Pro-life undercover investigator David Daleiden won a victory in court this week against the University of Washington after researchers who use aborted baby body parts asked for key information to be redacted from public records.
Last year, Daleiden requested public records from the taxpayer-funded university about its use of aborted baby body parts in research and its relationship with the Planned Parenthood abortion chain.
However, the university and several employees of the University of Washington Birth Defects Research Laboratory sued to block certain information from the records, claiming they would “likely face threats, harassment and violence” if information about their work was disclosed to the public.
Fox News reports a U.S. court of appeals ruled in Daleiden’s favor this week, reversing a lower court decision to block information from the public records.
Thomas More Society Special Counsel Peter Breen, who argued the appeal, told Fox News that the decision is a victory for taxpayers who deserve to know how their money is being used.
Breen explained: “[Daleiden] asked that names and personal contact info be redacted from the records, but the abortion advocates and government employees pressed for full censorship, even of entity names, job titles and departments within the university. Such heavy redactions render these public documents useless for investigative purposes.
“The Court of Appeals, by reversing this decision and remanding this case back to district court, has prevented a serious threat to the public’s right to know how their tax dollars are being spent,” Breen continued.
The Family Policy Institute of Washington also requested public records from the university pertaining to its use of aborted babies’ body parts in research.
“We know that Planned Parenthood and the University of Washington have a relationship,” Joseph Backholm, a spokesman for the Washington pro-life group, told NBC K5 last year. “What are the invoices? What are the contracts?
“We’re not looking for information on people,” he continued. “We’re looking for information about connections between entities and whether money was exchanged for human body parts.”
This information is vital as it could reveal the amount of money exchanged between the university lab and Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington & North Idaho (PPGWNI), Daleiden said previously. The documentation could show if there were any additional costs for the abortion clinics, and if Planned Parenthood was reimbursed by the lab. It also could show if any abortion procedures were changed to procure more valuable body parts.
The Washington state program is a key component of the abortion group’s aborted baby parts transactions. In October 2015, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards sent a letter to director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, after Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress released the first undercover videos. In the letter, she stated that all Planned Parenthood affiliates would henceforth imitate the PPGWNI model and not receive any payment for the provided baby parts.
However, it is unclear what the Washington state affiliate’s model is.
As Daleiden pointed out, if the abortion business does not have anything to hide, it would not need to conceal documentation. He emphasized that he is not asking for individuals’ names or other personal information.
“They have recruited eight anonymous plaintiffs to assert–entirely falsely–that my public records request seeks the personal contact information of UW, Planned Parenthood, and other associated employees. My public records request nowhere seeks any one individual contact information whatsoever,” Daleiden said previously.