Secret Public Records Demanded For UCSF Non-Physician Abortion Project

CA SB 1338 Brought Project to Light

OAKLAND, CA, May 8, 2012 -- On May 10, the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) will request in court that essential information related to the non-physician abortion Project sponsored by UCSF/Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health must be made public. According to the California Public Records Act (CPRA), additional Project information should be made public. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, May 10 at 10 AM Pacific Time in Superior Court, County of Alameda, 201 13th Street, Oakland, CA.

Earlier this year, Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) introduced Senate Bill 1338, which if enacted would allow non-physicians to perform abortions after training is provided pursuant to the Health Workforce Pilot Project #171 (HWPP), which is managed by UCSF/Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. $3.5 million for the HWPP program is funded by an undisclosed private foundation, and SB 1338 was sponsored by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and other pro-abortion organizations.

"Planned Parenthood participates in an abortion project funded by an anonymous donor. It seems like a wolf running free in the chicken coup, but sadly we're really talking about women's lives," said Dana Cody, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. "California citizens deserve to know the facts about non-physicians learning how to perform abortions in just 2 to 5 days, even though it takes physicians over a month to learn. Even licensed hair stylists get more education time."

This court hearing is necessary because the UCSF/Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health refused to disclose the identity of physicians providing HWPP training and other facts, after a public records request was denied. The purpose of forcing the records to be made public is to determine whether or not the program will provide substandard and risky care by California health standards.

The LLDF has created a fact sheet about the potential problems with SB 1338. The fact sheet is available here. It gives reasons why this public records disclosure is necessary, such as:

  • No professional oversight: The Medical Board of California and the Nursing Board will not set standards for the process.
  • Non-physician abortion complications: In previous training programs, there was an 80% increase in complications when non-physicians performed surgical abortions.
  • Motivation of funder and lack of accountability: As to Project expenditures, UCSF/Bixby Center has not provided the name of the funder or accounting information for two-thirds of the $3.9 million already spent.

Earlier this year, the LLDF filed a Writ of Mandate to compel disclosure with a public records request for complete information. The Writ is available here.

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