Wednesday, April 24, 2013
ATKINS BILL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO EARLY ABORTIONS CONTINUES TO ADVANCE
(San Diego) The Assembly Health Committee today passed AB 154, legislation by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins to expand the list of healthcare professionals authorized to perform early abortions. This bill allows nurses, physician’s assistants, and nurse-midwives to perform aspiration abortions after receiving proper training. Currently, over half of California’s counties have no abortion provider. AB 154 will help alleviate that shortage.
“As the former director of women’s health clinics, I know how critical timely reproductive healthcare is for women,” says Atkins. “My bill will help ensure that no woman will have to travel a long distance or wait a long time for the care she needs because of a shortage of providers.”
A recent comprehensive study conducted by the University of California San Francisco and published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that trained nurse practitioners, midwives and physicians assistants can safely provide early abortions and that women appreciate receiving care in their own communities. AB 154 includes stringent training and competency requirements for these practitioners.
The bill is sponsored by the California Women’s Health Alliance, a coalition of groups dedicating to protecting and improving the reproductive health of California women and will next be heard in the Assembly Health Committee. The bill is also supported by the California Medical Association.
AB 154 will next be reviewed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.