AUSTIN (CN) - Planned Parenthood sued the Texas Attorney General to stop him from turning over its tax returns, check register, list of contributors - and "an ultrasound taken during an abortion" - to a "requestor" who demands the information. Planned Parenthood says it has no such ultrasound, and even if it did, it would be protected by medical privacy law.
Planned Parenthood adds that complying with the request could expose its employees, donors and contractors to threats and harassment.
Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas sued Attorney General Greg Abbott to stop him from delivering the information to the requestor.
The requestor demanded unredacted federal income tax returns, a copy of a recent check registry, copies of contracts with government agencies and "an ultrasound taken during an abortion."
Planned Parenthood says it complied with some of the requests, but refused to turn over any documents that would reveal the names of patients, donors or contractors, or that are protected by federal medical privacy laws.
It says it would not turn over "an ultrasound taken during an abortion" because it has no such thing, and even if it did, it would be protected by medical privacy laws.
Planned Parenthood says its Texas employees already have been harassed, intimidated and threatened by anti-abortion activists, who have recorded employees' license plate numbers and sent them harassing letters.
"On at least one occasion, an anti-abortion group contacted administrative officials of a medical school and alleged that one of their employees also worked for Planned Parenthood," according to the complaint. "The employee was forced to defend his employment with the medical school."
It claims that the "requestor" recently identified a Planned Parenthood donor to the donor's employer - a religiously affiliated university - and demanded that the university "tighten up their moral scrutiny of candidates for employment".
Planned Parenthood adds that its "architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors have been repeatedly harassed and boycotted ... with phone class, email, letters and faxes, protesting outside of corporate administrative offices, ad threatening to blacklist businesses," and that one protestor "drove a van through the entrance of a health center in Houston."
Planned Parenthood wants release of the information enjoined as unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
It is represented by Mark Kincaid with Kincaid & Horton.
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