UW BDRL Refuses to Cooperate Despite Congressional Subpoena

Planned Parenthood affiliates and related organizations profited from the sale of aborted baby parts, according to a congressional report released last week.

The 418-page report, released by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, concludes a year-long investigation into the gruesome and oftentimes illegal practices of the abortion industry. The Panel’s report will likely have resounding implications for Washington State relative to Attorney General Ferguson’s review of Planned Parenthood in 2015 and the University of Washington’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Here are three important takeaways from the report, which can be read here:

  1. Criminal Referrals

The Panel made 15 criminal referrals to law enforcement officials, recommending criminal charges against Planned Parenthood affiliates and other organizations, including Stem Express, a tissue procurement company that made 2,800 percent profit on baby brains.

The report documents the illegal behavior of abortion providers, tissue procurement companies, and medical researchers by detailing how the abortion industry profits from the sale of aborted fetal tissue, changes abortion procedures to maintain the monetary value of profitable aborted baby parts, and violates laws protecting the safety and privacy of patients.

“Over the last year, the Select Panel’s relentless fact-finding investigation has laid bare the grisly reality of an abortion industry that is driven by profit, unconcerned by matters of basic ethics and, too often, non-compliant with the few laws we have to protect the safety of women and their unborn children,” said Congresswoman Diane Black, a member of the Panel. “The findings of this panel should incense all people of conscience.”

  1. UW’s Business Relationship with Planned Parenthood and Attorney General Ferguson’s Seemingly Incomplete 2015 Review of Planned Parenthood

Eight pages of the report detail the questionable activities of the University of Washington’s Birth Defects Research Laboratory (UWBDRL), the nation’s largest fetal tissue bank that often acts as a middleman between abortion clinics and medical researchers. UWBDRL secures aborted fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics in Washington State, which it then sells to other medical researchers across the nation.

This section of the report validates concerns raised by the Family Policy Institute of Washington in late-2015 about UWBDRL and Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s investigation of Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Following the conclusion of Ferguson’s review of abortion providers, which claimed that Washington abortion providers had not engaged in illegal activity, FPIW filed a public records request to obtain documents and written communications relevant to the review.

FPIW’s examination of the documents appeared to indicate that the attorney general’s review was incomplete, especially concerning the relationship between Planned Parenthood affiliates and UWBDRL.

Most concerning from FPIW’s perspective was an email exchange between Deputy Attorney General Paige Dietrich and Ian Goodhew, Government Relations Director at the University of Washington.

This correspondence, quoted verbatim in the Panel’s report, details Dietrich’s request for business agreements between Planned Parenthood and UWBDRL as part of the then-ongoing attorney general review. Goodhew responded to this request by seeking assurances that “[the attorney general’s office] will hold those confidential and not share with anyone without consent?” After Goodhew had voiced his concerns about the agreements going public, Dietrich rescinded her request, replying, “I don’t think we’ll need copies of the agreements.”

After discovering this exchange, FPIW filed a public records request to obtain the business agreement.

But after months of foot-dragging by UWBDRL, who repeatedly delayed releasing the documents, Planned Parenthood eventually filed a lawsuit against FPIW to prevent the release of the business agreement. That lawsuit is currently playing out in a federal court.

Astonishingly, UWBDRL failed to provide the business agreement to the Panel’s congressional investigators, despite congressional subpoenas and a court preliminary injunction enabling the university to provide the House committee with the business agreement.

The congressional report concluded that “UW’s incomplete production raises more questions than it answers and demonstrates the need for further investigation.”

The report also details the failures of Ferguson’s 2015 review. It claims Ferguson’s office made conclusions “without apparently conducting” a forensic analysis of UW’s practices. The report asserts the attorney general’s inquiry “apparently ended without an examination of an agreement between UW” and Planned Parenthood clinics.

That congressional investigators reached many of the same conclusions as FPIW serves only to further vindicate FPIW’s concerns about the attorney general’s review and the relationship between UWBDRL and state abortion clinics.

  1. UW’s Close Relationship with Abortion Clinics

The Panel’s report identifies a cozy relationship between UW faculty and staff and Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics.

Several UW faculty members perform abortions at Planned Parenthood and Cedar River abortion clinics, and the former medical director for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and Northern Idaho now serves as a UW clinical associate professor.

The University of Washington also places medical students at outside abortion clinics, including some that perform abortions well into the second trimester.

Furthermore, the University of Washington provides abortions through its family planning program at the UW Medical Center.

 

 

After Fetal Brains Sold by UW, FPIW Files Public Records Request in Indiana

FPIW filed a public records request with Indiana University (IU) on Thursday morning, seeking information related to IU’s relationship with the University of Washington Birth Defects Research Laboratory (UWBDRL).

Earlier this week, FPIW learned that UWBDRL sold aborted baby brains to Indiana University on at least two separate occasions dating back to 2013.

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Public records recovered in Indiana show an invoice from UWBDRL charging Indiana University for two aborted fetal brains.

Some critics have questioned whether UWBDRL may have violated federal human trafficking laws that prohibit the sale of fetal tissue.  But this development is especially concerning considering the outstanding questions about UWBDRL’s business arrangement with Planned Parenthood clinics in Washington State.

You can read FPIW’s public records request letter here.


FPIW is being sued by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry following the filing of a public records request with the University of Washington. We must know what financial arrangements UW has with Planned Parenthood, and we won’t stop until the people get the answers they are entitled to.  We’re in this battle. Will you fight alongside us?

 

 

Washington School District Pays More Than $14,000 for Transgender Training and Education

Through a public records request fulfilled this month, FPIW has learned that the Snohomish School District made payments totaling $14,100 to Gender Diversity, a Seattle-based group known to advocate transgenderism to children.

The payments were made in exchange for a series of training sessions and consultations, provided by Gender Diversity’s transgender Executive Director Aidan Key.

What Does This Mean for Your Children?

The District’s relationship with Key and Gender Diversity began in December 2014 at Seattle Hill Elementary School, where the entire staff attended a mandatory two-hour training session, entitled, Understanding Gender Identity in Children. The District’s relationship with the group has continued through 2016 with an additional 8 staff trainings and forums, most of which took place shortly before the Snohomish School Board voted to implement a new transgender policy in late June.

children_at_school_8720604364The presentations and trainings centered around this 62-page manifesto, written by the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, National Education Association, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Gender Spectrum, among other groups.  The document lays out the entire game plan for pushing radical new gender policies into a school district.

The presentation argues that schools – not parents – should take on the responsibility of affirming, promoting, and protecting transgender youth. It also discusses what measures the school can take if one or both parents are unwilling to affirm a dysphoric child’s newly chosen gender. You can read the entire report here.

Additional emails found in the public records request fulfillment indicate that the Snohomish School District also arranged meetings for Gender Diversity staff to meet individually with each school board member ahead of the June vote.

Just a week after these meetings, the school board voted 6-0 in favor of opening up all locker rooms, showers, changing facilities, and bathrooms to students of any gender or biological sex.  You can read the entire policy change here.

Why Did We Request These Records?

This public records request was initiated after a group of teachers, administrators, and parents approached FPIW seeking information about the District’s relationship with Gender Diversity. The group claims that the new policies created a hostile work and learning environment for teachers and students in the District who do not agree with its heavy promotion of transgenderism.

The group also expressed concerned that the District may have used money specifically set aside for classroom use to bring this new, politically motivated policy into place. The Snohomish School District’s budget policies appear to do little to reduce these concerns.

Friday, FPIW President Joseph Backholm sent a letter to District Assistant Superintendent Scott Peacock, who initiated nearly all communications between the Snohomish School District and Gender Diversity, outlining these concerns and also offering to facilitate “theological and philosophical sensitivity training,” to assist the District with training sessions on “how to tolerate differences of opinion on these issues without creating a hostile learning or work environment.”

Regardless of one’s political affiliation or beliefs on sensitive topics such as transgenderism, we should all agree that the purpose of public education is to ensure that children can read, write, add, subtract, multiply and divide — not to promote controversial political ideologies.

Besides, if public schools are really strapped for cash – so much so that the State Supreme Court would hold the legislature in contempt for failing to give them more money – then it stands to reason that the schools should be more discerning in how they choose to use $14,100 from taxpayers.

What Can You Do About it?

The bottom line is: if you are unhappy with the state of affairs in the Snohomish School District, or in your local school district, the best thing that you can do is work to put a better school board in place. Whether that means running for a seat yourself, or recommending someone you think would be a good candidate, we are here to help.  FPIW’s hosts campaign schools and trainings for those interested in holding public office. If we, as a movement, are not willing to step in and run to win these races, we will continue to watch the public school system indoctrinate children with dangerous and harmful ideologies.

Click here to recommend someone to run for school board. We’ll reach out to them.

If you’d like to voice your concerns about the policy, district use of taxpayer funds, or to ask questions about the District’s relationship with organizations like Gender Diversity, you can contact the Snohomish School District’s Assistant Superintendent Scott Peacock at (360) 563-7284, or email him at Scott.Peacock@sno.wednet.edu.

Contact information for Snohomish School District Board Members:

Jay Hagen, School Board President

360-668-4635

jay.hagen@sno.wednet.edu


Leah Hughes-Anderson, School Board Vice-President

425-308-1252

leah.hughes-anderson@sno.wednet.edu


Shaunna Ballas, Board Member

206-715-0283

shaunna.ballas@sno.wednet.edu


David Johnston, Board Member

360-568-0228

David.johnston@sno.wednet.edu


Josh Seek, Board Member

425-377-2466

Josh.Seek@sno.wednet.edu


Dr. Kent Kultgen, Superintendent of Schools

Took over on July 1, following School Board vote

360-563-7280

kent.kultgen@sno.wednet.edu

Padden Formally Requests AG Investigation of Planned Parenthood PAC Contribution

Following last month’s revelation that Planned Parenthood’s 501(c)(3) organization in New York may have illegally contributed $75,000 to influence elections in Washington State, Senator Mike Padden – also the Chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee – has formally requested an investigation into the contribution.

Washington public disclosure rules require that campaigns and committees report the name of the individual or group making the donation, the address, and the amount of the contribution exactly as printed on the check or transfer documents. The donation in question was initially reported to the PDC as being made by “Planned Parenthood” in New York City – a 501(c)(3) organization not legally allowed to contribute to political action committees – before twice amending the report to indicate that the money came from a legal source. What we don’t yet know is which report is accurate.

Padden’s letter also raises the question of whether or not any of the Planned Parenthood groups have filed a C-5 form, required by state law to be submitted when an out-of-state political committee makes political contributions inside Washington State.

A copy of Padden’s 45-day letter to the Attorney General can be seen here.

Shortly after FPIW reported concerns regarding the potentially illegal contribution last month, Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC twice amended filings with the PDC.

The first amended filing erroneously revised the contributor to “Planned Parenthood Votes,” an organization that could be authorized to make this contribution, but is not located at the address originally on record for the donation.

The second amended filing revises the contributor to “Planned Parenthood Action Fund,” an entity of Planned Parenthood that could be authorized to make contributions to campaigns, and also has an office located at the address first recorded.

The question remains: which report is accurate? Did the donation actually come from a legal source? Or are they simply amending reports to make it look like it did?

The reliability of the reports is also called into question, in part, because of who is involved. Lora Haggard, the Treasurer of the Planned Parenthood Votes Washington PAC, previously worked as the Chief Financial Officer of John Edwards’ failed 2008 presidential campaign. As the Campaign’s CFO, it is thought that Lora Haggard was heavily involved in concealing $1 million in hush money that were paid to Edwards’ mistress and daughter. She testified multiple times to convince judges and juries that the funds donated towards keeping the affair quiet were personal, not campaign contributions, despite them taking place during Edwards’ presidential campaign.

Lora Haggard also previously served on the board of three political advocacy organizations: Foundation for Patients’ Rights, Citizens for Strength and Security, and Citizens for Strength and Security Action Fund. These three organizations were involved in “highly unusual” activities regarding their tax status, disclosure policies, and adherence to federal tax laws, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

While Haggard’s involvement doesn’t prove this contribution is illegal, it does raise questions. If Planned Parenthood were looking for someone to conceal activities, contributions, or expenditures, Haggard’s previous experience would qualify her for the job.

We’ll keep you updated here at FPIW.org.