March 28, 2012
The Obama administration last week released paperwork showing the details of a grant to a branch of Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire -- but it took a lawsuit, WORLD News Service reports. Last year, the New Hampshire Executive Council -- a group of five council members who work with the governor to oversee the state's business affairs -- denied a grant to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE), which runs six clinics in the state. U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen then appealed directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fund PPNNE directly, bypassing the state. Five days after applying, PPNNE had a $1 million grant from the Obama administration. New Hampshire Right to Life filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to find out if HHS followed its own rules requiring a competitive bidding process for federal grants -- and when the Obama administration failed to comply, the group sued with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund. Finally, on Feb. 24, a federal judge ordered the government to release the documents by April 1 -- more than 125 days after receiving the FOIA. HHS said it made the grant because Planned Parenthood's services couldn't be provided without it -- but so far the documents released tell a different story. The Alliance Defense Fund is waiting to review all paperwork before taking any particular action; meanwhile, New Hampshire's legislature continues to work to defund Planned Parenthood.