SCOTUS Not Interested in Planned Parenthood Case

High court rejects NH anti-abortion group's push for docs related to gov't grant
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 16, 2015 10:24 AM CST

(Newser) – The Supreme Court has rejected an anti-abortion group's bid to force disclosure of confidential Planned Parenthood and federal government records about a contract for family planning services in New Hampshire. The justices on Monday let stand a ruling that allowed the Health and Human Services Department to withhold some documents in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by New Hampshire Right to Life. The abortion opponents objected to a $1 million contract that HHS awarded Planned Parenthood in 2011 for family planning services in the state. The move followed action by New Hampshire's Executive Council to stop a long-standing practice of funneling federal money to the clinics. Councilors who opposed funding Planned Parenthood said they didn't want grant money given to the organization because it provides abortions using private funds.

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Planned Parenthood's funding gained scrutiny in June when controversial "sting" videos circulated showing a Planned Parenthood official discussing the transfer of organs from aborted fetuses (Planned Parenthood called the video "grossly misleading"). Even though the government had already provided certain details about the grant, New Hampshire Right to Life was pushing for more, such as an internal Planned Parenthood document that spelled out how each clinic is run, Reuters notes. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were the sole dissenters in the decision, which upheld a February ruling by the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals. In his dissent, Thomas said that his colleagues' ruling "perpetuates an unsupported interpretation" of FOIA. (Planned Parenthood has said it won't take any more money for donating fetal tissue.)

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