It was revealed today in Plunderbund that NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation has been having a difficult time getting public records requests met by the Ohio Department of Health relating to its relationship to Ohio Right to Life.

One entity that hasn’t had much trouble getting its records requests met by the ODH is Ohio Right to Life itself. Documents obtained by Plunderbund show the ODH fulfilling public records requests by ORTL regarding disciplinary action taken toward the Northeast Ohio Women’s Center and the Bedford Heights Health Center/Planned Parenthood the very same day they were requested, and before the clinics themselves were notified of the then-pending disciplinary actions.

Everyone else has to wait anywhere between four to 12 weeks for public records related to inspection reports.

ORTL_EMAILS_CROP

Screenshot of emails between Ohio Right to Life and the Ohio Department of Health

But a July 31, 2014, letter from ORTL President Michael Gonidakis, emailed that day to the ODH requesting “any enforcement actions or other correspondence during the previous ten days” with the aforementioned ambulatory surgical facilities was filled that very evening.

The email exchange reveals that ORTL was able to obtain records from the ODH in real time, publishing them 3 hours later online, culminating in a Plain Dealer story just one day later, on Aug. 1, before the clinics themselves had even received via U.S. postage the ODH letters regarding adjudication of their own administrative hearings.

In essence, ORTL is being afforded information from the ODH regarding its rulings on clinic before the clinics themselves receive the information. And not only is the ORTL being served in real time, the group’s making the requests early in the morning after the disciplinary report was written indicates the group could have knowledge of ODH’s actions before they are even committed to public record.

An email from Gonidakis at 8:47 a.m. saying he is “looking forward to the others,” meaning the other disciplinary reports, indicates this communication was sent before the reports were incorporated into the public record, and before ORTL even officially filed a public records request for them.

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A pdf file (2.5MB) containing all of the emails is available here.

 
  • CherMoe

    Can somebody SUE because of the selective favoritism shown?

  • P Hamilton

    Judging by the informality of MG’s emails there seems to be an ongoing dialog about these citations, not at the time yet public, going further back in time. Where are the other communications?

  • Mark Schrider

    “Right to Life”…This is a misnomer most in mainstream and progressive media continue to use. Th “Right-to-Life” movement is not about life at all. Remember these are the same people who slash funding for prenatal and mother-infant programs. The anti-choice movement is a more accurate description as their goal lies in denying women any choice in their lives, not just reproductive choices.

    That the Kasich administration permits such blatant favoritism towards this fraudulent movement is an abuse of power, morally questionable and, likely a violation of of Ohio Revised Code Chapter 149, Section 43. BUt I’m not a lawyer, I’m a nurse.

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