A citizen investigative reporter has won a major decision to make a tax-supported agency transparent about its alleged dealing in aborted babies' body parts.
Over the last two years, David Daleiden of The Center for Medical Progress has released several undercover videos – videos proving tissue and body parts were retrieved from aborted babies by abortion companies and sold. A congressional investigation called for criminal prosecutions of some of the entities involved.
Knowing the University of Washington to be a major player, Daleiden requested documents he hoped would support his case. The university sued and State Representative Peter Breen, who is also special counsel with Thomas More Society, says any documents received were useless.
"The departments of the University of Washington were redacted out of the documents; job titles, those things that are not specific to any individual, redacted out," he states. "You couldn't tell which facilities had sent the baby body parts to whom, [making it impossible to] tie together these transactions to show whether the University of Washington and its suppliers for baby body parts were doing business legally."
Even though state law requires full disclosure, a lower federal court ordered those redactions. Now the Ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals has ruled in favor of full disclosure.
"This was a huge victory for government openness and transparency by the Ninth Circuit," Breen shares, "making sure that there is no special treatment for fetal tissue trafficking or abortion when it's done with taxpayer funds and through a government entity."
The case now goes back to the lower court, which must prove the necessity of the redactions rather than just providing its blessing.