NH court orders partial release of abortion facility documents, appeal filed for remainder

ADF-allied attorney prevails in significant ‘right to know’ case, seeks release of remaining documents
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. – A New Hampshire court has ordered the state to release numerous documents related to the state’s funding of abortion facilities and its continuing failure to regulate them. State officials first denied the request of an Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorney to have access to the records.

The “right to know” request was filed on behalf of New Hampshire Right to Life, which filed an appeal Monday with the New Hampshire Supreme Court to gain access to the documents that the lower court did not order to be released.

“The people of New Hampshire deserve to know how their government is spending their hard-earned tax money and if that money is being funneled to groups that are misusing it,” said Michael Tierney, one of more than 2,500 private attorneys allied with ADF. “The documents that the court has ordered the state to produce are critical to the further scrutiny of the state’s apparent complicity with abortionists to minimize regulatory oversight and ignore FDA safety protocols. However, the trial court did not order the disclosure of all the necessary documents, and the state blacked out some information on the released documents, so we are asking the New Hampshire Supreme Court to weigh in.”

After the state initially declined to produce the documents NHRTL requested, Tierney filed New Hampshire Right to Life v. New Hampshire Director of Charitable Trusts in Strafford County Superior Court.

Among the records the state produced after the filing of the lawsuit are Planned Parenthood’s statutorily required financial statements, which showed a 60 percent increase in state funding of the abortion clinics between 2012 and 2013. During this same time period, government grants increased from 28 to 37 percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenues.

According to the court’s order, the state additionally had to release all of the pharmaceutical protocols required by state statute for each of the abortion clinics that allow non-pharmacists to distribute prescription drugs. The state produced five of the six pharmacy protocols NHRTL requested but has objected to producing the remaining protocol as state law requires.

In addition to nearly $900,000 a year in federal funding, Planned Parenthood is also receiving more than $350,000 a year in state funding, but the state had been unwilling to disclose state records regarding the distribution of those funds. The appeal to the state Supreme Court asks for the release of the remaining records.

The court did not order the disclosure of documents the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office received from abortionists regarding the state’s defense of its law that places speech censorship zones around abortion facilities as well as documents related to the Board of Pharmacy’s ongoing licensing of Planned Parenthood to distribute the RU-486 drug in a manner that violates FDA safety protocols, required under state law since 2006. The appeal asks for the release of these documents.

“Planned Parenthood is already being investigated by Congress and is the subject of other litigation over potential fraud in the use of taxpayer dollars,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster. “It is a shame to see more money from the wallets of New Hampshire taxpayers go to Planned Parenthood, but it was even worse to see the state stand in the way of the public’s right to know how their money is being spent. The court was right to order the disclosure of many of these documents, but we hope the New Hampshire Supreme Court will order the release of all of the other documents the state refused to produce.”
 
  • Pronunciation guide: Tierney (TEER’-nee)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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