The following email was received from the PR firm that works for Life Legal Defense Foundation on May 18.
As you know, the Life Legal Defense Foundation asked for public records related to a possible illegal abortion project in California that has affected thousands of patients. However, that request was denied by a California judge, read the decision here.
[This was the Health Workforce Project that was sponsored by the Bixby Center for Reproductive Health at UC San Francisco set up to evaluate the training and use of nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwife, and physician assistants to perform first trimester abortions. The names of the physicians, clinicians, and stakeholders were denied to Life Legal.]
According to Dana Cody, executive director, Life Legal Defense Foundation:
The judge is putting himself in the place of the legislature when he states at the end of p. 8 that nondisclosure of the names of clinicians serves the legislative purpose of protecting them. He is expanding the exemption to the public records act based on speculation.
Furthermore, the established law on this is very clear. CA Supreme Court case law expressly declined to broaden the public records act exemption that allows for nondisclosure of police addresses, etc., to include their names as well. In other words, the identical situation here, except it is abortion providers instead of cops.
The Supreme Court said:
[W]e may assume that in defining personnel records the Legislature drew the line carefully, with due concern for the competing interests. Had the Legislature intended to prevent the disclosure of officers’ identities as such, an obvious solution would have been to list “name” as an item of “[p]ersonal data” under subdivision (a) of section 832.8.
The judge fell for the assertion of violence based on a bunch of nonsense. In the same case (above) the court stated that the mere assertion of endangerment is insufficient….
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