California bill would let non-doctors perform most-common abortion technique to expand access 21 Charlie Neibergall Nurse practitioner Sharon Spiller, left, and physicians assistant Tiernie...
Half of all counties in California do not have a physician routinely available to administer abortions. In order to increase women’s access to the procedure statewide, Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) has authored a bill, SB 1501, to also allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives to perform abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy.
“We believe it will give many California women access to earlier, safer procedures in the first trimester of their pregnancy,” Kehoe said at a news conference in Sacramento on Tuesday.
Existing state law allows only doctors to perform abortions, including aspiration abortions, which entail the most commonly used method for terminating early pregnancies.
Kehoe’s bill is quickly gaining support among California’s mostly Democratic Legislature, but lawmakers against abortion, such as Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee), have voiced their strong opposition to, as Jones stated, “looking for more ways to abort babies.”
The proposal comes at a time when other state legislatures are looking to restrict abortions, including the Virginia Senate, which approved a bill on Tuesday that requires women to undergo external ultrasounds before having abortions.