old NIH-funded entity, receiving over half a million dollars in NIH grants every year, I believe the BDRL is pre-eminently knowledgeable of the federal laws and regulations governing the procurement and transfer of aborted fetal tissue.”
The methods BRDL used in the “procurement and transfer of aborted fetal tissue are a critical benchmark to use to compare to the business practices of other private-sector fetal tissue procurement entities and partners,” he said.
The employees said in their lawsuit that they fear violence if their names are released as part of the document dump. But the original temporary restraining order “blocks the university from releasing even the redacted documents – as well as documents that do not contain any personal identifying information of the plaintiffs.”
Oone member of Daleiden’s legal team, Jeffrey Trissell of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, advised the university to redact all private identifying information in a letter on August 9. No one is “injured by the release of such documents,” the legal complaint says.
Daleiden’s attorneys say Planned Parenthood and the university simply want to shield themselves from public scrutiny over exchanging taxpayers money for aborted babies’ body parts.
“The people have a right to know how their government is run,” said Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, another member of Daleiden’s legal team. “The plaintiffs here work at a taxpayer-funded state university, and their work is subject to the same sunshine and open records laws as any other government employee.”
Daleiden’s team also argues that, as a public institution, the University of Washington is exempt from such legal cases.
They are asking the judge to lift the restraining order and dismiss “this frivolous lawsuit,” Breen said.
“The abortion clinic and fetal tissue personnel who brought this lawsuit should not be allowed to prevent the people of the State of Washington from monitoring their government’s involvement in the national controversy over aborted fetal body parts,” Breen concluded.
The first hearing is scheduled for Friday.