FIRST ON FOX: A pro-life organization that supports thousands of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in the U.S. and around the world is firing back after Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other progressive senators issued a letter citing “significant privacy concerns” over the group’s privacy policies regarding “pregnant people.”
“We asked Sen. Warren to give us one example of a public statement condemning the more than 100 violent attacks on pregnancy resource centers in just the last few months,” First Liberty Institute, who is representing Heartbeat International, told Fox News Digital. “She could not produce one. Instead, she believes these centers are ‘torturing’ women and continues to harass and intimidate a private organization to score political points.”
Earlier this month, Warren was joined by Sens. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Cory Booker, D-N.J., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., in sending a letter to Heartbeat International warning that Congress is “actively exploring legislative efforts that would prevent CPCs from engaging in false advertising or misusing the health data of pregnant people who incorrectly believe that such data is required to be kept confidential.”
“Contrary to your assertions, the purpose of this inquiry is to gather additional data to better inform ongoing legislative efforts to grant pregnant people basic legal protections that tens of millions of Americans erroneously believe they are already afforded by federal law,” the Oct. 21 letter stated.
First Liberty Institute responded to the senators in a letter Monday shared with Fox News Digital, saying, “you appear determined to wield the power of your office to investigate a private organization that holds to a religious and ideological position with which you disagree.”
“Such is inappropriate and beneath your office,” the letter stated.
Heartbeat International “has not and does not share personally identifiable information with law enforcement, the public, nor any third party,” it continued.
“Further, our client is concerned with your refusal to answer reasonable questions posed to their elected officials,” it added. “You demand answers from those you serve, yet refuse to answer their questions. The duties of a United States Senator afford you the freedom to ask questions in support of legislative duties — questions our client has now twice answered. Yet, despite our client’s ongoing cooperation, you have purposefully dodged the questions posed by those you are duty-bound to serve. We are forced to conclude that you are determined to insulate yourself from answering the questions of our client. This is disappointing and troubling.”
The liberal senators sent their first letter to the organization in September, raising concerns that in light of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Heartbeat International “is not under any legal obligation to maintain the confidentiality” of clients, or to keep their information out of the hands of “abortion bounty hunters.”
In their Oct. 21 letter, the senators said the organization “declined
to respond materially” to their original letter inquiring about its policies on privacy. They also rebuffed Heartbeat International’s claims that their inquiries are motivated by ideological differences.
“We respect that your organization seeks explicitly ‘to make abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations’ and as a consequence you may disagree with these legislative efforts,” the senators wrote. “Similarly, while as you know, congressional documents are not subject to the disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, the public record is clear that we are strong supporters of abortion rights. But this effort is not about those views, and it is certainly not about encouraging violence, which we consistently condemn in any context and in the strongest of terms, and which has been a persistent threat to those seeking reproductive care for decades.”
First Liberty Institute’s response Monday called on the senators to “refocus” their energies.
“Heartbeat’s highest priority is caring for its clients, including protecting their privacy. To this end, it complies with all pertinent laws and regulations of the United States,” its letter stated. “Rather than fix your ire on our client, redirect your attention to the oversight of the federal government entrusted by the American people to your care. Demonstrate unequivocally to the American people that you will protect even those with whom you disagree by equal application of the laws passed by the U.S. Senate.”