State health department turns over records to abortion rights group

From The Columbus Dispatch The Ohio Department of Health has turned over public records it previously refused to release to an abortion-rights group regarding health officials’ contact with Ohio Right to Life.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation moved last week to dismiss a lawsuit it had filed against the health department for illegally withholding records, leading the Ohio Supreme Court to dismiss the case today.

Court-ordered mediation between NARAL and state health officials led to the release of the records, NARAL lawyer Subodh Chandra wrote in his motion to dismiss the case.

The health department previously rejected the organization's request for records of calls to telephone numbers associated with Ohio Right to Life and its leaders’ emails to the health officials, saying the request was “overly broad.”

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL-Ohio, said previously that the group sought the records in a bid to determine if Ohio Right to Life wielded undue influence at the health department.

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