Funded pilot program in California is training people who are not physicians to do first-trimester vacuum aspiration surgical abortions – with as little as two days of instruction – and now a judge is protecting the names of everyone involved.

In his May 17 decision, Judge Evelio Grillo denied the Life Legal Defense Foundation’s petition for a writ of mandate to require release of the names of physicians, clinicians and stakeholders who participated in the pilot project conducted by the University of California San Francisco/Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health.

“[T]he court finds that the public interest in withholding the names of the Clinicians outweighs the public interest in disclosing those names,” the decision states. “First, there is a public interest in protecting persons who provide abortion services from harassment. … Second, the public has an interest in academic research, and that interest may be compromised if research participants cannot participate with the assurance that their privacy will be protected.”

Dana Cody, executive director of Life Legal Defense Foundation, told WND, “There’s a $3.5 million grant, and we don’t know who the money is from. Then there’s other funding from the taxpayers. We filed a writ, and the court held that they did not have to disclose the names of clinicians and went on to justify it by saying there are safety concerns.

“We feel that the names are necessary because we need to know who’s doing the training. When the project’s own documents show that the injury rate is 80 percent more than when physicians perform abortions, there are some concerns there.”

Read more here.

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