The abortion industry in this country could not thrive as it does without the cover of secrecy provided by both the media and, in many cases, government officials more interested in protecting a powerful political ally than the lives of those upon whom that ally preys.
The recent and ongoing undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees bargaining for human body parts over wine and chicken salad sickeningly illustrate what has been going on for years beneath a well maintained veil of secrecy. It’s no wonder that those who engage in these ghoulish practices howl with outrage whenever anybody even tries to expose their deeds. It’s bad enough that powerful elites in the media connive at this secrecy; but it’s scandalous when government itself lends its offices to the conspiracy.
For several years now, we at the ACLJ have been representing one person who has sought to lift the veil on the abortion industry in the State of Maryland. As we reported previously, here, and here, Andrew Glenn was spurred to action in 2012 after reading horror stories about minimally qualified - in some cases actually unlicensed in other states - abortion practitioners who were allowed to fly under the radar in his state, wreaking havoc on unsuspecting women, causing them serious injury and even death (a disturbing a deadly trend being documented nationwide).
Following the state’s enactment of new regulations designed to tighten up oversight of these places by the state’s Health Department, Glenn filed a simple, routine Public Information Request. His Request asked for the names of the owners, administrators, and medical directors of each of Maryland’s licensed abortion facilities. (At least three of the facilities are owned by Planned Parenthood). Given the Department’s history of turning a blind eye to the abortion industry, Glenn wanted do his own research and cross-check the information contained in publicly filed licensure applications against regulatory records in other states.
But instead of welcoming Glenn’s efforts to assist them in their oversight, the Department denied him access to the information he sought.
They then went to court in Baltimore seeking judicial approval of their stonewalling. The Baltimore Circuit Court sided with the Department and we appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. After that court too ruled in the Department’s favor, we filed a petition for certiorari with the state’s highest court, the Maryland Court of Appeals. The vast majority of such petitions are routinely denied without comment. But we’re pleased to report that this past Friday the Court of Appeals granted our petition. This means we will now make our arguments to Maryland’s highest Court.
We will ask the Court to recognize once and for all that the state’s Public Information Act – indeed, the public’s right to know - does not contain an exception for the abortion industry.
We anticipate that the case will be argued later this year or early in 2016, with a decision some time next Spring.
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The ACLJ’s pro-life legal, policy, and government affairs teams continues to work with state legislatures around the country to craft common-sense pro-life legislation. In the last week, I was privileged to testify in the Maryland state capitol as a witness defending the constitutionality of bills...
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