FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2015
Alissa Manzoeillo, National Abortion Federation
202.667.5881, ext 219; 202.595.4395 (after hours/cell)
Judge Rules Corporations Can’t Plead Fifth Amendment
Today, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the corporations named in our lawsuit, Center for Medical Progress and BioMax, cannot plead the Fifth Amendment. Last month, counsel for the defendants notified the court that all defendants, including the corporate entities, planned to plead the Fifth Amendment in response to the pending discovery requests in order to refrain from self-incrimination.
“It’s telling that the defendants have been very vocal in the media saying that they have nothing to hide, yet in Federal court they want to plead the Fifth,” said NAF President and CEO Vicki Saporta. “We are pleased with the results of today’s hearing, and are eager to move forward with the discovery process.”
Judge William H. Orrick also indicated he is ready to order discovery and set a schedule for NAF’s preliminary injunction motion, pending the Ninth Circuit’s decision on a recent appeal submitted by the defendants as a last ditch effort to avoid complying with discovery.
“Our priority is the safety and security of our members, their staff, their patients, and their families,” said Saporta. “Moving forward with discovery will help us take steps to ensure our members’ safety during this period of escalating hate speech, threats, and criminal activity.”
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia.