Physicians, Black Pro-Life Group Sue White House for Health Care Snitch Email
by Steven Ertelt
August 28, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — An organization for physicians and a black pro-life group have banded together for a new lawsuit against the Obama administration. They are suing the White House over the email address set up for backers of the pro-abortion health care bills to snitch on opponents.
Obama officials caused a furor earlier this month when they unveiled the [email protected] email address meant for "fishy" claims about the president’s health care proposal.
Last week, the White House quietly disabled the email and sent people who filed complaints to an official factsheet promoting the government-run health care plan that has abortion funding and will lead to rationing.
Now, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) and the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), which takes a pro-life position, has filed suit against Obama and other White House officials.
In a statement sent to LifeNews.com, the groups said the Obama administration has unlawfully collected information on political speech, thereby illegally using the power of the White House to chill opposition to its plans for health care reform."
"Although the White House slightly revised its data collection procedure last week, the email address still exists, the illegal activity continues, and is part of an unlawful pattern and practice to collect and maintain information on the exercise of free speech," the groups maintain.
The use of the email address "continues in violation of the Privacy Act and First Amendment even if the Defendants terminate a particular information-collection component due to negative publicity.
The lawsuit outlines how the White House has employed a form of bait-and-switch tactic of accusing the plaintiffs and other opponents of spreading misinformation about the Obama administration’s goals for health care reform, "and thereby refusing to come clean about its real agenda."
The lawsuit outlines that the White House knew that the data collection would chill free speech, and in fact, intended to do just that.
"As part of their effort to advance the White House healthcare reform agenda, Defendants have accused opponents (including Plaintiffs) of spreading misinformation on issues such as whether a) health reform would provide public funding for abortions, (b) put ‘death panels’ in place to deny care to the elderly or infirm …." it says.
Kathryn Serkes, the director of policy and public affairs for AAPS, told LifeNews.com that she started receiving hate mail "shortly after the White House issued the fishy request."
We were quite visible and vocal before then, so it doesn’t seem like a coincidence. Who did they share their data with? With whom might they share it? she wondered.
Star Parker, the CURE president, also chimed in on the lawsuit and the actions that preceded it.
"As a black conservative spokesperson and columnist, intimidation tactics aren’t new to me, she said. But it is of great concern to see the current Administration build an enemies list of those who disagree with them on this important issue.
AAPS and CURE demand that the White House remove all information already collected, and further, be prohibited from collecting any personal data in the future.
The Obama administration introduced the flag email address on August 4, saying, There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation."
"Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy," it added.
The two groups filed their lawsuit in District Court for the District of Columbia.
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