by Jennifer Minor, Editor/Writer
Have you been hearing about those emails between the Montgomery County Council and NARAL published last week by Dustin Siggins at LifeSiteNews.com, and wondered how those emails were discovered?
Mr. Siggins took advantage of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was enacted in 1966, to request them. (The Freedom of Information Act allows full or partial disclosure of information or records from government agencies.) Journalists aren't the only ones who can request information through FOIA. In fact, NARAL recently requested emails from the Ohio Department of Health in relation to Ohio Right to Life (read here). But is it only organizations and journalists who can make these kinds of requests?
The answer is: No, anyone can request information from any federal, state, or local government agency under this or similar state and local level laws!
Do you suspect there's similar collaboration between pro-abortion groups and public officials in your area? You can file a FOIA request today to find out.
Still have questions? Here are some answers that might help clear things up.
Who can make a FOIA request?
According to FOIA.gov, "The general rule is that any person – citizen or not – can make a FOIA request. It's easy to do so." (click here for source) All it takes is a written request to the agency you want the information from, with your specific request spelled out.
What do I need to include in a FOIA request? Is there a form or something?
You need to "describe the information you want, and the format you want it in, in as much detail as possible." (FOIA.gov) That's it. No special form, just an email, fax, or letter requesting the info you are looking for. For example, in the NARAL request to Ohio Department of Health, they requested "emails exchanged with people whose email addresses end with 'ohiolife.org [and employees at the Ohio Department of Health].'" (click here for source)
What should I expect to get from a FOIA request and how quickly?
The records you receive will be raw data. Agencies will not do any analysis, research, or creating of new records. They will only give you what they already have available, and it might take a while. The standard timeline is one month, but if there is a backlog of requests, an agency may have to notify you in writing that they need an extension. (FOIA.gov)
Is there a cost?
In theory, there is no fee for making a FOIA request, but in some cases, if the time required to search for the information requested or the pages of records needing duplication are beyond certain limits, there may be fees. However, you can always request that these fees are waived and/or limit the amount you are willing to spend in your request. (FOIA.gov) Great examples of language for this type of request can be found in the example letters at nfoic.org.
Why does any of this even matter?
We've been suspicious for years that NARAL and other abortion advocacy groups have been colluding with the government at various levels to shut us down and keep themselves in governmental good-graces. Now, thanks to Mr. Siggins and LifeSiteNews.com, we know we were right.
If you suspect similar activity in your area, you can find out if something dubious really is going on.
Suspicious about government-abortion lobby collusion going on in your area? Leave us a tip at PregnancyHelpNews.com!
Did you catch Peggy's response to this discovery yet? Click here.