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.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-8-28-30-am

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?

 

 

BREAKING NEWS: UW Sold Fetal Brains to Indiana University, Still Blocking Release of Public Records

The University of Washington’s Birth Defects Research Laboratory (UWBDRL) sold brains from aborted babies for $200 each to Indiana University, according to an invoice recently uncovered by Indiana Right to Life.

The invoice, dated July 25, 2013, records the sale of two shipments of brain tissue.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-8-28-30-am

The Birth Defects Research Laboratory at the University of Washington often acted as a middleman between abortion clinics and medical researchers, securing aborted fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics in Washington State that it then sold to other medical researchers across the nation.

Some critics have questioned whether UWBDRL violated federal human trafficking laws that prohibit the sale of fetal tissue.

The recently released invoice showing UWBDRL’s sale of aborted fetal tissue to Indiana University is concerning, especially since there are questions still remaining about UWBDRL’s business arrangement with Planned Parenthood clinics in Washington State.

When Zach Freeman, FPIW’s Communications Director, filed a public records request soliciting the business agreement between Planned Parenthood and UWBDRL, Planned Parenthood sued, effectively delaying the release of the business agreement indefinitely.

Without the business agreement, which is not being made public because of Planned Parenthood’s ongoing federal lawsuit, we cannot know whether UWBDRL engaged in illegally selling aborted fetal tissue. Since UWBDRL is a public entity, the public deserves to know the extent of UWBDRL’s relationship with Planned Parenthood, as well as whether any laws regarding trafficking aborted fetal tissue were violated.

Click here to contribute to the legal fund.

Congress Intervenes in Lawsuit Against FPIW, Daleiden

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against FPIW may have just entered a new frontier.

In a letter sent on Election Day, House Select Investigative Panel Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asked Judge James L. Robart to clarify why the records, which Congress requested after the abortion industry sued FPIW and David Daleiden to keep them sealed, have not yet been released under the subpoena.

You can read the letter here.

To date, the University of Washington has declined to produce the records for Congress, despite this legally-binding subpoena. Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order (TRO), they claim, prevents them from doing so.

If Judge Robart is forced to amend his TRO to clarify that the records in question may not be withheld from Congress, the records, by law, must be released to Congress by the University of Washington.

This is a step in the right direction for holding Planned Parenthood — and now the University of Washington — accountable to the public.  We’ll keep you up-to-date as the case progresses.

If you want to invest in FPIW’s efforts to defeat Planned Parenthood in court, you can contribute to the legal fund.

Federal Judge Blocks Obama Bathroom Mandate

 

A federal judge in Texas has issued an order blocking the enforcement of the Obama Administration’s federal action forcing schools to open locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms for students, regardless of their biological status.

Earlier this summer, 13 states sued the Obama administration after its Education and Justice Departments had told schools to comply with the “guidance” or risk federal funding.  It appears, for the time being, that that issue is moot; however, it is expected that the Obama Administration will appeal the ruling.

The judge cited the government’s failure to give the public an opportunity to comment as his justification for the block.  The judge also took an opportunity to look at the intent of federal non-discrimination laws, arguing in his decision that “the plain meaning of the term sex meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth,” and not transgender students, as the Obama Administration has tried to interpret.

This ruling means that schools will not be in jeopardy of losing federal funding this fall if they implement policies to protect students’ privacy and safety.  You can read the Press Release from Texas Values here.

We’ll keep you updated on this story, and through a potential appeals process, here at FPIW.org and on our Facebook page.

Bremerton School District to Use Taxpayer, Classroom Funds to Fight Kennedy Lawsuit

 

The Bremerton School District is lawyering up.

After filing a federal lawsuit against the District, Coach Joe Kennedy’s legal team made one thing pretty clear: Coach Joe just wants his job back.  “All we really want for him – is to be back on the sideline coaching those kids – and nothing more,” said Michael Berry, one of Kennedy’s attorneys with the First Liberty Institute.

Kennedy was fired last year after refusing to submit to the District’s demands that he stop praying before and after football games. His prayers, the District said, constituted an endorsement of religion, and were in violation of the separation of church and state. When this story broke last year, there was overwhelming support for Coach Kennedy from across the country, standing in support of continued protections under the First Amendment.

He didn’t stop praying, and the District put him on leave before ultimately firing him.

But there’s a new twist to this story: Bremerton School District must use taxpayer money to fight the discrimination lawsuit that Coach Kennedy has now brought against them in federal court.

The Kitsap Sun reported that the Bremerton School District has made the decision to pull needed legal funds from the general fund in order to beef up its legal team to fight this lawsuit in court.

Translation: the Bremerton School District is pulling funds from the classroom to keep Joe Kennedy off the field.

The District spent $6,600 in September of 2015 to cover the cost of legal work related to the Kennedy issue.  That amount increased to $10,512 in October 2015.  At present time, the District has dumped an additional $190,000 into its legal fund — all from the general fund — for legal work “in anticipation of legal costs for JK.”

As a taxpayer, how do you feel about this?  Sound off in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter.

Why Planned Parenthood is Suing FPIW

 

Two days ago, FPIW’s communications director, Zach Freeman, was served legal papers naming him as a defendant in a lawsuit. The suit was filed by 10 unnamed plaintiffs, identified only as “Jane and John Does”, asking the court to prohibit the University of Washington from releasing public records that had been requested by Mr. Freeman.

Those asking for their personally identifying information to be withheld include four current or former employees of Planned Parenthood, one employee of Cedar River Clinic (a controversial late term abortion clinic) as well as an employee of Evergreen Hospital and the University of Washington.

David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, was also named as a defendant because he made a similar public records request.

Mr. Daleiden made national news last year with the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood and abortion industry executives discussing how to harvest the organs of aborted babies and maximize revenue.

Shortly after those videos were released, a group of Washington State legislators wrote two letters to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson asking him to investigate whether the parts of aborted babies were illegally being sold for a profit. (A copy of those letters can be found here and here).

After a couple of months had passed, the Attorney General wrote a memorandum to the legislators notifying them that he had done an investigation and Planned Parenthood had done nothing wrong. (A copy of that memorandum can be found here).

It is no secret that Bob Ferguson is a strong political ally of Planned Parenthood. Therefore, we thought it would be wise to verify that the evidence supported the Attorney General’s office conclusion that nothing illegal had taken place.

As a result, Mr. Freeman filed a public records request seeking information relevant to the AG’s investigation into Planned Parenthood.  That request provided a number of documents, including an interaction between the AG’s office and the University of Washington from September 2015 that caught our attention.

In that correspondence, Deputy Attorney General Paige Dietrich asked Ian Goodhew, Government Relations Director at the University of Washington for “the contract you mentioned”.

Mr. Goodhew responded to this request by seeking assurances that “You will hold those confidential and not share with anyone without consent?”

In response, Ms. Dietrich said, “I don’t think we’ll need copies of the agreements.” (A copy of this correspondence can be seen here.)

While we don’t know what this contract they were referring to is, it seems plausible given the context that it would be an agreement UW had with an outside entity to procure aborted body parts.

The fact that the Attorney General’s office rescinded their request for information after UW expressed concern about that information becoming publicly available was interesting enough to warrant further investigation.

That, in addition to other things, is the reason Mr. Freeman filed the public information request with the University of Washington. Even if the Attorney General was not interested in those contracts, we decided we were.

Since they are public records, the public is has the right to inspect them.

It is entirely possible that those records are innocuous and/or irrelevant to the investigation. We simply don’t know.

Still, the response to our request for those records as well as others has done nothing to dampen our curiosity.

While the requests were not intended to gather information about any individual, it is inevitable that public records will reveal the identity of people involved in public work. As a general matter, if you are having conversations with public entities you can expect that the public might discover that through public records.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that their safety would be in jeopardy if their identities became public. They argue that because Mr. Freeman and Mr. Daleiden are pro-life that they intend to harass and/or commit violence against the individuals who might be identified in these documents.

Coming from an industry built on violence to others, this is deeply ironic. But that is beside the point.

The conversation about who is a bigger threat to whom is irrelevant to the legal question about whether anyone in Washington was illegally profiting off the sale of baby body parts.

It is possible that all relevant information will be turned over once this distraction is resolved and the public will be able to see if anything illegal is happening. It also possible that this is just an initial attempt to keep information away from the public.

We don’t know. Yet. But we intend to find out.

We anticipate a hearing to be scheduled soon.   We will be sure to let you know what happens.

One more thing.

Thank you for your support that allows us to ask important questions like these. The abortion industry in Washington has been operating free of accountability for decades and Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar tax-payer funded giant.

We are still a ways away from our first billion and receive no money from taxpayers. Friends like you make it all possible.  If you want to support this effort, please consider partnering with us.

Thank you for standing with us so we can continue to fight for what is good, true, and beautiful. When the dark side is agitated, you know you’re doing something right.