- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Freedom of Information Act request regarding Planned Parenthood executive Dr. Deborah Nucatola and her financial ties with the federal government has been denied over a lack of newsworthiness and “general public interest,” The Federalist reported Thursday.

Federalist reporter Mary Hasson, who broke the news that federal funds went to Ms. Nucatola for advice on family planning and “healthy baby” births, filed a request for all communications and documents relevant to any payments to or compensation of fees, consultant fees, reimbursements, etc. to Deborah Nucatola, The Federalist reported.

The request came after Ms. Nucatola was caught in an undercover video nonchalantly explaining the process by which she harvests aborted body parts to be provided for medical research.

Since FOIA requests can take years to fulfill, Ms. Hasson requested that the Health and Human Services FOIA office expedite her request, The Federalist reported.

“The public has a right to know of any federal monies going to Dr. Nucatola in light of the video, released by the Center for Medical Progress, that includes remarks by Dr. Nucatola that raise questions about whether federal laws may have been violated regarding patients’ informed consent for fetal tissue, and conflict of interest,” Ms. Hasson wrote. “Expedited processing required because of planned or pending Congressional hearings and the public’s demand for transparency on this issue.”

HHS denied her request for expedited information, explaining that “in order to meet second prong of the compelling need standard, the requested information must be the type of information that has a particular value that will be lost if not disseminated quickly, and ordinarily refers to a breaking news story of general public interest,” The Federalist reported.

While HHS denied Ms. Hasson’s expedited FOIA request, they could at some point approve her simple information request.

“Or, then again, maybe not,” The Federalist said.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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