Nov 25, 2014 4:40 PM
New Hampshire Right to Life sues to get information about abortion clinics
The New Hampshire Right to Life has sued state agencies to produce records on the operation of abortion clinics in the state.
Their lawyer, Michael Tierney, charges political connections are why the information is not disclosed.
"If it was any other organization other than the largest abortion provider in the state and the provider of more than five hundred thousand dollars in campaign contributions to the governor's campaign, those documents would be produced subject to a routine right to know request,'' Tierney claimed.
Dalia Vidunas, executive director of the concord feminist health center, said the group is fully transparent and already discloses volumes of information to the public.
"It's true there is a tremendous amount of information already available because we are a non-profit we have to disclose all the information we would have to do with all our different licenses they are all up for public knowledge,'' Vidunas said.
A three-hour hearing on the case is set for Jan. 15 in Stafford County Superior Court.
Tierney said the lawsuit has four parts to it and ranges from release of audits to the procedures of how contraception and abortion-related medications are dispensed.
Jennifer Frizell, policy director for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, charged this suit is similar to what affiliate groups have tried and failed to win in other state courts.
"Right to Life has made repeated attempts to gain access to such information and these attempts have been rejected by state and federal courts," Frizzell said.
Abortion opponents have made repeated attempts to get the New Hampshire Legislature to adopt state laws forcing the release of more information including statistics on the incidence of abortion at hospitals across the state.
New Hampshire Right to Life is also teaming with supportive lawmakers to pursue legislation in the 2015 to repeal the buffer zone mandate around abortion clinics.
A state court judge said the law could not be enforced as written given a US Supreme Court decision that struck down as unconstitutional a similar but larger buffer zone that had been in place in Massachusetts.
After the court's decision, Governor Maggie Hassan and Attorney General Joe Foster confirmed New Hampshire's buffer zone would not be policed.